BVI News

Gov’t ignores proposal to appoint press secretary

File photo

File photo

Bishop John Cline, who recently was forced to resign as chairman of the state-owned BVI Health Services Authority due to his outspokenness, said he had advised the National Democratic Party (NDP) government to employ a press secretary if it is interested in being transparent.

The local press, over the years, has been having a tough time getting information from Government.

“Any government that wants to operate in a transparent manner and feed information to the people that elect them needs to have a press secretary – a central point where information is shared with the people so that the people don’t have to guess what’s going on. On a needs basis, they (Government members) can have press conferences and the press is able to ask questions and communicate the news in more constructive ways,” Bishop Cline told BVI News Online.

“That is one of the things I advised the government about… Y’all need to have a press secretary.”

The clergyman made the statement after being asked to weigh in on claims that the NDP Government is secretive and intolerant of opposing views.

Bishop Cline himself was forced to resign from the BVI Health Services Authority this month because he criticized the Dr D Orland Smith-led administration on public radio.

Meanwhile, as it relates to transparency, the NDP administration has been promising the much-desired Freedom of Information Act for several years, but has been dragging its feet on the matter.

Effectively, the Freedom of Information Act would allow the public much greater access to documents or other information in possession of Government or government-sanctioned bodies.

Last year, even Governor John Duncan accused the Smith-led administration of not moving fast enough to have the Act implemented.

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