IIC Boss Wants Public Entities Appoint PROs

The Commissioner of the Independent Information Commission (IIC), Cllr. Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman, has noted that most public institutions have not met Article 3.6 of the FOI Law, dealing with appointment of Public Relations Officers.
The Article states that: “Every public authority and private entity to which this Act applies shall appoint, maintain and duly support at least one designated personnel whose responsibility shall be to receive requests for information held by the entity.”
According to an Independent Information Commission press release issued in Monrovia recently, Commissioner Freeman made the call when he paid a courtesy call on Vice President Joseph N. Boakai at his Capitol Building office.
“The failure of public bodies to appoint their information officers is in total violation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law,” Cllr. Freeman observed.
Liberia acceded to the Freedom of Information Law in 2010, making it one of only two countries in West Africa and five countries in Africa that have passed the law.
Other African countries that have acceded to the FOI Laws are Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
FOI law allows access by the general public to data held by public or private institutions, like cell phone companies, performing public functions.
They establish a “right-to-know” legal process by which requests may be made for government-held information to be received freely or at minimal cost, barring standard exceptions.