Portfolio responsibilities ‘transferred’, but not gazetted
Press Secretary Anthony Newbold said yesterday that Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has transferred six portfolio responsibilities back to Minister of the Environment Romauld Ferreira, however, the official gazette was not at Government Publications.
During his weekly press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, Newbold was asked whether the transfer was gazetted.
“My understanding is that it has been re-gazetted,” he said.
Following the briefing, The Nassau Guardian went to Government Publications and was informed that there was no new gazette regarding the transfer of responsibilities.
According to Newbold, the prime minister decided to take responsibility for the Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology Commission (BEST), however, six other Cabinet portfolio responsibilities were also transferred from the minister of the environment to the prime minister in error.
Newbold has said that the error was only noticed after the document began circulating on social media.
However, when that document first surfaced, Minnis called it “fake news” and something he knew nothing of.
It was later verified as an official gazette that can only be directed by the prime minister.
When asked yesterday if anyone has been held accountable for the error, Newbold said, “There hasn’t been any further discussions, certainly between the prime minister and myself about it because it is something that the Cabinet office should handle.
“Whatever needed to be done or was done or wasn’t done, the Cabinet office would be responsible for handling that.”
The six responsibilities transferred from Ferreira in error were: relations with national and international organizations on matters relating to the environment; international convention, treaties, protocols and agreements relating to the environment; reefs and blue holes; Plant Protection Act; wild animal and bird protection, and natural history specimens.