Deputy Chief Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
Build BVI Stronger…Smarter, Greener, Better! This is the theme and branding that will drive the Territory’s recovery and development following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
According to the Director of Communications Mrs. Arliene T. Penn, the theme is in keeping with the announcement made by Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE during the Eleventh Sitting of the Second Session of the Third House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on November 13, 2017. Premier Smith said the Government of the Virgin Islands was adopting a Smart approach to redevelopment with the vision to build the BVI in a more sustainable and resilient way.
Mrs. Penn said, “With the deactivation of the National Emergency Operations Centre on November 20, what we have done is to create a communications command hub within the Department of Information and Public Relations also called Government Information Services (GIS) to provide direct support to the Disaster Recovery Coordinating Committee (DRCC) which has been developing a comprehensive recovery and development plan for the Territory.”
The communications hub is a subgroup of GIS, comprising of public officers with training in various communications disciplines ranging from graphics and video production to social media and broadcast communications. This team will be providing communications support aligned to recovery and development priorities.
Mrs. Penn said, “Recovery is not Government’s only business as we do have continuity of regular Government services. So, while recovery and development are taking place, simultaneously we are providing services to the public through the daily operation of ministries and departments. The composition of the team within GIS is designed to meet this important and diverse demand and we are excited about providing this dynamic communications service and approach to the overall work of the Government.”
She added, “We are asking everyone to partner with us in sharing the information once it becomes available to you. Once the information is disseminated by the official source, we are asking persons on the receiving end to share the information with your contacts to help ensure maximum audience reach as we Build BVI Stronger, Smarter, Greener, Better. Help us to spread the word so that we are all in the know together. This is important, especially in a time when all the communication channels persons are accustomed to, are not fully functional. When each one reaches one, then all of us become knowledgeable about what is happening with recovery, development and the daily operations of our Government services.”
The Department of Information and Public Relations will be sharing information through www.bvi.gov.vg. Follow the department on social media channels on Facebook, YouTube @bvigovernment and on Instagram @gisbvi. The department is also partnering with radio stations, newspapers and telecommunications providers, and will make the information available at public places.
In the event that persons are not getting information they require, we are asking you to call us at 468-2787 and we will see how best we can facilitate your request by either putting you in contact with the appropriate government agency or getting the information to you in the format that is most suitable to you.
For those communities that still do not have communications access, loud hailers and a speaker system will be used.