The following statement was issued by Mike Olsson, head of Saint FM and the former St Helena Independent, on 3 April 2012.
Saint FM/St Helena Independent would like to respond to selected “truth” presented to the public by St Helena Government earlier today (3 April 2012).
The fact of the matter is that St Helena Government has taken unprecedented steps, contrary to good governance, in their attempts to justify an unjust cause.
It has to be realised that for a government to openly publish financial detail about an agreement between a private corporation and government further jeopardises the island’s private sector and potential inward investment. The steps taken show how vulnerable we all are. What would normally be classified as “commercial-in-confidence” has been dragged out in the public domain just because St Helena Government do not like the owner of the corporation.
This is obviously done in desperation but will have serious consequences for the island and its future.
Saint FM has decided to release the full service level agreement with St Helena Government, which is a normal trade agreement and has nothing to do with financial support or subsidy and nothing to do with St Helena Independent.
Saint FM is the most popular radio station on the island; the only radio station who can supply the service required.
Click here to read Saint FM’s former contract with St Helena Government
Saint FM has nothing to hide on this matter. Saint FM has provided a service nobody else can provide and been paid a modest amount for the provision.
The St Helena Government press release this morning stated that: “When SHG proposed setting up a new, community-owned media service, this was approved by the elected representatives of the people of St Helena, in both legislative and executive councils.
“Councillors fully endorsed SHG’s intention to set up a sustainable and modern community-owned service, run by talented Saints, to engage all audiences, including the younger sector, at a time of change and challenges.”
The statement contradicts the St Helena Constitution in that it says “SHG proposed and councillors approved”. As far as we are aware, the council IS St Helena Government and talented Saints were working in media before the new government media.
It should also be recognised that the Attorney General registered the new corporation with registered office in the Attorney General’s Office.
Notwithstanding anything else, nothing changes the fact that the taxpayer is paying heavily to compete with the private sector.