PM: ???BGIS Has A Critical Role To Play???

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Prime Minister David Thompson browses the BGIS website after its official launch. Assisting him is Acting Web Content??Manager, Kathy Husbands.??

Prime Minister David Thompson envisages the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) playing a critical role in the development of Barbados.

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Delivering the feature address today during the official launch of an improved BGIS website, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Mr. Thompson noted that ???as long as the department was well managed, well resourced, focused on its responsibilities and got back to the basics, then it could continue to be an important entity. He also called on the organisation to make some input in determining its future, while focusing on its core responsibilities, which were critical to national development???.

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The Prime Minister is proposing to bring together the BGIS and all of those public relations contractors working for government offices ???to promote what is important in terms of our culture, and our life and the mirror image that we want reflected???.

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???The BGIS predates my birth and I assume that it has also survived or complemented the changes that have taken place in Barbados politically, socially, environmentally, and that there is a basic perception and understanding of what the role of a Government Information Service is; and it is not simply its sole responsibility to produce propaganda on behalf of the government in office,??? he stressed.

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Prime Minister Thompson reminded the organisation that its role was not to perpetuate propaganda; rather, ???to provide factual and relevant up-to-date and timely information to the public about what the Government of Barbados and the people of Barbados, by extension, want to be a reflection of our policies and our culture???.

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He further identified the role of a government information service as being ???central, vital and critical in terms of providing accurate information. It is not just for the Barbadian public that information is spread throughout the world, [people want] to know what it is about the Barbadian miracle; what it is about our society that is so unique that it is held up throughout the world as a model society.???

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He stressed that the information must be accessible, understood by, and available to a wide cross section of people in the diaspora. As an example, Mr. Thompson identified workers at the United Nations or in the media who needed to source information that was up-to-date and timely about Barbados.

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???That???s really what the role of the Barbados Government Information Service is; to monitor the image of our nation as a whole; not just the government; perhaps it should be renamed, so as not to give the impression that that is its sole and exclusive responsibility. And because it has such a central role, it means that the Barbados Government Information Service also needs to monitor all of the other websites that purport to give information about government???s policies, some of which are very dilatory in providing up-to-date and factual information about Barbados,??? he said.

The Prime Minister promised to review the entire information policy which involved all of the agencies within the ambit of government. He added that after this review was completed, a clearer policy statement would be made in relation to the role of the BGIS, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, and the Audio Visual Aids Department and their new responsibilities under the new Information Act.

clashley@barbados.gov.bb

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