Kenyan Access Bill Advances; Open Data Portal Lacks Info

20 August 2015

Legislation to create an access to information law was given a first reading Aug. 19 in the Kenyan National Assembly.

The step forward – amendments come during the second reading – came as the Kenyan Open Data portal reported that it has only received cooperation from from only 26 departments out of about 83, according to an article by Lilian Ochieng in Standard Media.

Kenya Open Data Co-ordinator Linet Kwamboka was quoted as saying, “While we still face some resistance in data publishing by the various government institutions, we have put in place measures to mitigate this which is why we have devised the new strategies that will allow us to engage other government institutions better.” She said the issue will be tackled once the Access to Information Bill and Data Protection laws are enacted.

“County governments have refused to share with the public information on health, education, governance, population and budget, locking majority of Kenyans from accessing the data,” according to an article in Media Max Network. “Only three out of the 47 county governments are said to be slowly opening up to the citizenry, though most of their data has been sourced from research institutions and think tanks such as the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS),” the article says.

The Kenya Open Data portal said it has hit over 44 million page reviews since its launch four years ago.

The access bill was introduced by Hon. Priscilla Nyokabi who is vice chairperson of the justice and legal affairs committee. See video news report on the bill by KTN.

For text of the bill see entry 31 in a list on Kenya’s National Assembly Bill Tracker. (See description in previous report.)

Shatikha S Chivusia, a commissioner at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, wrote in The News that it is time to pass a FOI law.


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