What's New

  • 11 November 2015

    OGP ATI Working Group Plans Focus on 4 Countries

    The Open Government Partnership Access to Information Working Group will focus its attention on helping four countries, according to the group’s “co-anchors.” While the working group will continue with a number of activities, including more general support to interested counties, particular attention will be paid to two pairs of countries: Liberia and Sierra Leone; Honduras […]

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  • 22 October 2015

    Liberian Commissioner Tells Agencies to Comply With Law

    Liberia’s information commissioner has issued a directive to agencies telling them to comply with the 2010 freedom of information law or face administrative and legal action. An administrative circular issued by Commissioner Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman sets a deadline for institutions to appoint public information officers (PIOs). Many agencies also have not made reports to the […]

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News Archive

  • 1 October 2015

    Negative Reviews Mark Fifth Anniversary of Liberian Law

    The fifth year anniversary of the freedom of information law in Liberia was marked by several very critical reviews of how the law is being implemented. “Very little” is being done to implement the law, according one Liberian group. And a report by a pan-Africa FOI group said the government is turning in a “dismal […]

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  • 23 October 2014

    Liberia: Law Implementation and Exclusion of Access

    By Malcolm Joseph The author is Executive Director, Center for Media Studies and Peace Building.  This is a chapter in the recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous report.) Liberia is struggling to rebuild after 15 years of civil war in the 90s and 2000s. In […]

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  • 24 July 2014

    Ideas in Liberia Aim to Help Women Access Information

    Recommendations for addressing inequities that Liberian women face in the exercise of the right of information were developed at a July 10, 2014, meeting of 47 government representatives, traditional community leaders, and civil society representatives. A meeting was an extension of a Carter Center project that resulted in a study “Women and the Right of […]

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  • 18 July 2014

    Women Seeking Information in Liberia Face Barriers

    Barriers exist that limit women’s access to information they want, according to a study done in Liberia by the Carter Center. “Structural and cultural barriers exist that impede women’s facility to exercise the fundamental right to information,” the report concludes. It states that women “want information about education, land/property ownership, and how to start and maintain […]

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  • 11 November 2013

    Sierra Leone: FOI is One Thing, Freedom of Press Another

    By Amanda Vragovich Vragovich is the Assistant Program Officer for West Africa at the National Endowment for Democracy.  This article appeared Nov. 7 in ThinkAfricaPress. On 31 October, after ten years of civil society activism, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone signed into law the Right to Access Information Bill. The long-awaited freedom of […]

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  • 3 October 2013

    Only Commissioner in Africa Busy With Delayed Start

    By Toby McIntosh Liberia’s new information commissioner received his first appeal while working on his car in his garage. Mark Bedo-Wla Freeman had been appointed several months earlier, but in the beginning he lacked a computer, an office or any staff. Things are looking up now, after a little more than a year in office. Freeman has an […]

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  • 26 July 2013

    Liberian Commissioner Orders Release of Asset Disclosures

    Liberia’s information commissioner, in his first ruling, has ordered the nation’s Anti-Corruption Commission to release the asset disclosure statement of Cabinet ministers and their deputies. The records were sought by the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP) . Mark Bedo-Wla Freeman in his July 23 decision stated, “The asset declarations are part of efforts […]

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  • 28 June 2013

    Liberian Group Gets Few Responses to Requests

    The Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMESP) on June 26 unveiled research showing a low government response rate to information requests. CEMESP Executive Director Malcolm Joseph that more than 90 FOI requests resulted in only 10 answers. Joseph said the custodians of information are “violating the law with impunity.” He urged all stakeholders to […]

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  • 3 May 2013

    Thwarted Liberian Group Seeks Asset Disclosures

    A Liberian group has gone to court in an effort to compel the release of the asset declarations of public officials after being frustrated by the anti-corruption commission and the information commissioner. The Center for Media Studies and Peace Building  (CEMESP) on April 29  filed a writ of Mandamus with the Supreme Court to compel […]

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  • 10 January 2013

    Liberian Group Appeals for Access to Asset Disclosures

    A Liberian group has appealed to the Information Commissioner for access to the asset disclosure forms of ministers and deputy ministers. Access to the declarations was denied by the Liberia Anti- Corruption Commission (LACC) citing an exemption in the Liberian freedom of information law. The Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMESP) has filed a […]

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  • 3 December 2012

    Liberia: Freedom of Information Act and Executive Order 38

    By Lamii Kpargoi Kpargoi is the Program Director of the Liberian Media Center (LMC). He is also a Liberian lawyer and political watcher. He lives and works in Monrovia and can be reached at This article first appeared in The News on Nov. 30 In recent weeks the rumor mill in Liberia, especially Monrovia […]

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  • 9 November 2012

    Five ‘Late’ Governments Report on OGP Activities

    Five governments that missed the April deadline to submit their Open Government Partnership national action plans have either submitted plans or are working on them, according to information provided by the OGP to The plans for two of the countries – Azerbaijan and Macedonia – are now posted (look under “related files”). The other […]

