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Freedom of Information Act in the works

The Government has begun work on a freedom of information act, with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (M.C.I.T.) leading the way.

This was confirmed by the UNESCO Pacific Director, Ms Nisha.

“UNESCO will be providing technical assistance to M.C.I.T. through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund supported programme, Samoa Knowledge Society Initiative,” Ms. Nisha said in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.

“In terms of policy and law work, since these are national instruments, they are always led by the ministry or the government institution responsible for policy-making and initiating the law drafting process. In this case, the work is led by the M.C.I.T.”

She added that the Samoa Knowledge Society Initiative came out of a request from national stakeholders in Samoa, including the Government itself.

“Access to Information is a key enabler of development,” Ms. Nisha said. “We live in a fast changing world where lack of information or knowledge may contribute to marginalisation.”

The Knowledge Society is a rights-based initiative that acknowledges the right to access information for all Samoans, in order to create an enabling environment for enhanced digital development, explains the society’s official website. 

Questions sent to M.C.I.T. for a comment had not been responded to at press time.

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