Elizabeth E.M. Thompson, BA, LL.B, Barrister, MFP has replaced Mr. Sterling Quant as the new Registrar General, Inspector of Financial and Corporate Services Providers, and Registrar of Copyright.

Speaking to BFSB about her new appointment, Ms. Thompson says her vision is to see the Registrar General’s Department become the “flagship” of the public service. Her immediate goal is to effect a positive public perception of the Department and its various divisions. This will be achieved, she says, through changes in the culture and mindset of personnel and with strong emphasis on the new Customer Service Unit launched earlier this year.

The Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, M.P., Minister responsible for the RGD, reaffirms her Ministry’s recognition of the value of the RGD’s role to the financial services sector and, even more importantly, to every other facet of Bahamian life. *”It is the central records department of the entire Bahamas,”* she says. It was in recognition of this critical role that the MFSI during the first quarter of this year appointed a point person to spearhead an improvement process within the Department, including facilities and equipment, staff reorganisation, and programmes and systems – the last including the Agent Internet Module System. Phases 1 and II of the AIMS have been introduced with the Company Department now fully computerised. Phase III – automation of the Civil Registry – is scheduled to commence in the not too distant future.

This oversight also included setting up mechanisms for an organisation-wide problem identification and problem-solving process – an exercise intended to increase the effectiveness of members of staff, while providing training related to procedures and systems review.

The new mandate of the RGD is *”Deliver Superior Customer Service”*, and all personnel are committed to implementing innovative plans and seeking new ideas as they strive for excellence while executing their mandate.

Ms. Thompson says she supports the view espoused by Minister Maynard-Gibson that the RGD is key to the process of restoring The Bahamas to its position of prominence in international financial services, while remaining on the cutting edge of technology and service. She is totally committed to carrying out the mandates and policies of the Government.

In addition to making the Registrar General’s Department user friendly, another identified goal is to make it *”a real profit centre”* – and the improved efficiency coming about as part of new programmes and staff training will ensure it is met. The Customer Service Unit now receives all monies and documents for recording or filing, with revenues recorded immediately in the treasury’s accounts. The RGD generated some $21 million in the last fiscal year, with some $27 million projected this year.

The new Registrar General is turning attention now to the Freeport Office in an effort to ensure that the efficiencies introduced in the Nassau office are replicated there. Plans are progressing, as well, for the move into new premises in Nassau some time during 2005, consolidating operations now split between the Rodney Bain Building and 50 Shirley Street.

Ms. Thompson previously served as a Prosecutor in the Office of the Attorney General, Compliance Officer at Ansbacher (Bahamas) Ltd., Legal Counsel in the Financial Intelligence Unit and as Compliance Manager at Cardinal International. While at the FIU, Ms. Thompson was actively involved in the provision of training to industry participants, as well as in global initiatives relating to information exchange and anti-money laundering. She represented The Bahamas at an international *”Anti-Money Laundering: The New Global Regime”* conference in Moscow, Russia and also participated in a number of fora such as the New York-based symposium on *”Strategies for Using MLATs and Other Legislation to Obtain Information Offshore”*.

She has received the designation of Master Financial Professional (MFP) from the American Academy of Financial Management, and serves as a Fellow of the AAFM.