Sierra Leone President Again Supports FOI Bill

3 February 2012

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma Jan. 28 reiterated his support for freedom of information legislation on the occasion of the review of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum, Country Review Report of Sierra Leone at the 16th Summit of the Committee of participating Heads of State and Government of the APRM in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The APRM is an African-designed, owned and driven governance monitoring instrument established in 2003 with the expressed objective of encouraging voluntarily acceding countries to adopt , foster and implement good governance processes and practices in their countries, explained the Sierra Express in its report on his statement. (Koroma’s repeated promises on the subject was the topic of a recent article.)

In one section of his official statement, Koroma said, “We are working on passing the Freedom of Information Bill into an Act of Parliament. The debate on expunging the criminal libel aspect of the 1965 Public Order Act is on course. “

He also reported, “Additionally, Mr. Chairman, a project entitled Transparency Sierra Leone (TSL) is in the process of being implemented in the country. This is a Government initiative aimed at redefining the way Government communicates, and provides information to the public on what Government is doing; creating an unprecedented level of openness in government and a novel in West Africa. The initial project introducing the TSL brand is the Transparency Sierra Leone Portal. The portal will give Government the opportunity to improve the quality of public debate by enhancing citizens’ access to Government information in registries, spanning the panoply of Government development projects.”

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