The Ministry of Information and Communications is the Government of Tonga's new engine for transition into a more connected and empowered society between its citizens and government, thus promoting a more accountable and transparent Government.
The Ministry is the main regulating body for all communication services, and has the role of lead communicator for government information in creating awareness of government policies, programs and activities.
Background - The Ministry
of Information and Communications
On 1 May
2009, the Ministry of Information and Communications was established following
the appointment by His Majesty' Government of its first ever Minister for
Information and Communications, Hon. ‘Eseta Fusitu'a, on 30 April 2009.
Its two departments, Information and Communications, then both formerly under
the administration of the Prime Minister's Office prior to 2000, in response to
the Government's reform
policy in the Communications sector and promoting transparency in Government,
resulted in the creations of a Department of Communications (2000) and a
Ministry of Information in 2007.
GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES - A History
Like other new portfolios set up by
Government of Tonga (GOT) to boost transparency and accountability as part and
parcel of the Reform programs and to further the GOT's century-old
endeavors to educate and inform it's population a short outline of Government's
incentive for transparency and good governance is shown below:
1870s - The first ever newspaper, Po'opo'i was published by
the government to inform the populace
1945 - A weekly News-sheet (A4 size) letter was
distributed from the Prime Minister's Office containing mostly world news
1961 - The Tonga Broadcasting Commission (Radio Tonga) first came into
operation on 4 July 1961, after 4-months on-air trials were successful
1964 - The Tonga Chronicle first went into
print weekly and later evolved as a bi-lingual tabloid newspaper
1990 - Information Unit - This was set up as part of the Prime
Minister's Office for the sole purpose of disseminating of Government news and
2000 - Department of Communications enacted the Communications Act to regulate all communication services in Tonga
2007 - A ministerial portfolio for Information was created for new
Minister, Hon. Afu'alo Matoto which evolved from the PMO Information Unit
2009 - The Department of Communications of the Prime Minister's Office
and the Information Department previously combined with the Ministry of Public
Enterprises merged into the new Ministry of Information and Communications,
following the appointment of first minister for MIC, Hon. 'Eseta Fusitu'a.
2010 - Appointment of Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano and Minister for Information and Communication
2012 - Ministry of Information and Communications drafted Freedom of Information Policy for Tonga
The Ministry of Information and Communications is responsible for:
The Ministry shall be the lead Government agency in Tonga for
implementation of policies, drafting of legislation and acting on
behalf of the Tongan Government on the matters related to ICT, communicating information to the public and media management.
- Development of an efficient, reliable information and
to help transform Tonga to a better informed of Government's iniatives and strategic plans
- To inform the public about the economic and social activities
of the country and promote promoting transparency
- To make the information and communications
sector active so as to preserve the various aspects of national identity
and significance, as well as to secure peoples participation,
international cooperation and goodwill in the process of allround
development of the nation by creating public awareness.
- Promotion of ICT in the country as an enabler of national
- Development of an effective platform for information dissemination and regulating all communications services meets the
national needs and international standards.
The current Minister for Information and Communications is the Lord Tu'ivakano, the Prime Minister of Tonga.
Objectives & Values
The Ministry of Information and Communications takes pride in its
responsibility as key leader in Government information provider and
disseminator but also as the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga's
regulator and monitoring all communicating services activities in Tonga.
- Provide accurate, timely, balanced and fair information from Government to the media for dissemination to the public.
- Develop media and information policy for the Government.
- Coordinating information in Government and its agencies for release to the media and the public.
- To observe the restrictions on availability of information for security, confidentiality, legislative and legal requirements.
- To consolidate/integrate Government's Information services so that
Government communicates with the public in a more proactive, coherent
and consistent manner
- Clarify laws that govern media operations in Tonga and develop media and information policy for the Government
- Widen the audience reached by Government and cater to the
information needs of key community constituents, through communicating
information through media publications and TV/radio programs as well as
- Design a system of communication flow and responses so that
Government takes the initiative in the public discussion of issues,
respond to media reports in a more timely and effective manner
The key objectives of Communications is to;
- Advise the Minister on all matters concerning the national communications sector policy objectives;
- Supervise & monitor communications sector activities;
- Oversee & supervise the Government's orbital satellite slot interests;
- Ensure observation and enforcement of international communications conventions & practices;
- Liaise with foreign governments on communications sector and other related matters;
- Impose, collect and pay into the public fund such license fees as
are applicable under the provisions of this Act, the Radio communication
Act and other applicable laws;
- Design and develop Information policies for the Government
incorporated into the National ICT Policy and Strategic Plan
We enjoy our work and our passion drives us to
give our best.
We serve with integrity and strive to be
knowledgeable, forward-looking and excellent in our work.
We are constantly seeking new ideas and
challenging the bounds of convention to break new grounds.
We are one in purpose, collaborating and
leveraging on our diverse strengths to achieve a common vision.
|POLICIES & LAWS
Information - The Government Information Disclosure Policy will guide officials, as
well as the media, civil society and the public, providing a clear
framework and process for accessing and disseminating information.
Under the Freedom of Information Policy provides initial government efforts to implement a
strong and sustainable information management system across the public
Secrecy has been the norm of government information practice over the
centuries, particularly in traditional monarchies. The Kingdom of Tonga
is embarking on a new path of more transparent and accountable
government. With this in mind the FOI Steering Committee, who
guided the development of this Policy, has advised that the policy
should be designed to ensure information held by the government is
readily available to the public with only few exceptions.
The Ministry of Information and Communications has the following policies and laws.
The Ministry of Information are now combine with the Department of
Communications and we are now known as a Ministry of Information &
Communications(MIC) started on 01st May 2009. We are pleased to announce the operation of its new website, www.mic.gov.to are ONLINE NOW . Since minfo.gov.to established in June 2008 and now we upgrade it to http://www.mic.gov.to
The website is established to distribute news and information from
the Government and to act as a depository for accessing Government and
public documents and other information resources. The Ministry will be
working closely with the information units in other Ministries to gather
and publish information about the multitude of activities that
Government is undertaking to improve and sustain the welfare of the
Each Ministry and Department have designated one of their staff as
their Public Relation Officer (PRO) whose task is to liaise with the
Ministry of Information on all matters regarding media releases, press
conferences and as the contact person for other media enquiries.
The Ministry of Information are now together with the Communication
Department known as Ministry of Information and Communication(MIC),
hopes that the website will become a useful and timely source of
information for the community.
The Ministry of Information has now set up a new office at the OG
Sanft Building, 2rd Level, Western corner of Taufa'ahau Road and
Wellington Road in the heart of Nuku'alofa. Kingdom of Tonga. Telephone Numbers: (676) 28-170 or (676) 28-173; or by Fax: (676) 24-861. Email:
|CONNECT TO US
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the right to inquire into any misuse or reproduction of materials that maybe
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will not be responsible for any amendments or incorrect information reproduced
from what has been published in the website.
For further information on the Ministry of Information and Communications copyright policy and licensing
arrangements, please contact (676) 8-170 or email