Minister wants Govt. Ministries to utilise websites for advertisements

The Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, has urged the Government Ministries to utilise their online platforms to promote their services and provide more details about what they are advertising in the mainstream media – including print.

Sili made the point in Parliament when he spoke during the discussion of the 2019-2020 Budget, which was passed on Tuesday afternoon.

Asked by the Samoa Observer for clarification outside Parliament, the Minister said the Government usually publishes its advertisements on print media and broadcasting.

But he said he wants the Government to utilise the potential of their websites and social media sites – when members of the public want more details about the projects being advertised.

“We (the government) have our websites and so when it comes to our major investments in the infrastructure with the L.T.A. (Land Transport Authority) and the M.W.T.I. (Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure) we thought now is the time to re-direct our advertisements to the websites,” he said.

“We will still print advertisements in the paper (as we do now) however the details can be obtained from the Ministries’ websites, especially when it comes to big projects.”

Sili said the Government would continue to publicise tender notices in the print media for the sake of the business community.

But these tender notices should refer most of the details to the Government websites.

“We will continue to update the notices on print media; obviously the Government has to support the local businesses,” he said.

“It is unfortunate we are not making good use of our new technology and our websites. But we will make sure that through the print and television media, the community notices will still flow in that channel; such as the meetings with the villages and consultations.”

In April this year the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai, told the Samoa Observer the Ministry does not have the power to force state agencies to update their websites or create one if they do not have a web presence.

He said the Ministry can only monitor and provide advice through the Cabinet and give updates on Government-owned websites to Samoa's Digital Transformation Council.

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