From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone Cabinet Approves FOI Bill
By Augustine Samba
Jun 18, 2010, 13:30

Cabinet on Wednesday 16th June 2010, after an intensive deliberation, finally approved the draft Freedom Of Information (FOI) Bill. Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji I. B. Kargbo has outrightly said that he will table the bill before the House Of Parliament within the next four or five weeks.

Speaking to the Executive Director of Society for Democratic Initiative (SDI)- SL, he informed that, his institution had mounted several campaigns, since 2003 onwards with many policy makers and stakeholders to pass the FOI Bill into law.

Furthermore, Mr. Abdulai disclosed that in 2005, they engaged the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma whilst serving as opposition leader in parliament. He said President Koroma faithfully promised that, he was going to pass the bill into law when he becomes the president. Abdulai also commended the effort of the current Minister of Information who was serving as President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ). He said, Alhaji I B Kargbo had been very instrumental since then to make the FOI dreams turn to reality.

To strengthen the passing of the bill, the Minister of Information on Tuesday, at the official launching of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation (SLBC) assured all journalists that President Koroma intends to pass the FOI law.

The Minister of Information has been very collaborative with SDI to ensure that the bill is passed into law.

The focal person on FOI, in the Ministry of Information and Communication, Nathaniel Ganda had earlier promised that, his Ministry will work with SDI to Plan Pre-legislative and validation workshop and other Sensitization and awareness programmes on FOI.



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