The former Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance assumes responsibility for the portfolios which have been under the direct supervision of the Office of the Prime Minister since the resignation of the former minister, Dr. Andrew Wheatley last year amidst concerns about his handling of several issues in various agencies within the ministry.
The Prime Minister announced several other changes in portfolio responsibilities in the government, involving some members of the political directorate as well as senior civil servants.
Minister of State Floyd Green hasd been assigned to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture, a lateral shift from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. He will be replaced in that by Alando Terrelonge who is being shifted from the Ministry of Sports, Culture & Gender Affairs.
Permanent Secretary Sancia Templar Bennett is being moved from the Office of the Prime Minister to the Ministry of Justice, replacing Carol Palmer who will be assigned to the Ministry of Energy Science and technology.
Permanent Secretary Audrey Sewell, who has been Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Growth & Job Creation, which falls under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister, will take up additional duties in the Office of the Prime Minister with the departure of Sancia Templar Bennett from that office.
In the meantime, Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips says his party has taken note of the appointment of the new minister to oversee the important energy portfolio.
He said since the resignation of former Minister, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, he had consistently pointed to the need to appoint a full time Minister of Energy, as a Ministry of this scope and importance needed to have its own Minister.
The Opposition Leader said it was unfortunate that after eight months, it took the further deepening of the Petrojam scandal for the Prime Minister to come to the realisation of his inability to provide effective oversight and so appoint a Minister of Science, Energy and Technology.
Dr. Phillips warned, however, that this appointment would not deter Opposition from getting to the root of the corruption and mismanagement at Petrojam and other agencies in the Ministry, as there are still several issues outstanding.
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