GIS Website Has Positive Response From Net Surfers

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Acting Web Content??Manager, Kathyann Husbands, assisting Prime Minister David Thompson with browsing the BGIS website during??its official launch in May.??

The new Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) website, which was launched in May this year, has shown great promise for its first seven months with some 140, 000 visits to the site to date.

The website, located at www.gisbarbados.gov.bb, offers pertinent and up-to-date information about the Government of Barbados, including audio and video files, a photographic archive, notices, press releases, speeches, details about the Cabinet of Barbados and a section for downloads.

The website also provides links to several other government departments and institutions such as the Barbados Vocational Training Board, the Community Development Department, Department of Emergency Management and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

It also has capacity for feedback, with the office of the BGIS inundated with e-mails requesting information on Barbados from locals and persons from as far away as Slovakia.

Acting Web Content Manager, Kathyann Husbands, said the new site is living up to expectations, with on average some 20,000 visits monthly.

"In the last six months, we have had a lot of traffic on the site and by extension, a high number of e-mails asking us about general information on Barbados. We have been updating the site daily to ensure the public can access relevant information on Barbados as well as have Government’s policies and programmes at their fingertips."

According to Mrs. Husbands, the site is designed so that pertinent news which may affect the Barbadian public are placed online as quickly as possible.

"We have developed a vibrant tool to respond to issues in a timelier manner. This was illustrated by the Influenza A (H1N1) guidelines and the Green Paper on Immigration, which we were able to place online promptly for download and feedback. In that way, persons can sit in the comfort of their homes or offices and gather any information they need which would have an impact on their day-to-day living," she explained.

Mrs. Husbands added that the BGIS’s radio programme Opportunity Calls, which highlights government’s projects and activities within the various communities, and job vacancies, was a very popular download for visitors to the site.

According to the Web Content Manager, the website would continue to evolve and as time progressed, additional features would be implemented to ensure it remained relevant to the local and overseas public.

??"We are looking at converting some of our television programmes and placing them online shortly, and we are planning a promotional drive next year so even more persons will know about the site and the services we have to offer," Mrs. Husbands concluded.

askeete@barbados.gov.bb

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