Information Commission…Gives 30-Day Ultimatum

The Independent Information Commission has given a 30- day ultimatum to all public bodies and private entities covered under the Freedom of Information Act to appoint and duly support at least one information officer.

The Commission, in an administrative circular signed by Cllr. Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman, stated that every public and private entities covered by the Act should appoint at least one information person who will be the overall responsible to receive requests for information held by the authority or entity and coordinate the response (s) of the authority or entity to all such requests which is in accordance with Section 3.6 of the Freedom of Information Act.

According to the Commission, the timely and scrupulous appointment of the information officers as well as the establishment of internal review bodies is cardinal to the implementation of the Act and the mandates of the Commission.

It said, “in consonance with Section 2.1 of the Act, every public authority shall regularly update a widely accessible and user-friendly publication scheme whereby the public authority or public body automatically provides detailed information regarding its core functions, nature of its activities and operations, and the information it possesses.”

The Commission further stated that requests have been repeatedly made to all public bodies and private entities concerned to comply with the statutory provisions but most entities have not complied adding that failure to comply with what it termed as “Administrative Circular” in the 30 days period, will lead the Independent Information Commission to take the appropriate administrative and judicial action as contained in the Act.