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Info Commission Strengthens Students’ Capacity

The Independent Information Commission or IIC has embarked on a sensitization campaign of strengthening the capacity of University students across the country.

The Information Commission said its decision to take awareness to various universities campuses is to provide the students with adequate information on the Freedom of Information Act, as well as how to work within the confines of the law.

Speaking yesterday September 27, 2016 at the AMEU University on camp Johnson Road in Monrovia at a one-day panel discussion, the Commissione, Mr. Mark BedorWla Freeman, said Freedom of Information (FOI) is a fundamental human right for all persons irrespective of gender, religion or race protected by national and international human rights instruments.

He said the establishment of an Independent Information Commission (IIC) in Liberia was an attempt to ensure that this fundamental right is enforced and adhered to by the government. The IIC is a government institution created by an Act of the Legislature on September 16, 2010 and published into handbill by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 6, 2010.

This, he said, has made Liberia the first West African Country to have enacted a comprehensive Freedom of Information law.

Pursuant to the FOI Act, the government appointed an Independent Information Commissioner, with the primary responsibilities and functions of the Information Commissioner (IC) tied to three distinct, yet inter-related components as Enforcement, the core elements of this component including receiving, hearing and deciding on all complaints.

He said focuses on the development of an outreach and public awareness strategy to provide useful tools and relevant information to the general public on how to access the FOI Act. The other panelists from the National Election Commission or NEC gave an update on the 2017 elections. Mr.Senesee G. Freeman – also Director of Civic Voter Education, outlined the importance of the election, saying there are three core objectives of the upcoming elections – to ensure, and mobilized all electorate to participate in the upcoming election, to inform participants about the process before going to the poll to cast their vote, as well as to ensure that the results are accepted by participants.

By; Lewis S. Teh

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