The Ministry of Information has presented 143 laptops to regional and district information officers as part of a major move to retool the Information Services Department (ISD).
In addition, 20 cinema vans are to be procured and distributed to the regions by the end of this year to facilitate the dissemination of information on government policies and send governance closer to the people.
The Internet-enabled laptops were presented to the regional information officers to be distributed to district officers at a staff durbar held by the ministry in Accra on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Accra.
The Minister of Information, Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, who presented the items, charged the information officers to use the equipment to collect relevant data and disseminate timely information to aid national development planning.
He said efforts were being made to address the other logistic challenges facing national, regional and district offices of the department.
While lauding the staff of the ISD for their efforts over the years, he asked them to insulate themselves from partisanship and work in the interest of the country.
He said the essence of the public service was not to promote the agenda of any political party but to ensure that the national agenda was promoted.
"We want Ghana to develop so it does not matter which party is helping to develop it. Political parties will go and come but the Information Service Department must thrive as a national institution," he said.
Mr Abdul-Hamid dispelled the notion that the information service department had lost its relevance in the current democratic dispensation.
Relevance of ISD
He observed that despite the proliferation of radio and television stations, the mobile vans used for disssemination of information at the rural areas were bringing governance closer to the people.
"This year for instance, the information services department has demonstrated its relevance in the dissemination of information on the fight against illegal mining, payment of tax, budget education, among others," he said.
Mr Abdul-Hamid urged the information officers to put more emphasis on town hall meetings, saying it was those meetings that brought governance closer to the people.
The acting Director of the Information Services Department, Ms Elizabeth Afua Essel, lauded the minister for providing logistics for the department.
She also thanked the government for refurbishing regional offices of the department.
Some staff of the department and Public Relations Officers raised concerns about issues affecting them, including limited promotions, refresher courses and other capacity-building initiatives.