Information Minister Launches Communication Policy

Photo: Dave Reid Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer (right), listens to a point being made by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Information Service about the newly launched Government of Jamaica Communication Policy. Minister Falconer officially launched the document during a Government Communicators’ Meeting, at the Office of the Prime Minister, on Thursday, December 10.

Story Highlights

  • The Government has further cemented its commitment to greater accountability, transparency and good governance, with the launch of its first ever Communication Policy.
  • Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, officially launched the document, on Thursday, December 10, during a Government Communicators’ Meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister.
  • The policy has been developed to provide a comprehensive framework for a well-managed and co-ordinated communication machinery across Government institutions, and to promote the effective dissemination of official information and meaningful engagement with the people of Jamaica.

The Government has further cemented its commitment to greater accountability, transparency and good governance, with the launch of its first ever Communication Policy.

Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, officially launched the document, on Thursday, December 10, during a Government Communicators’ Meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister.

The policy has been developed to provide a comprehensive framework for a well-managed and co-ordinated communication machinery across Government institutions, and to promote the effective dissemination of official information and meaningful engagement with the people of Jamaica.

Speaking with JIS News following the event, Minister Falconer pointed out that having a proper communication policy and a proper communication environment, encourage transparency and good governance, hence the move to formulate the Government of Jamaica Communication Policy.

“The policy is very important, as it gives a guideline of minimum standards of communication that we require in Government agencies, departments and ministries, because communication is such an important part of what Government does. We have to communicate our policies, we have to communicate our programmes, and we have to make sure we have the best professionals who are providing this kind of information to the people,” she said.

Ms. Falconer pointed out that this is the first Government Communication Policy in history, and is an important step which shows how “this administration is taking seriously, communicating to our people and getting them involved in what we do.”

The Information Minister noted that the formulation of the policy, which has been a rigorous process, took two years to be completed from the draft stage.

“I did the basic draft two years ago, then we passed it through our policy people and they did all the refinements. We have had some Government communicators who looked at a draft, and we have had many communication professionals who have assisted us in getting this together – some of the best in the business,” she said.

As stated in the Executive Summary of the document, the policy is crucial, as Government realises that accessible, accurate and timely information (in particular, that which relates to its policies, programmes and services) is necessary to enable Jamaicans, including those in the Diaspora, to participate more meaningfully in the democratic process and the realisation of the national development goals.

It is also seen as critical to facilitate responsiveness to the diverse information needs of all citizens.

The policy has been formulated through research, a review of comparative communication policies in other jurisdictions, assessment of other available data, consultation with Government communicators and inputs from an advisory team of communication specialists.

The Government’s chief communication responsibility to the people of Jamaica is to:

  • provide timely, accurate, clear and complete information about its programmes, services and initiatives;
  • deliver prompt, courteous, professional and responsive communication services;
  • ensure Government institutions are visible, appropriately branded, accessible and accountable to the people they serve;
  • utilize the variety of media, channels and platforms to effectively provide information and reach Jamaicans both at home and in the Diaspora;
  • encourage continuous improvement in relations with the media;
  • safeguard the trust of the Jamaican people in the integrity and impartiality of government;
  • establish consultation mechanisms with the people on an on-going basis;
  • use research to identify, evaluate and address the public’s information and communication needs and concerns as well as to inform government policy, programmes and services; and
  • ensure increased collaboration and co-operation among the agencies of government in coherent and effective communication with the public.

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