Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff
By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames yesterday touted his ministry’s multi-agency “succession planning model,” declaring the scheme will guarantee “young and ambitious and capable” officers a chance to lead.
Mr Dames’ comments came outside of Cabinet yesterday, where he told reporters the model has been effective in aiding the decisions around the recent restructuring of both the Royal Bahamas Police Force and Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
He also said the model will play a role in the upcoming structuring of the Department of Correctional Services’ new executive team.
“We are in the business of putting the right persons, the most competent persons, in these positions and we make no apologies for it,” the Mount Moriah MP said.
In line with this, Mr Dames yesterday revealed the vacant substantive post of deputy commissioner of police will only be filled in an acting capacity until outgoing Deputy Commissioner of Police Emrick Seymour concludes his pre-retirement vacation leave.
He also noted that newly appointed Commissioner of Corrections Charles Murphy would hold his post for a period of four years due to his age.
Mr Dames said both scenarios would be addressed by the succession plan.
Mr Dames scoffed at the notion that the work of the RBPF was impeded by the move to direct several senior officers with accrued vacation leave to take that time off — a move he said had to be made to protect the public from having to pay scores of officers for owed leave all at once.
He implored the public to look at the bigger picture, insisting the country move in a direction where these agencies can operate no matter who is out.
“These agencies ought to be able to function regardless as to who is sitting where,” he said. “We said from the onset that we are committed to putting in place a succession planning model that will serve these agencies well. (A model) that will allow young and ambitious, and capable persons an opportunity for the future.
“This happens anywhere. This is human resource management 101. You have to allow for growth within agencies, by that, it means that when people’s time comes up for retirement, they must be prepared to leave.
“On the flip side of that,” he said, “I believe, as any good government would do and as good governance calls for, as that we have an obligation to ensure that we prepare our people for retirement. And I think that is something that we have not done well in this country. It sneaks up on people. When we say it’s time to go, we need to do a better job of preparing our people for retirement.”
He continued: “The deputy commissioner, the substantive position is still there. The deputy commissioner is currently on pre-retirement and so, as is often the case, (when) the commissioner leaves town he will make an appointment for a someone to act as commissioner.
“If the deputy commissioner is out of town, then the commissioner can make a request or application for somebody to serve as deputy commissioner; that’s his prerogative as commissioner of police. So I assume that somebody very shortly will be designated deputy commissioner of police and that’s how it works.
“It has been working. I mean we’ve been doing it… it happens if the commissioner travels, the deputy commissioner is out of the country it happens. And in this case, the deputy commissioner is currently on pre-retirement leave, so the commissioner will make application and there will be an acting deputy in place until the substantive position is made vacant,” he said.
As it relates to the tenure of the new corrections commissioner, Mr Dames noted: “There are no concerns. He has at least four years remaining. We have a plan. There is a succession planning model for all of these agencies that we have created and it gives us an opportunity to put a young, competent, capable executive team around him to which we will be working to achieve very shortly.”
Mr Dames said advertisements for those posts are forthcoming.
He also brushed off criticism from the Progressive Liberal Party about Commissioner Murphy’s appointment. The PLP has said the party does not support the appointment and that two women who were qualified were passed over for the job.
Mr Dames blasted the critiques as “political mischief,” insisting the Official Opposition was interfering in the general management and running of various law enforcement agencies.