AOP Launch 2017The Office of Censorship launched its Annual Operational Plan (AOP) on Tuesday, 31st of January, 2017.
The ceremony which was organised by the Division of Strategic Planning & Policy Coordination was attended by the Chief Censor Mr. Steven Mala, Deputy Chief Censor Mr. Jim Abani, the Senior Managers and officers from the Office.
Chief Censor officially welcomed everyone back to work and said that the AOP provides a guideline for the respective divisions to follow to execute their work plans accordingly.
He further stated that approximately 80% of the programs are ongoing whilst 20% represent new initiatives and/or outstanding activities carried forward from the previous year.
He pointed out that the main constraint would be funding, however, it should not be used as an excuse for not attaining any real time results.
Respective divisions should prioritise their activities to implement programs that can be achieved within their allocations so that they can report on real achievements during quarterly reports and the preparation of the Annual Management Report at the end of the year.
Mr. Mala emphasises that every government agencies are experiencing financial difficulty so he encourages his staff to be innovative and creative in the implementation of their activities.
During the launching, three (3) Key Priority Areas were highlighted, they are:
i. Nationwide Awareness & Advocacy on censorship issues, and
ii. Decentralisation of Chief Censor’s powers; and
iii. Establishment of Internet Filtering System (IFS).

Mr. Mala said to conduct Nationwide Awareness & Advocacy on censorship issues; the Office has developed a National Awareness Raising Strategy Plan to carry out the awareness messages to all levels of communities throughout the country using all mediums of communication.
The second priority area is the Decentralisation of certain powers of the Chief Censor to Provincial, Local Level Government and Ward level.
The third priority area is the Internet Filtering System, which began in 2014 and to date the concept paper on the system has been completed with several workshops held to create an understanding of the system.
The concept has not been fully grasped by the Government due to misconception and lack or little understanding on the whole operation. It is perceived that the IFS is purposely to prohibit the inflow of pornographic materials which is the wrong perception rather a system that provides law enforcement agencies with the platform to monitor activities in cyber space.
The Deputy Chief Censor Mr Jim Abani in his closing remarks, challenged the officers to uphold the value statements of the board and office at all times to serve the public and communities with diligence.

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