Saturday, June 18, 2011

Government tables FOI Bill

THE long-awaited Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill was yesterday read for the first time in the National Assembly and sent to a Special Select Committee to be revised and reviewed for any misrepresentations.
The Bill was read by Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee and will pave the way for hassle free access to information under the control of public authorities in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of the government and public authorities and for the appointment of the Commissioner of Information.
The Commissioner of Information, who will be appointed by the President, will be a person of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.
The Bill, will however, pose some conventions with regards to what information is available and what will not be available.
It will also impose the process of how to apply for detailed information as well as what rights an individual can enjoy as a result of an application. The FOI Bill also boasts penalties which will be applied to an individual if information is withheld or destroyed.

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