President George Maxwell Richards says his role and function in governance have been perceived as being "entirely ceremonial" because the public has not had much insight into what his duties entail.That perception, Richards said, could be better refined through the Web site of the Office of The President-www.thepresident.tt- which was officially launched at Knowsley, Queen's Park West, Port-of-Spain, yesterday."The fact that in this nation the Head of State is not also the head of government, means that for many of our citizens the roles and functions of the President are often seen, at best, to be unclear and at worst, entirely ceremonial," he said.
Richards added: "I believe that this Web site will serve as an important step in educating our citizens by opening to them a virtual window into the presidency, as it would be updated to reflect the current activities of the office."Outlining some of the features of the Web site, he alluded to the access of databases which included more than 1,600 entries of national awards recipients, details of over 800 events, 130 presidential speeches, interactive quizzes and photos in excess of 750.
Information Officer to the President, Michaella Frederick, said while "this Web site aimed to demystify the presidency," it also was determined to highlight the history of the presidency as it attempted to serve as a reference of research for students within an interactive medium that was not only attractive, but "informative, interactive and dynamic."Frederick lauded the collaboration of the following entities which she cited as integral to the birth of the Web site:
The National Information and Communications Technology Centre (NICTC), The National Library and Information System (Nalis), Government Information Service (GIS), Government Information Service Limited (GISL) as well as Philip Colthrustt and his team at SightFactory Limited.