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Chief Minister Announces May 30 as new deadline for Proactive Disclosure

3 April 2019 at 01:25 | 1938 views

The Right to Access Information Commission RAIC has certified four Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for submitting their Proactive Disclosure Publication Schemes to RAIC before the 1st March deadline. The MDAs are Statistic Sierra Leone, Environment Protection Agency, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and the Sierra Leone Police were issued with certificates of Compliance, at a roundtable enforcement forum at Family Kingdom last Thursday.

Delivering a statement on behalf of the Chief Minister, the Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Chief Minister Madam Nancy Tengbeh, expressed disappointment over the fact that only four of the ten MDAs submitted their schemes to RAIC for approval. Madam Tengbeh said RAIC has been magnanimous enough to further extend the new deadline to the 30th of May this year.

‘Being a liberal institution, RAIC is kindly appealing to MDAs not to miss the 30th May, 2019 deadline, in order to avoid negative repercussions.’ She added.

She said the Government of Sierra Leone is in a hurry to develop and urges all to come on board.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Solomon Jamiru said the Ministry of Information and Communications believes that this is a ground breaking initiative that will spur a new dawn in the governance of the country and will facilitate supply and demand-side Data training, finalization of the proactive publication scheme for MDAs.

The deputy minister encouraged all MDAs to respect the new deadline for the development of Sierra Leone.

The Deputy Leader of Government Business and Head of the Information and Communications committee in Parliament, Hon. Matthew Nyuma, apologised on behalf of the Parliament of Sierra Leone as one of the Pilot MDAs that missed out in submitting its scheme to RAIC, but pledged that they will work hard to ensure they catch up with the new deadline. Hon. Nyuma commended RAIC for the great work in changing the data landscape in Sierra Leone,

The Chairman and Information Commissioner of RAIC Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (second from left), who equally expressed disappointment for the noncompliance of most of the MDAs, highlighted the benefits of proactively disclosing information among which is the reduction of cost and time in the processing of individual information requests and demonstrates a commitment to openness, accountability and transparency which in turn may increase the people’s confidence in the government. Dr Seaga Shaw said it is in view of keeping this on the public agenda that this roundtable with MDAs has been conceived.

He said the roundtable has three main objectives; first, to recognise and issue certificates of compliance to those MDAs that met the March 1 deadline in submitting their Proactive Publication Schemes; second, to encourage those MDAs that have submitted their publication schemes to the RAIC to share their experiences and lessons with other MDAs in their efforts to prepare and submit their own; and finally, to encourage MDAs yet to submit their publication schemes to do so by the new deadline or face the RAIC tribunal.

Giving a progress report on the Open Data Council in a bid to strengthen National Institutional coordination, the RAIC commissioner for western Area Yeama Sarah Thompson said they have established three committees namely the Ministerial, National Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Committees and six work streams. She adds that five key ministers will lead a ministerial committee with the Minister of Information and Communications to head and engage the highest level of government. Commissioner Yeama highlighted the building of a stronger partnership with all public authorities to drive both the demand and supply sides, the continued strategic engagement with all public authorities and the enabling of a social contract approach as the key next steps.

Statistics Sierra Leone and the Environment Protection Agency displayed their schemes as models of standard proactive disclosure schemes, as they shared the challenges they went through for the information of other MDAs.

The Proactive Disclosure of information project is funded by the World Bank in collaboration with the Public Finance Management Improvement and Consolidation Project in the Ministry of Finance.

Source: RAIC