Liberia's Independent Information Commission (IIC) has named the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) as the third ranking Freedom of Information compliance entity amongst 66 public institutions in Liberia.
The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning came first and second, respectively, in a report by the Independent Information Commission during a workshop at the YMCA in Monrovia on Thursday, May 23, 2019.
Speaking during the workshop, the Program Officer/Project Coordinator of the Independent Information Commission, Simmie Nyanfor, said his entity took into consideration several criteria in arriving at the decision.
Mr. Nyanfor named updated functioning websites, active participation in IIC-sponsored workshops and meetings and regular publications of annual reports as some of the factors taken into consideration in grading the three public institutions.
He hailed heads of three public institutions for their hard work in making the FOI Law workable through pro-active disclosure amongst other achievements.
The IIC Program Coordinator also called on the other public entities to do their best in the area of FOI compliance as part of efforts to improve transparency and accountability in governance.
Mr. Nyanfor also disclosed that the Independent Information Commission has been working along with sixty six (66) public institutions in Liberia.
He, however, spoke about the IIC's presence being felt in twelve (12) counties across Liberia, while the remaining three have proven to be difficult to reach.
At the end of the one day Review and Training Workshop, Public Information Officers (PIOs) and some representatives from several public institutions gave feedback and provided status reports on their respective offices, relative to FOI compliance, implementation and challenges.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry was represented at the forum by Stephen Garley of the Public Affairs Division.
Welcoming the participants at the one day Freedom of Information (FOI) Review and Training Workshop for Public Information Officers (PIOs) was IIC Commissioner Cllr. Mark Bedor-Wla Freedom who described the Freedom of Information Law as a fundamental human right for all persons irrespective of gender, religion, creed or race.
The establishment of the Independent Information Commission in Liberia is in line with national efforts to ensure that such fundamental rights are guaranteed, as enshrined in Article 15 © of the Liberian Constitution.
The IIC was created by an Act of legislation on September 16, 2010 and published into Handbill by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 6, 2010.