Legislative amendments and new guidelines and policy will improve government communications, ensure advertising is non-partisan, and make government more accountable for the advertising it does.
The changes being introduced today, Dec. 2, will better position Communications Nova Scotia (CNS) as government’s full-service communications agency, ensure government communications are relevant to policies and priorities, and are factual, respectful and designed to meet established objectives.
“We need Communications Nova Scotia to be focused on communicating about government programs and services to Nova Scotians,” said Communications Nova Scotia Minister Andrew Younger. “These changes will ensure CNS has the ability and teeth to do that and do it well.”
The updated Public Service Act will also ensure taxpayers’ dollars are protected from politically motivated signage.
Current legislation and policy lacks the power to compel departments and offices to use CNS services, ensure advertising is non-partisan, and hold ministers accountable for communications services procured outside of CNS and outside of proper procurement processes.
These changes will lead to better:
— co-ordination across departments and offices
— consistency of standards in communications products and services
— value for money for Nova Scotia taxpayers
The legislation will require the Minister of Communications Nova Scotia to provide an annual report on paid advertising to Executive Council, to be tabled in the House of Assembly.
“Transparency and accountability are priorities for this government,” said Mr. Younger. “This legislation will hold us accountable for how and why we use taxpayers’ money to advertise. It will make sure we procure properly, we use our resources wisely, and we measure the effectiveness of campaigns appropriately.”