Tweya wants empowered Govt. information officers

02 Nov 2015 07:30am
ONGWEDIVA, 02 NOV (NAMPA) – Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Minister, Tjekero Tweya wants public relations officers (PROs) in Government ministries and agencies to be empowered in order to frequently disseminate information to the public.
Addressing a meeting of management cadres and PROs of all Government offices and agencies at Ongwediva on Thursday, Tweya said relevant Government information should be distributed to the public timely.
Government information, he said, is meant for the public and it is not justifiable for the accounting officers to make it exclusive for themselves.
According to him, members of the public will make informed decisions once they are well informed about Government programmes and/or activities at all times.
“Stop the tendency of blocking the information that is meant for the public,” Tweya urged, adding that members of the public would revolt against the government when information concerning Government activities is not reaching them on time.
He also wants to see the government management cadres and PROs responding to media queries without delay.
The meeting discussed, amongst others, capacitating members of the government management cadre on the importance of communication in order to ensure the free flow of Government information to the public.
Permanent secretaries, directors, chief regional officers and chief executive officers are the management cadres that attended the meeting in the Oshana Region.
The 2015 Report on Open and Secretive Public Institutions in Southern Africa said that while there is no legislature on access to information in Namibia, Government has given several verbal assurances that an access to information law will soon be enacted. The report surveyed eight public institutions of which just one did not have an officer designated for information dissemination while the majority surveyed ministries took their time in responding (to information requests) or did not respond at all, even after the researcher did a follow-up.