Proactive disclosure of information scheme…


RAIC declares May 30 as new deadline for MDAs to comply 

March 29, 2019

By Dusuba Koroma

The high table at the press briefing

Right to Access Information Commission (RAIC) has yesterday 28th March 2019, declared May 30, 2019, as the new deadline for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to comply with the Proactive Disclosure of Information scheme meant to strengthen measures that would promote openness.

The new deadline came in the wake of public authorities’ failure to adhere to the commission’s March 1st, 2019, deadline for all of them to comply with the Proactive Disclosure of relevant Information scheme that will enhance transparency and accountability in governance.

RAIC’s Chairperson, Ibrahim Seaga Shaw, stated that the commission considers MDAs as partners in development, and that they should not be seen as monsters or threat because the commission itself was subject to public scrutiny.

He said public authorities would be in a position to control the narrative when they disclose information well in advance to save cost and manpower.

RAIC Commissioner for Western Region, Yeama Thompson, expressed that there has been issue of poor level of compliance by public authorities to proactively disclose information, stating that citizens have right to adequately access data and information required for empowering them and supporting entrepreneurship in the country.

On the previous March 1st deadline, she disclosed that only Statistics Sierra Leone, Environment Protection Agency, Ministry of Basic and Senior Education and the Sierra Leone Police have complied with the commission’s scheme.

She said work was still in progress for other three ministries to comply, but stated that other four public authorities have not showed sign of compliance.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Solomon Jamiru, said the call for all public authorities to proactively disclose information was not only necessary, but also a legal requirement for them to justify their existence and operations.

He said the call was in line with the new government’s agenda to enhance transparency and accountability for all public authorities.

He further encouraged all MDAs to respect the new deadline for them to produce their proactive publication scheme, as announced at the proactive disclosure forum launched at Miatta Conference Centre on December, 2018.

Representing the Ministry of Finance, Amos Lansana said that, “we must understand that proactive disclosure puts information into the community faster and at lower cost. It reduces agency’s time and resources in processing individual information requests and demonstrates a commitment to openness, accountability and transparency, which in turn may increase the people’s confidence in the government. All parties involved must respect the May 30 deadline.”