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Forget the fluff! - Government demands information, not gloss

Published:Thursday | June 12, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Sandrea Falconer

Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter

THE GOVERNMENT is applying the brakes on public bodies that spend significant sums of money to produce glossy and photo-riddled annual reports showcasing chief executive officers and other senior public servants, for tabling in Parliament.

Cabinet has taken note of the production of annual reports, with some comprising basic compilations of information in spiral bound documents, while others depict glossy and picturesque presentations.

Minister with responsibility for Information Sandrea Falconer told journalists yesterday that Cabinet would be issuing an order to government agencies to cease from the practice of spending big money to produce annual reports.

"What we need is the information. We don't need full gloss and full photo shoot," Falconer reasoned, adding that the effort put into the production of some annual reports was comparable to that used in a major marketing campaign.

MINIMAL COST

Falconer stressed that Cabinet had instructed that the production of annual reports by government agencies should be done at minimal cost.

The decision comes in the wake of recommendations from a Cabinet subcommittee which reviewed the matter.

The recommendations include the use of in-house resources to prepare these reports; the utilisation of the Jamaica Information Service and the discontinuation of professional photo shoots for the purposes of annual reports.

"Cabinet emphasises the need for transparency and good governance as well as the efficient use of resources in the production and presentation of annual reports."