Mitchell emphasises need for proper succession planning


Tribune Staff Reporter


THE need for proper succession planning in the Bahamas was emphasised by Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell during his address to new employees of his ministry yesterday.

Mr Mitchell’s speech came as a Foreign Affairs Employee Seminar began within his Ministry.

“There is much talk about succession in our country throughout the public service and public life,” he told a room of nearly 20 new employees.

“More properly, there is talk about the fact that in so much of our public service there is not much attention paid to succession planning.

“Succession planning is not done in our country the way many other countries do it. It is rather less formal. In other words, it takes place largely through death or the effluxion of time. One thing we know, however, is whether we plan or whether we do not, change will come. New faces will take our places. The issue for those at the helm today is whether or not we have done enough within the parameter of our remit to ensure that the institution goes on. So today, I am hoping to imbue in you a sense of what this institution is, and where it has come from and where it can go.”

Mr Mitchell explained to the new employees that their job is to fight for Bahamian interests throughout the world, even when engaging more powerful allies.

“We are close to the United States and are very much overshadowed by their culture, international political clout and wealth,” he said. “They are our closest friend and trading partner. Within that relationship, however, there is scope for the defence of our independence.”

Doing one’s job effectively, he added, requires particular attentiveness to the declared policies and agenda of the Bahamian government.

“In order for a Foreign Ministry to work,” he said, “the team at home and in our missions abroad have to be tuned in to what the thinking is at the top. That means the Prime Minister who is the head of government, his pronouncements and statements, the formal decisions of the government, the statements of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other statements. You have to know the personalities in the country and what defines your country and its citizens. Everything that touches and concerns Foreign Affairs is your business. That means all matters because you are the general face of this country overseas.”

Mr Mitchell also noted the unconventional demands that Foreign Affairs work places on its employees.  

“There is no nine to five job here,” he said. “When you signed the public service form, you agreed to be called upon at any time and to serve in any place. If that is not what you want to do then you are in the wrong place.

“I have spoken to the Permanent Secretary who is the administrative head of the Ministry about the issue of execution. We must all try to do things quickly and with dispatch and accurately. The culture of our country is too deliberative and in the result we lose so many opportunities because of it. We must begin to change that here in this ministry.”

Mr Mitchell indicated that during this week’s seminar, he will speak to the new employees on various issues, including how to execute policies and decisions on a timely basis, how to give advice to a decision maker while “not writing college level essays,” knowing the history of the Bahamas and Foreign Affairs Ministry, and “knowing who is a Bahamian”.


Reality_Check 8 years, 6 months ago

This guy would have all Bahamians eating mud pies down the road as a result of his ineptitude......just look at what unchecked illegal immigration has done to our country under him as the PLP Minister who PGC always puts in charge of Immigration. What a dithering blithering imbecile!


sheeprunner12 8 years, 6 months ago

Reality.................. dont blame Freddy............ he is living a dream and pushing his agendas. However, blame the chief executive officer.

As far as succession planning is concerned, Freddy has been in politics for over 30 years and sadly, he hasnt had much influence in that arena.

Fly Freddy and do your LGBT thang


ThisIsOurs 8 years, 6 months ago

"knowing who is a Bahamian”...what does that mean? Isn't the law pretty clear? Can't comment further because he didn't elaborate but it's a very odd statement. It's like an Obama where's your long form birth certificate statement


countryfirst 8 years, 6 months ago

We already have succession planning in place the same people or their kids or grandkids have run this country for over forty years and it gets worse with every generation.


sheeprunner12 8 years, 6 months ago

Succession Planning in Bahamian Politics..............definition

PLP - must be a member of the PLP royal families, must have the support of the present leader, must have support of more than half of the Stalwart Councillors, belief in obeah (optional)

FNM - must be a reject of the PLP, must have real inside information on the PLP, must be able to control the FNM factions (Cecilites, Ingrahamites, etc), must be a "delivery boy".

Sorry, Fred .................. you dont qualify for any Party


BahamianAway 8 years, 6 months ago

Is anyone in the Bahamas really Bahamian anymore...I predict that in twenty to fifty years the majority of Bahamians will no longer be able to trace their roots back to Loyalist or slaves that initially inhabited our islands.

My mom can trace her family back to Andros, Exuma, and Eleuthera- and that is both of her parents. The Bahamas is being so taken over by foreign nationals who are mixing into our society that eventually there will be no "real" Bahamian. As it is the majority of these students are of some Haitian, Jamaican, Chinese, Indian descent. I have seen more children with these foreign last names than with actual Bahamian names i.e Rolle, Stubbs, McDonald etc. Now we have the Chans, Satels, Ettienes, etc.

And yes it might sound somewhat prejudiced but I am just stating fact. Then the definition of "know who is Bahamian" will no longer apply.


sheeprunner12 8 years, 6 months ago

Soooooooo............. who ur pa is???????????????


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