September 16, 2015 By Victoria Saffa
Director of Crime Services in the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) has called for the speedy enactment of the Data Protection Act as “it is a pre-requirement for Sierra Leone to be officially invited to participate in the pilot phase of the West African Police Information Service (WAPIS)”.
This project is funded by the European Union and currently has its headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.
Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Morie Lengor made the call recently during a meeting with some key stakeholders, including the newly appointed Chairman of the Technical Working Group (TWG) for the review and regulatory process of the Data Protection Act, and the National Cyber Security Coordinator, Dr. Hamza Bangura. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Information and Communications’ conference hall, Youyi building in Freetown.
According to AIG Lengor, the country currently has a representative from INTERPOL in Abuja for the project implementation, and that it is now left with the Ministry of Information and Communications and other stakeholders to speed up the process of enacting the law as “it is key to enhancing national security”.
According to him, the WAPIS project is a collaborative approach in the region to share information and track down hard core and profiled criminals across national and international territories, and that the country has been very much cooperative to the cause.
In his remarks, National Cyber Security Coordinator, Dr. Hamza Bangura, informed the meeting that the Technical Working Group (TWG) has developed a work plan and a proposed budget that will facilitate the enactment of the Data Protection Act, which is targeted for enactment before the end of this year.
“We are very pleased to be the pioneers of the Data Protection Act as it is key to the security of the country’s protected information infrastructure, and the privacy of the end users of cyber,” said Dr. Bangura. “We are working tirelessly with law enforcement agencies and ICT stakeholders to ensure that the cyberspace is protected as required by international best practice.”
He added that the group is trying to make sure before the end of this year, the National Cyber Security Policy is forwarded to Cabinet and the Data Protection Act passed into law by Parliament.