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  • 1 November 2012

    Liberian FOI Law Backed; Sirleaf Order Criticized

    As an U.S. backed effort continued to support Liberia in implementing its new freedom of information law, a Liberian group has said the Liberian president is undercutting the law. The Carter Center, with support from the United States Agency for International Development, held a conference as part of a project to raise the awareness of […]

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  • 15 October 2012

    Ex-Liberian Official Assesses Performance on FOI Law

    Some editors in Liberia report that the two-year-old freedom of information law is working well, but other editors have experienced difficulty, according to a former top Liberian official, Tiawon Gongloe. He spoke at a recent meeting in Dakar, Senegal , about FOI and national security. The session was one in an ongoing series by Open […]

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  • 22 August 2012

    Liberian FOI Law Needs Support System

    By JM Cassell JM Cassell  is a former  features editor of the New Liberian  newspaper. He is currently the President of Quality Resource Solutions, LLC, a Walnut Creek, California based  pharmaceutical quality assurance recruiting firm. He can be reached at The Liberian government  took an aggressively bold and somewhat courageous step recently by being the first West African […]

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  • 21 May 2012

    Liberian President Picks Freeman as Commissioner

    Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has named Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman, Sr., a Liberian journalist turned  lawyer working with the UN Mission in Liberia, to be the nation’s first information commissioners, according to an article in The Informer. Freeman was the president and vice president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL). In 2009 he was named […]

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  • 10 May 2012

    Liberia Announces Intention to Appoint FOI Commissioner

    Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced in a May 3 statement that she will “very soon” appoint the country’s first information commissioner. The position was created by the FOI passed in October of 2010, but has not been filled. The announcement was praised by Peter Quagua, president of the Press Union of Liberia, in a […]

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  • 2 March 2012

    Liberia, Carter Center Combine on Implementation

    In an effort to help implement the 2010 Liberian freedom of information act, the government Feb. 27 renewed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. -based Carter Center to provide assistance.  The Carter Center’s work in Liberia is supported by the United States Agency for International Development.  The Carter Center and the Liberian government will […]

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  • 3 February 2012

    Liberian Court Urged to Make Disclosures Under FOI Law

    Liberia’s Criminal Court ‘A’ has so far declined to disclose evidence in a media-related case, prompting a complaint by the Press Union of Liberia about the denial under the Freedom of Information Act of Liberia. “The Union says it is beyond 60 days since it requested the Court to provide copies of the species of […]

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  • 25 August 2011

    FOI Notes: Africa, UNESCO, United States, United Kingdom

    West Africa: The Africa Freedom of Information Centre has issued a study on access to information in Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria. Follow this link, and got to bottom of listings. UNESCO: The online report on the 2010 UNESCO World Press Freedom Day meeting, on the theme of: “Freedom of Information: The Right to Know” is available. […]

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  • 5 October 2010

    Liberian President Sirleaf Signs FOI Law; Regional First

    Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed into law the Liberian Freedom of Information Bill. Presidential Press Secretary Cyrus Badio told a news conference Oct. 4 that the president has fowarded the signed FOI law to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia to be printed into a  hand bill.  The signing of the FOI […]

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  • 3 September 2010

    Liberian Senate Passes FOI Bill, President to Sign

    The Liberian Senate Sept.  2 unanimously passed a freedom of information bill that the country’s president is expected to sign. Passage of the FOI law puts Liberia on the brink of history making in West Africa, according to Malcolm Joseph, the chairman of the Liberia Freedom of Expression Coalition.  Liberia will become the first West […]

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  • 22 July 2010

    Liberian House Passes FOI Law

    The Liberian House of  Representatives on July 22 passed a Freedom of Information bill, forwarding it to the Senate for consideration. The House unanimously approved the bill, which has been under consideration for over two years. Lobbying for the bill were the Liberia Freedom of Expression Coalition, the Liberia Media Law and Policy Reform Working […]

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  • 16 July 2010

    Liberian House Committee Begins Work on FOIA

    A Liberian House Committee has started consideration of a Freedom of Information Act, according to a report by Stephen Binda in the Daily Observer.  The committee held a hearing May 19 at which passage of a law was urged by the National Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Liberia, Center for Transparency and Accountability in […]

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  • 2 December 2009

    World Bank Cautious on Media Development

    The goal of strengthening the media as one way to fight corruption was adopted by the World Bank in 2006, but the promise has gone virtually unfulfilled, according to research by

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Freedom of Information Law (October, 2010)



Access to Information Research and Monitoring in Liberia - report by the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (August 2010)



Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia


Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative



Measuring Openness

Global Right to Information Rating
A country-by-country rating of laws by the Centre for Democracy and Law and Access Info.

Freedom House
The Freedom in the World report.

World Bank
Worldwide Governance Indicators

Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index
Measures perceptions of the degree of corruption.

Reporters Without Borders
The Press Freedom Index.