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  • The Gallery

Minnis govt wanted $25,200 security for cabinet ministers

Before the Free National Movement (FNM) was voted out of office, then-Minister of National Security Marvin Dames had proposed to assign a police aide to every single minister in the Minnis Cabinet, costing taxpayers $25,200 total for 14 officers during a six-month period.

According to documents obtained by the Gallery, the Minnis cabinet accepted and supported a framework document for the implementation of a Protective Services Programme for Cabinet Ministers.

Of the 15 cabinet ministers in the Minnis Administration, four ministers had assigned aides: Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, Deputy Prime Minister Desmond Bannister, National Security Minister Marvin Dames and Attorney General Carl Bethel.

Dames proposed to assign police aides to the remaining eleven cabinet ministers and submitted a list of 14 police sergeants to be transferred to the Security Intelligence Branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF). Those officers were being pulled from the Mobile Division, Police Band, Central Division, Cable Beach Division, Drug Enforcement Unit and Curfew Command Centre, among other areas.

"Officers performing the duties of an Aide to a Cabinet MInister are paid a monthly allowance of $300 per month, which amounts to $25,200 for the six months period January 2021 to 30th June, 2021", Dames wrote.

However, he admitted "there are no funds available in the Allowance Item in the 2020/2021 Budget of the Royal Bahamas Police Force to cover the sum of $25,200 for the payment of the allowance."

Dames proposed that Cabinet authorize the MInistry of Finance to provide the sum of $25.200 to cover monthly allowance payments to the aides.

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