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26.07.2005 General News

Non-performing information officers warned

GNA

Accra, July 26, GNA - Disciplinary action would be taken against Information Officers, who did not perform their core functions of disseminating government information effectively, the Sector Minister, Mr Dan Botwe said on Tuesday

He said the duty of the Information Officer was to disseminate government policies to the people and not to do propaganda for government.

Mr Botwe, who was speaking at a closing ceremony of a 10-week course for Information Officers of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, said their job was simply to bring government closer to the people and not to be masters of ceremonies, ticketing and meeting Ministers at the airport as some of them had reduced themselves to.

The Ministry of Information and the Brigham Young University of the United States made the 10-week online course possible to enhance their skills and knowledge and make the government's public relations machinery more efficient.

Mr Botwe said, "from now on it is going to be serious work" and urged them to write feature articles and stories for the government website and not source stories from other media houses. "The era where Public Relations Officers turn themselves into Protocol Officers, invite the media to functions and organise receptions and do not write about the events are over."

Mr Botwe also told them to submit to the ministry in person weekly programmes and plans of action to their ministries to enable the Ministry of Information to know what was going on in each Ministry. He asked them to bear in mind that they were employees of the Ministry of Information, who had been seconded to the various Ministries and not the other way round and should, therefore, expect reshuffling, saying that it would be done without malice.

Mr Botwe said the Information Ministry would do everything in its power to provide the necessary resources and logistics to make their work effective and efficient and challenged them to get ready for serious business since lackadaisical attitudes would not be tolerated. 26 July 05

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