29 December 2016
CEPS has today held an open dialogue on the draft “Right to Information Bill”. The discussion was led by the Principal Secretary of the Department of Information, Mr Denis Rose.
Also present at the discussion was Vice President of the Republic, Mr Vincent Meriton.
Addressing members present, CEPS Chairman Mr. Jules Hoareau explained that whilst the issue of access to information has mostly
been linked to the media, access to information is an issue that concerns all citizens. He explained that through the discussion on the proposed bill, citizens have the opportunity to have their say and make contributions about a law that will guide the process of making available information in a systematic way. He reminded those present that civil society had been pushing for such a law and that CEPS commends the government for allowing members of civil society organisations to comment on it before taking it to parliament.
During the discussion, Vice President Meriton acknowledged that some officers working in government have a lot of times failed to provide citizens with information as part of service delivery. He explained that this law goes beyond courtesy and ensures that citizens have access to information that concerns their daily lives at a personal and professional level.
Following a presentation by P.S Rose, members present discussed issues of concern pertaining to the bill. Most questions were concerned with its implementation and the processes that facilitate access to different types of information.
Members of the public are being invited to comment on the draft bill, which can be accessed at: http://www.gov.sc/…/161130_White_Paper_Right_to_Information…
The deadline for comments is the end of January 2017.