• The following statement was released this morning by Progressive Labour Party MP Chris Famous

The  OBA continues to repeatedly speak on the disproven and discredited claim that the Government has increased its communications budget. This is categorically false.

Here are the facts as laid out in a government statement issued earlier this year:
”Page A-8 of the Approved Estimates 2017/18, 2018/19, and Approved Estimates 2019/2020 is an analysis of the Current Account Expenditure for the entire Government.This page is not a breakdown by ministry, department or section. Therefore the line item refers to Government expenditure in communications (not the department). It includes payments for:
  • Telephones
  • Telephone equipment rentals
  • Local Calls
  • Overseas Calls
  • Data lines
  • Postal costs
  • Courier costs
  • Amongst other items
The Department of Communications’ advertising and promotions budget in 2018/19 was $260,000, in 2019/20 the budget is $250,000 – a 4 per cent decrease.
The money to fund advertising and promotions was taken from advertising budgets across Government.This reduced and eliminated the need for departments to negotiate and book advertising individually, achieving three goals:
  • centralize the advertising function
  • allow the Government to realize more significant savings through bulk media buying; and
  • enable Communications to coordinate advertising for the Government, providing greater efficiency for all departments
Sadly, after having been proven wrong and having been publicly shown to be incorrect, Mr Cannonier and others continue to stick to their disproven narrative. This can now only be seen as willful and conscious deception.