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IIC Ends Sensitization Workshop In Buchanan
Johnson Liway, LINA Grand Bassa County Correspondent
BUCHANAN, May 23 (LINA) - The Independent Information Commission (IIC) has ended a two-day workshop on regional sensitization for local civil society, government agencies and private sector in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County.
The workshop, held at the Youth Center in Buchanan, was funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
It gave participants an insight into the Freedom of Information Law, its mandate, scope, exemptions, steps and procedures in filing a complaint with the IIC, procedures for validating complaints, archiving and basic knowledge in records management.
According to the Liberia News Agency, IIC Commissioner Cllr. Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman made a presentation on the Freedom of Information Act, its mandate, scope and appeal process.
He said the propagation of information is necessary to build the capacity of officials of government in the various counties as well as in the private sector.
Cllr. Freeman told participants that the main focus of the IIC is to receive, hear and decide complaints as well as ensure that public bodies operate in line with the Freedom of Information Law.
Also making a presentation was the IIC Validation Officer Facia B. Harris, who explained how to file a complaint with the Commission, as well as steps and procedures by which complaints are validated and hearings held.
She said a senior official or internal review body is required to review complaints and provide a decision within t30 working days, and that anyone who is not satisfied with the internal review, can appeal to the IIC, which will conduct a hearing and make a decision.
According to Ms. Harris, any party that is not satisfied with the decision reached by the Commission can appeal to the Circuit Court.
The Freedom of Information Act was passed into law by the National Legislature on September 16, 2010, and signed into law by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on 6 October, 2010, making Liberia the first West African country to do so, and the only country in Africa with a functioning Independent Information Commission.