Guyana Law Made Effective July 10; 95th in World

19 September 2013

Guyana’s Access to Information Act No. 21 of 2011 entered into force on July 10, 2013, a Guyana official has informed

Guyana is the 95th country with a freedom of information regime.

The effective date was provided by an official in the Guyana embassy in Washington, clearing up a bit of ambiguity about whether the law was in force.

On July 15, former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Justice Charles Ramson was sworn in as Commissioner of Information by President Donald Ramotar. (See previous report.)

The position was created by the Access to Information Act of 2011, passed in September 2011.

The appointment of the commissioner is another step toward implementation of the law, although the report by the Guyana Government Information Agency did not indicate if the law is in effect. The text made available from a nongovernmental source to says that the law “shall come into force on the date the Minister may, by order, appoint.”

Quoted remarks from Ramson suggested it was still not in effect. “It’s not a question of Guyanese alone… one has to recognise that the act becomes operational and the information becomes part of the public domain only from the moment the Act was made operational by the President,” Ramson told reporters, according to GINA.

Ramson’s appointment was announced in mid-May. (See previous report.)



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