Sierra Leone President Mentions FOI Legislation

8 October 2010

Ernest Bai Koroma, president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, in his opening address to Parliament Oct. 8, said that when parliament approves freedom of information legislationcitizens’ access to information from public officials will be revolutionized.”

The mention of FOI legislation was part of his lengthy agenda described to parliament.

Koroma said his Cabinet has approved the FOI legislation. (See report.) Activists have said they have yet to see the proposal.

The president also announced,  “We have also designed a National ICT Policy, the first of its kind in this country and are setting up of a National ICT Advisory Council. We are in collaboration with the Commonwealth preparing an agreement to develop Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services in the rural areas.”

In the budgetary arena, Koroma said, “As a demonstration of my Government’s commitment to transparency and with the support of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, Standing Order 75 was clarified.  This makes it possible for the Annual Public Accounts Report to be made public as soon as they are laid in Parliament.  The backlog of Annual Public Accounts has been cleared and the most recent public accounts for 2009 have been published. The Auditor General’s Report on 2008 public accounts has been completed on time.”

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