Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman
Police Chief Cautions Officers To Uphold FOI Law
By Robert Dixon
MONROVIA, October 27 (LINA) - Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman has described access to information as a fundamental human right and admonished officers of the Liberia National Police to be prepared to account for their actions in the discharge of their duties.
“It is the right of the public to know and to be informed of police functions,” Coleman stressed.
According to the Police Inspector General, access to information increases transparency and governance accountability, and at the same time allows citizens’ participation in matters affecting them.
The Liberian Police Chief emphasized that the Freedom of Information (FOI) law is essential and promotes transparency in the public and private sectors, noting that withholding information from the public creates doubts and promotes confidence crisis in the workings of any institution.
Coleman said: “Access to information is something that has to be at hand like access to justice,” and pledged to do all within his power to promote the FOI within the Liberia National Police.
He told a Carter Center-sponsored workshop held at the Police headquarters on the FOI Law, that it was unfair to members of the public to withhold needed information from them on grounds of secrecy, stressing that under his watch the public will be furnished with needed information in line with the FOI Law.
He said the LNP will only deny a requester the needed information if it falls under exemptions as enshrined in the FOI Law.
In remarks, the project lead at Carter Center, P. Alphonso Zeon, lauded the LNP boss for affording them the opportunity to speak to police officers on the importance of the Freedom of Information Law.
Zeon said the LNP has been outstanding in its cooperation with the Carter Center in the provision of information to the public.
He recounted the LNP’s involvement in the recent information fair at the Ministry of Information, adding that the information provided at the fair was of “great public interest.”