The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was enacted in 2010 but the Independent Information Commissioner (IIC) has not yet been appointed by the President (Chapter 5). As a result, no information exists on whether responsible personnel have been designated in each public or private entity to which the law applies, as required in Section 3.6 of the law. It would be difficult to measure at this stage the level of transparency related to the process of accessing public information. When the IIC is appointed by the President it will be his/her responsibility to summarise the Act into simple English for the wider Liberian audience to use. The Act is not yet publicly available on an official website.
The FOI law is legally operational even though the IIC is not yet appointed. Section 3.7 provides that “Every public authority and private entity shall promptly respond to all requests”. The IIC will arbitrate if requests for information are turned down and in addition facilitate implementation of the FOI law.
Both the Carter Center and the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP) have ongoing campaigns to raise awareness on implementing the FOI law, which includes the appointment of the IIC (for example, see article in The Analyst Newspaper, Liberia; September 7, 2011) to develop the steps involved in the process.
|Title||An Act To Establish the Freedom of Information, Republic of Liberia|
|Organisation||Executive Branch of Government and National Legislature|
|Date||October 6, 2010|
|Source||Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Information. Unofficial copy from http://www.cemesp-liberia.org/foi-act.pdf|