Critics Ask Guyana Officials to Fulfill FOI Promise

7 March 2011

Unfulfilled government promises to offer an access to information bill is frustrating supporters of more transparency in Guyana, according to articles in Kaieteur News.

The Alliance for Change was organizing picketing on March 3 because of the delay, according to one report.

Government officials, including Head of State Bharrat Jagdeo, have said that the bill would be offered, by last August, and later by February, but no bill has been tabled. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.).

The leader of the Alliance for Change, Raphael Trotman, was quoted as saying that his disappointment was fueled by the fact that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association had held a workshop for parliamentarians and media operatives, where FOI was extensively discussed. “He conceded that legislation such as the FOI will take time, but pointed out that there was a resounding call by Guyanese, who were now beginning to understand the importance of such a piece of legislation, as well as the calls from the international organizations,” according to the Kaieteur News.

In another recent article on the legislation about the delay, the paper reported: “People’s Progressive Party General Secretary Donald Ramotar said that it is not because of any lack of political will. He said that all stakeholders agree that the legislation is important and necessary, but he stressed that the delay was as a result of the limited capacity as it relates to drafting.”

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