by Linda Straker
- Tahira Carter, newly appointed Press Secretary started duty on Monday, 25 July
- Post-cabinet briefing shares information about decisions taken during weekly cabinet meeting
- Post Cabinet briefings began in late 1990s after New National Party (NNP) won 1995 General Election
The Dickon Mitchell-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration which was elected to office on 23 June 2022, has changed the format of the post-cabinet briefing. The briefing is used as a medium to share information with the media about decisions taken during the weekly Cabinet of Ministers’ meeting.
“These will be held on a need-only basis. If there is nothing substantial to report there won’t be a press briefing,” said Tahira Carter who is the newly appointed Press Secretary. She started her duty in the post on Monday, 25 July 2022.
She made the announcement one day after the Government Information Service (GIS) informed the media the post-cabinet briefing scheduled for 26 July would not be taking place. “Please be assured that Government remains committed to keeping the public fully informed of its policies and development activities,” said the GIS release.
Carter formerly worked at the GIS and the Communications Department of the OECS Secretariat. She said that whenever a post-cabinet briefing will be held, the media will be notified and questions centred around data will be required to be submitted in advance. “Again, we will let you know the day prior whether or not a press briefing will be held. If there are any questions that you feel urgent and that you need a response on, a statement on, you can reach out to me,” she recommended.
She also disclosed that journalists will only be allowed 2 questions when given the opportunity to ask a question or to seek clarification from the information provided. However, if the time provides for another round of questions, then a third question will be allowed.
“Outside of the post-cabinet briefings if there is anything that you require information on with regards to ministers, Government representatives or you heard something and you will like to get clarification, you can reach out to me and I will do my best in the timeliest fashion to get you if not an interview at least a sound bite or a statement that you can use,” she told journalists who attended a video conference meeting where she introduced herself to the local media.
Post Cabinet briefings began in the late 1990s after the New National Party (NNP) won the 1995 General Election. Since then, it has become an institution within the Government working closely with the Government Information Service. The first press secretary was Nancy McGuire. The briefing is normally held on the Tuesday following the Cabinet of Minister meeting, held normally on Mondays.