Email on new media helping SHG ‘get its message across’

Extracts from two emails seeking UK funds to set up a new media service on St Helena were released under a Freedom of Information request in February 2013. Sections have been deleted where XXXX appears.

Relevant extracts of an e-mail from Head of Finance, St Helena Government,  to DFID Overseas Territories Department dated 3 October 2011.

“Subject: RE: Agenda for today’s telecom”

“One item I would like to discuss on Wednesday is use of previous year’s surpluses to fund two projects, both of a ‘spend to save’ nature.”

“The second is £147,000 capital equipment for the new Saint Helena Broadcasting (Guarantee) Corporation which replaces the Saint Helena News Media Board. While this project will give a major improvement in SHG’s ability to get its message across, there is also a spend to save angle as we would save £25k pa in recurrent costs. On that basis the capital investment would have a pay back period of under six years.”

“We currently pay Saint Helena News Media Board an annual subsidy of XXXXXXXX per annum, although this is not really enough. The new Corporation would need rather less than this XXXXXXX as it would be able to generate revenue from advertising and as FM broadcast requires less electricity than AM. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”

“The investment would also allow the current St Helena Radio premises to be sold. Under the current planning regime this property might sell for £30-40K. If the Land Development Control Plan is changed as intended and if planning permission for development is then forthcoming, the property could raise substantially more.”

“I attach details of the capital and recurrent budgets for the new broadcasting Corporation.”

F2013-007 Disclosure 2

E-mail from Head of Finance, St Helena Government to DFID Overseas Territories Department dated 10 October 2011.

“Subject: RE: Agenda for today’s telecom”

“Many thanks for your approval. I am afraid that I misread the capital budget for the media request and the request was for £147,000 and an additional £5,000 for Video studio facilities. This is outlined in the documentation I sent originally. Can you approve the use of accumulated Consolidated Fund surpluses for this additional £5,000 too?”

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