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JIS News

The website for the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), located at www.jis.gov.jm, was yesterday (November 28), adjudged the Best Website Representing a Nation. The winning site was chosen from a field of seven websites that were nominated for the award.
Recognised in the Culture Category in the Black Web Awards (BWA), the JIS was one of more than 500 websites from across the world that were nominated by the awarding organisation, Linton Publications out of Baltimore, Maryland in the United States.
The organisation launched the BWA this year to celebrate African, African-American and Caribbean online excellence in some 100 categories.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the agency, Carmen Tipling, told JIS News that she was proud of the achievement. Giving kudos to the JIS Computer and Research Services team, she said that, “they constructed and are maintaining an excellent website, which operates as a mini-portal for access to all Government of Jamaica Ministries and Agencies”.
Mrs. Tipling said the website, which hosts more than 3,000 pages, with links to all CARICOM member states, took a great deal of “smart work and dedication” to ensure that it could house user-friendly and ready-to-use information in a manner that was easily retrievable by its visitors, which include thousands of Jamaicans in the Diaspora.
Outlining the groundwork that culminated in the award-winning website, she said that in the year 2000, the agency had embarked on a major thrust to modernise the information organisation, including its information mini-portal.
“A plan of work was outlined by KPMG, our modernisation consultants, who identified a number of goals we were to achieve within a set time,” Mrs. Tipling said, adding that these targets were met within three years.
“We achieved all of these within this time period and have gone beyond that to set and meet our own targets on an annual basis,” she said.
The CEO emphasised that it was through the efficient use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that the agency was gleaning, gathering and disseminating information to its publics.
“It is heartening that significant changes are taking place at the JIS and modernisation is helping Government entities, such as the JIS, to package and deliver information at levels that were not previously accessed by the public,” the CEO said.
Meanwhile, Computer and Research Services Manager at the JIS, Andrea Bryan, said it was a phenomenal accomplishment for the JIS to win such an award on its maiden attempt. She said the nomination in itself was elating, but winning the award was even more spectacular.
Miss Bryan told JIS News that in the run-up to the BWA, the department “placed an ad on the site and asked persons who visited our website to vote and we got an overwhelming amount of votes”.
“This is a fabulous achievement,” the Manager said, adding that she was proud that the combined 20 working hours per day for the five-member department had been recognised by an international award.
“We update the website on a daily basis. This includes more than 20 new releases per day as well as special pages that we maintain for the 14 Ministries of Government and their related agencies,” Miss Bryan told JIS News.
Mrs. Tipling pointed out that the information from the agency’s mini-portal was critical to the promotion of the nation’s culture.
“We are satisfying a need and the feedback from the public, even through this award, attests to that,” she said, adding that it “was a welcomed recognition of the on-going achievements of the JIS in its promotion of Government’s programmes and policies”.