The Minister for Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has lauded staff of the Ministry of Information (MoI) and the Information Services Department (ISD) for the efforts they are making to promote government business.
Mr. Nkrumah said despite the financial constraints facing the Ministry and the Department, the staff has not relented on their efforts in helping him to achieve targets set to make the government communications machinery run smoothly.
He said during this challenging times the fruits of the hard work of officials in the Ministry and the Department have led to the refurbishment of MoI’s Press Centre with modern communications gadgets, rehabilitation of the ISD’s Research Section to collect, collate and process public reaction reports on government’s policies across the 260 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in real times to inform policy evaluation, the establishment of National Call Centre (311) that addresses the concerns of Ghanaians and training and registration of Public Relation Officers (PROs) of ISD with the Institute of Public Relations (IPR).
He said all these would have not been possible without the efforts of the officers of the Department and the Ministry.
He added that to reach out to many Ghanaians in real-time with what is happening in the country, the Ministry and the Department have set up social media platforms to interact with the public, adding that the MoI and ISD now have innovative ways of interacting with the public in addition to the use of cinema vans.
The Minister made these remarks at a staff durbar for the Ministry and the Department on Tuesday, 11th August 2020.
Mr Nkrumah said through the effort of the MOI and ISD, many Ghanaians were informed and educated on COVID-19 pandemic including the safety protocols, restrictions, regular updates on the virus and the plans the government had put in place for businesses that are going through difficulties due to Covid-19.
He disclosed that the National Call Centre (311) mounted by ISD staff, continues to provide basic information to Ghanaians on the virus.
According to him, one of the targets that the Ministry and the Department have achieved in spite of resource constraint that needs to be commended was the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Law.
He said the Ministry has established RTI Secretariat which has started operating, also sensitisation programmes on the Law at all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had been completed and officers to man RTI units at the MDAs have been recruited.
Mr Nkrumah hinted that his next target was the refurbishment of the Public Relations Coordinating Division (PRCD) of ISD and the introduction of an online platform that would help the Division collate information from the PROs of the various MDAs.
In a remark, the Director of ISD, Mr Charles Wereko applauded the Minister for working tirelessly to get Cabinet to approve the ISD Transformation Agenda, which seeks to resource the Department to have the necessary logistics including cinema vans and computers to make Department performs its mandate efficiently.
“As part of the ISD transformation programme a team from the Civil service would be visiting the Department for job analysis of all staff at the head office and some selected Districts”, he said.
He said the purpose of this analysis was to determine the exact number of workers the Department needs in order to make it efficient
On the Migration to the New Scheme of Service, Mr. Wereko said he hoped it would be operational in September, 2020, adding that the migration would bring pay increase to certain category of officers of the Department.
He charged officers to work hard to merit the pay rise they would enjoy when the migration becomes operational.
Mr. Wereko added that the migration into the new scheme of service required that Senior Information Officers must have a master degree before they could move to the next level — Principal Information Officer.
He urged officers to upgrade themselves in order to be promoted.
Ishmael Batoma, ISD