ISD Urged To Be Proactive

THE ineffectiveness of the Information Services Department (ISD) is causing lack of understanding and appreciation of government’s policies and programmes by Ghanaians, Mr Eric Opoku, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister has noted.

He emphasised that the dormancy of the ISD in recent years was affecting effective dissemination of government’s policies and programmes to the citizenry.

Mr. Opoku expressed the sentiments on Wednesday when Mr Akwasi Amankwaa,  Regional Information Officer (RIO) and some staff of the Department called at his office to welcome him on his re-appointment to the region

He said the ISD played a very crucial role in the governance system of any country, saying as public relations outfit of government, it worked effectively in the era of the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah,  but not much is seen of it today.

The Regional Minister said government was making strenuous efforts to put the nation’s economy on a firm pedestal,  but information officers had kept mute whilst some people were misinterpreting government policies and programmes to mislead Ghanaians.

Mr. Opoku expressed worry about the behaviour of some Information Officers who went about saying only negative things about government,  instead of explaining and defending its policies and programmes, questioning, “If you do this, how do you expect the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to work with you?”

He stated that some assemblies recruiting  their own public relations officers (PROs) instead of relying on information officers,  could be the result of mistrust between those assemblies and their respective information officers.

The Regional Minister gave the  assurance that his outfit would do its best to help the department in the region,  but tasked the RIO to prevail on his officers to be patriotic and nationalistic in the performance of their duties.

The RIO earlier explained the functions of the ISD to the MMDAs and the Regional Co-ordinating Councils (RCCs), saying they included offering of public relations support services, the provision of public address equipment at official functions and embarking of public education campaigns on issues like the national budget, malaria and HIV diseases control and prevention.

Mr. Amankwaa  lamented that  because of logistical challenges currently  confronting the Department, it is unable to live up to expectation.

He stated that about 70 per cent of cinema vans in the region, including that of the Regional Office, were grounded in open spaces.

The RIO expressed particular concern about the vans for the Regional Office and that of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly,  because they served the RCC.

Mr. Amankwaa agreed with the Regional Minister on the negative behaviours of some Information Officers,  and promised to take it up,  but indicated his disagreement that some MMDCEs in the Region had employed PROs when such roles could have been played by the Information Officers.

Present were Messrs Justice Samuel Adjei, Deputy Regional Minister, Kofi Bonsu Boakye Boateng, Security Liaison Officer of the RCC, and Francis Kofi Baah, DCE for Sene-East.

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