Government merging information agencies
The Government of Guyana, in efforts to reclaim confidence of the citizenry through public information dissemination, has moved one step closer to merging two of its information agencies. The Government Information Agency (GINA) and the Department of Public Information (DPI) are to be fully merged by December 31, 2017.
Prime Minister and First Vice President, Moses Nagamootoo explained that since 2015, some work has been done towards changing the content of information produced by the agency.
“While we are doing better, we have not done enough; we have been able to get into news outlets more than we had done in the past, but at the same time we have not been able to significantly change the brand. The GINA brand, it was a party propaganda instrument, the politicisation from a party’s point of view of the public information that we would like to guard against,” the Prime Minister pointed out.
As of January 1, 2018, the merged agencies will generally be referred to as the Department of Public Information (DPI). Beverley Alert, who served as Director of GINA since June 2015 has been seconded as Public Information Coordinator to the National Communications Network (NCN). Imran Khan will assume the position of Managing Director of the new DPI.
The Prime Minister met with staff of GINA and DPI, enlightening them of the expectations to be observed as the staff enters the new name and management. He added that GINA’s work has changed significantly and expects this merger to enhance what has already begun.
“It is for the first time that GINA has assumed a role of covering what the opposition does in the parliament, and what the judiciary is doing, and what the executive is doing, as well as what Parliament is doing, (what) the speaker of parliament is doing at the level of the legislature, so that we have the defined functions for public information that delimit the temptation of even partisan slant to public information,” the Prime Minister highlighted.
The Prime Minister remarked that all information agencies of the government have a key responsibility of ensuring factual evidence based information is disseminated. He added that with a highly professional and trained public relations arm of the government, timely and accurate information will be filtered through various mediums for public consumption.