President David Granger is making it clear that when it comes to the role of the Government Information Agency, his position has not changed, and GINA needs to cover all branches of Government including the Government and Opposition in Parliament.
Appearing on the weekly “Public Interest” television programme, President Granger dismissed the position of the Director of Public Information, Imran Khan, that GINA’s role is not to cover the Opposition in Parliament.
“As far as I am concerned the Government Information Services, the Government News Agency must cover all three branches of government, Legislative, Executive and Judicial.”
He added that the people of Guyana “have to be better informed and you cannot inform the people by depriving them of information”.
The President said “the people need to know and that is my policy. I’ve announced that policy while I was in opposition and I maintain that policy now that I’m in government”.
News Source understands that a number of senior Government officials, including the President, were perturbed by Mr. Khan’s statement on Facebook, declaring that the role of the Government Information Agency is only to cover the Government of the day. Khan’s statement about GINA and the Department of Public Information, came after the two tax-payer funded agencies came under criticism for only carrying reports and information about the Government Members of Parliament during the budget debate.
As Opposition Leader, Mr. Granger had complained bitterly about the Government Information Agency completely ignoring the work of the Opposition in Parliament. He had even written to then Speaker, Raphael Trotman complaining about the issue and raising concern.
The President had also completed a dossier of GINA press releases, highlighting the problem.
Since the coalition government took office, it has come under criticism for a weak public information system. The Public Information portfolio falls directly under the Prime Minister. The Director of Public Information works under the Prime Minister’s office.