Communication key to better governance

MUSCAT: The first Government Communication Forum began at the Cultural Centre of the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) on Monday, under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Taimour bin Asaad bin Tareq al Said, in the presence of a number of their highnesses, ministers, officials and government employees.
The forum is organised by the Secretariat General of the Council of Ministers with the aim of enhancing government communication.
During the first day of the forum, the accounts of the Governmental Services Communications Center at the Secretariat General of the Council of Ministers was launched under the brand ‘Governmental Communication’ through Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
At the time of the launch a video on His Majesty the Sultan’s vision on communication in 1975 was presented.
The centre’s vision and mission is based on His Majesty the Sultan’s speech during which His Majesty said truth and honesty are essential both at home and abroad. It is essential to convey a true and positive picture of what is taking place on the soil of our beloved Oman, in a way that reflects the tremendous enterprises undertaken by our people, as well as their great hopes for the future.

This reflects the role that will be played by the Governmental Services Communications Centre in carrying out the media and communications mission outlined by His Majesty the Sultan in Royal speech.
HH Sayyid Taimour said at the opening of the forum that “we are happy to see the efforts made to share experiences among those working in the field of communication. These efforts are based on the directives of His Majesty the Sultan with relation to activating communications between government institutions and the community to enhance partnership and cooperation among all.”
Shaikh Al Fadhl bin Mohammed al Harthy, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, said while launching the secretariat accounts on the social networks we have today launched e-windows for community communications.
These windows are directly managed by the e-Governmental Services Centre at the Secretariat General of the Council of Ministers.
These windows are consistent with the continuous efforts made by all orgnaisations to activate a full system for public communications.
Speaking on the occasion, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al Busaidy, Secretary-General of the Foreign Ministry, said that the Foreign Ministry is a partner with the other state institutions and society in keeping pace with modern developments to achieve the Sultanate’s trends and policies at local and international levels.
The first day of the forum reviewed two of the leading international experiences, represented by the British and Singaporean models.
Alex Aikin, CEO of the Public Communication Unit in UK, delivered a speech where he praised the Sultanate’s interest in diversifying channels for communication between the government and society.
He affirmed his government’s belief in the importance of government communications and providing society and media with access to information as this enhances confidence among the state stakeholders.
The head of government communications at the Ministry of Communications in Singapore, said that the new media builds uncontrollable communication networks, therefore it is important to ensure active presence of the public organisations and build good relations with media.
The first day included a discussion on local practices and experience in media crisis management.
Representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, National Committee for Civil Defence and Dr Abdullah al Kindi, an associate professor at the SQU College of Arts and Social Sciences, participated in the discussions. — ONA