His Majesty King Hamad
Bahrain plans key panel for information policy
Manama, July 1, 2013
Bahrain will establish a High Authority for Information and Communications under a Royal Decree issued by His Majesty King Hamad, a report said.
The Authority will have Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa as president and Minister of State for Information Affairs and Government's Official Spokesperson Sameera Rajab as vice-president, added the report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
In addition to the president and deputy president, the panel will consist of at least seven members.
It will perform its functions freely, impartially and independently and propose the general policies of information and communications in the kingdom and follow up on their implementation.
The authority's members, including the president and deputy president, will be appointed by Royal decree for a four-year term, which is renewable.
No member shall be relieved of duties before the end of the term except through a Royal decree.
The authority will be in charge of preparing a national plan for information and communications and proposing necessary regulations to upgrade the media and communication profession.
It will express opinions on draft laws related to information and communications, develop standards to monitor and supervise media content and advertisements to ensure adherence to the constitution and media and communication establishments' commitment to international agreements and conventions.
It will also receive complaints concerning media content, put forward terms of radio and TV programmes during electoral campaigns in co-ordination with authorities concerned, co-operate with external information and communications establishments to avail of their experiences and keep abreast of the latest technology in the fields and submit recommendations and proposals to the Cabinet.
The panel may request any information, data or documents it deems necessary for achieving its goals.
It shall convene, at least, once a month, or whenever necessary at the request of its president.
Its meetings shall be valid only when a majority of members and the president or the deputy president are present. Decisions will be taken by majority vote and in case of a tie, the chairperson's vote will be decisive.
The panel may request any party to attend its meetings to discuss key issues.
The authority will submit an annual report on its work, including proposals, recommendations, obstacles and their solutions to the King and HRH the Premier. – TradeArabia News Service