Minister Weeks: Throne Speech Initiatives

November 11, 2022

Minister of National Security Michael Weeks delivered remarks to highlight the initiatives for the Ministry of National Security as outlined in the 2022 Throne Speech.

Minister Weeks said, “I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the initiatives for the Ministry of National Security as outlined in the 2022 Throne Speech.

“I will initially provide you with a quick recap of the initiatives from last year’s Throne Speech, I will then highlight the initiatives in this year’s speech and will then take any questions that you may have.

“The Ministry of National Security had, as part of the focus on crime prevention and the concerted efforts to reduce the number of road traffic offences, committed to advancing a new island-wide CCTV system.

“The new CCTV system will include newer features to assist the police in tackling road traffic offences and violent crime. An upgraded CCTV system will result in increased safety for our community, as a functional CCTV system will serve as a deterrent to potential criminals. The system will also aid in the identification of suspects in the event of criminal activity.

“In terms of the progress for this initiative, an open and competitive tender process was undertaken in July with a submission deadline of the 8th September 2022. An Evaluation Committee has considered the bids and Cabinet will shortly be considering the Committee’s recommendation. Following Cabinet’s decision the contract will be awarded.

“The other initiative from the 2021 Throne speech was the commitment to introduce a Cybersecurity Act, which will establish minimum standards for cybersecurity for critical assets such as energy supply, telecommunications, water infrastructure and government data.

“I am pleased to report that the Bill is currently being drafted by Chambers and it is intended to table the Bill in the House of Assembly in our March sitting.

“Turning to this year’s Throne Speech, you will note that the Ministry of National Security has two initiatives both involving the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service.

“The first is to amend the Fire Safety Act 2014 to clarify that the National Fire Protection Agency Codes do not apply to the operation of air crash and fire rescue services and does not constitute legislation for the purposes of satisfying the UK Air Navigation [Overseas Territories] Orders or any Overseas Territories Aviation Requirements.

“This will ensure that there is certainty around the appropriate minimum staffing levels and operations for the LF Wade International Airport.

“The second is to invite His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services to conduct a review of the Service, the first since 2010. This will ensure that we are not just fit for the role but meeting the needs of the community that we serve.

“The review will include:

  • The services provided by our first responders and if they meet the current needs of our community.
  • The staffing and resource needs to provide those services Island wide.
  • The entry and recruitment process for ensuring that we continue to recruit Bermudians fit and suited for the service.
  • The ongoing training requirements to ensure that the service maintains its readiness to respond when called.

“The Legislature will be invited to take note of that review and its recommendations.

“That concludes my remarks and I would now be happy to take any questions you may have.”

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