The Government Communication Unit (GCU) in the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet today refuses to recognise the so-called Malaita Premiers Advisory and Research Unit (PARU) as an official institution to speak on behalf of the Malaita Provincial Government (MPG).
In a statement, Director of the Government Communication Unit (GCU), George Herming said the GCU is the recognised institution that officially speaks for the Government through appropriate channels to clarify any information or media statement that is misleading to the public.
GCU understands that PARU was a politically established Office in the MPG in an attempt to mirror other set ups in the National Government that have political branches and claims to speak on behalf of the Office of the Premier.
“For the information of the public, the only authorized and recognised Officer that should endorse and give approval to media statements from Provincial Government’s is the Provincial Secretary (PS). In the PS’s absence, his Deputy or another designated supervising official can be nominated to the role and not a political appointee or Office,” he said.
In addition, any major statements by the Provincial Government must come from the Premier with endorsement by the Provincial Executive.
Mr Herming added that PARU will not be recognised and any statement that comes from that “Office” will not be recognised as official to represent the Malaita Provincial Government.
He urged the mainstream media to be mindful that any statement that comes from any Provincial Government must be sanctioned by the Provincial Secretary or his/her Deputy and not any bunch of so-called Political Appointees in the Provincial Government.
For public knowledge, the PARU is not recognized and has now been ‘ceased’ after the discontinuation of the Advisor’s contract.
All protocols by virtue of Provincial Governments “Staff Instructions” should be followed when making public statements with approval by the Provincial Secretary or the Executive.
In the history of PARU’s publications, these protocols have not been followed.
He said the Malaita Provincial Government, could do better to be more credible by simply issuing media statements endorsed by the Office of the Provincial Secretary or the Deputy Secretary or the Supervising Officer to represent the MPG.
“For PARU to use unrecognized spokespersons only belittles the MPG which is not right,” Mr Herming said.
On accusations that GCU was attempting to mislead the Malaita public with an Official Government Statement on the USAID-SCALE Projects, Mr Herming again re-iterated that the GCU only transmits information after seeking facts and statements from relevant Ministries that has a role in the SCALE projects.
“These are key line Ministries that must not be sidelined in the whole process and whatever information that comes out from these Ministries represents the facts and appropriate processes surrounding the SCALE projects,” Herming said.
In addition, the Government processes and procedures that are in place in dealing with such programs as the SCALE should be respected and that a body such as PARU being a political set up has misunderstood or intentionally misrepresented the truth possibly with the intention to misinform the public for its own ulterior motives.