24 Aug 2017

Vanuatu Govt acts to save 'dysfunctional' state broadcaster

8:04 pm on 24 August 2017

The Vanuatu government has appointed a new board and a task force to urgently reform the state broadcaster, the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation.

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Photo: RNZ

In a statement, the prime minister Charlot Salwai said he had the backing of the Council of Ministers to stop any further degradation at the VBTC.

He called the VBTC an underperforming state owned enterprise and said his government would not continue to bankroll a dysfunctional entity that had serious governance issues and which could expose the government to further liabilities.

Mr Salwai said strong political will was needed to force the transformation of the VBTC into a credible, sustainable and responsible broadcaster.

He said he wanted to know why the VBTC failed to deliver when private radio stations in Vanuatu could provide broadcasting signals and programmes without any government funding.

The prime minister said the task force would appoint a skeleton team to maintain an interim broadcasting service, arrest any further financial degradation and to implement any recommended changes coming from a review exercise that was already in progress.