Indep’t Information Commission Begins Hearing Today

The Independent Information Commission has announced that it will this Thursday begin hearings into appeals of individuals and groups who complained that they have been denied access to information by several public bodies.    Section 5.2(a) of the Freedom of Information Law gives the Independent Information Commission the mandate to receive, hear, and decide all complaints as well as mediate disputes arising under the Act.

The hearings take place at the Commission offices on 10th street in Monrovia. The commission announced yesterday the commencement of the hearings as the first step towards vigorously putting into effect its mandate to enforce the freedom of Information law.

Independent Information Commissioner, Clir. Mark Bedor-WIa Freeman is at the same time requesting all public bodies and private entities subject to the provisions of the FOI law to appoint their Information Officers, setup internal review panel and submit annual reports to the commission on how they have implemented the Freedom of Information law.

Under the Freedom of Information Law, information officers of public and private bodies will receive process and respond to requests for information.

Cllr. Freeman said access to information is a fundamental human right that empowers people to press for accountability. Liberia made history as the first country in West Africa to pass the Freedom of Information law in 2010.