Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare last week received the draft of the National Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) policy and draft National Broadcasting policy is now with the Prime Minister.
PM Manasseh Sogavare formally received the policies last week for consideration and possible endorsement.
The draft policies were presented to him by Dr Andrew Simpson, a consultant engaged with funding support from AusAid and World Bank as ICT Policy Technical Advisor to assist the Ministry of Communications, Aviation and Information Technology in addressing the gaps in the policy and legal frameworks for broadcasting and ICT.
In presenting the draft policy documents, Dr Simpson said the ICT Policy Project was conceived with the idea of reviewing the policy for the Broadcasting Sector and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to keep up with the needs and challenges of a rapidly developing and competitive information and communications industry.
“Whilst there has been rapid development and competition in the telecommunications industry since 2008, the policy and law for broadcasting and other electronic media are rather incomplete and somewhat outdated.”
“This situation inhibits investment in the sector and leaves consumers vulnerable to misconduct,” he said.
Dr Simpson said, “ With the benefits of input from the information and communication industry, church groups and members of the public, I’ve developed for consideration of government, a national ICT policy document and proposed supportive legislative reforms, as well as a proposed national broadcasting policy and also set of proposed legislative reforms.”
He said the proposed policies identify strategies aimed at achieving a peaceful, united and progressive Solomon Islands that communicates and is informed by ICT technologies open to all and a Solomon Islands that participates, enjoys and learns from broadcasting that is accessible to all.
Prime Minister Sogavare acknowledged receipt of the draft policies and assured that Cabinet will look into them.
He added that, “Whatever changes are made to address the gaps in the legal framework for ICT and broadcasting here in Solomon Islands, they must be structured in the way we relate to these technologies.”
Also present at the draft policy handover ceremony was Hon Commins Mewa-Minister for Communication and Aviation, Mr Moses Virivolomo- Acting Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Communications and Aviation, Mr Rence Sore- Special Secretary to the Prime, Mr Bernard Hill-Telecommunications Commissioner, Mr Beau Tydd- Strategic Adviser ICT Support Unit, Mr Smith Iniakwala- Director ICT Support Unit and Mr Ashley Wickham- General Manager of the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.
– PMO Press Secretariat