The Independent Information Commissioner Counselor Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman
IIC Conducts Training For CSOs and Others In Bong County
By Ballah Kollie, LINA Bong County Correspondent
GBARNGA, March 25 (LINA) –The Independent Information Commission (IIC) is in Bong County in continuation of its nation-wide sensitization tour.
Speaking at the start of a two-day Regional Sensitization Training workshop for local civil society organizations, local government agencies and the private sector, held Tuesday at the Gbarnga Youth Center, the IIC Chairman, Cllr. Bedor-Wla Freeman, urged citizens to make use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), if they must enjoy the benefits it has for them.
Cllr. Freeman said the Act will afford citizens the opportunity to freely access government information and allow them access to information, with the intent of ensuring check and balance in government.
He admonished participants to full take advantage of the Act which, he said, will help them to critically analyze the performances of not only the Executive Branch of government, but also their representatives in the National Legislature.
In remarks, Bong County Superintendent Selena Polson-Mappy, who was represented by her head of secretariat Mr. Zack E. Monger, described information as the “key that unlocks the whole wide world,” noting that it must be made available to everyone, irrespective of status in society.
According to the Liberia News Agency, Monger said citizens must be given the requisite opportunity to have access to information, and the denial thereof was a violation of one’s rights.
Speaking earlier, the Director for Outreach and Sensitization at the IIC, Madam Zoema Kargbo, told participants that freedom to information is a fundamental human right, the practice of which, she said, requires the involvement of all.
The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and the Carter Center funded the two-day workshop.
It will, among other topics, deliberate on the Freedom of Information Act, its mandate, scope, exemption and appeal process, and how to file a complaint with the commission.
The 52nd National Legislature on September 16, 2010, passed the Freedom of Information Act.