17 May 2012

Liberia appoints an Information Commissioner

At the May 3rd World Press Freedom Day celebrations, the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, promised the nation that the Liberian government would appoint an Information Commissioner.

True to her word the Liberian president appointed an Information Commissioner on the 17th of May.

She explained that the appointment of an Information Commissioner would create a “platform for those who seek remedial action” and “aid the process whereby the public are able to receive information they need”. This, she said, would make the Liberian government processes transparent, and give the public more leverage to hold the government accountable.

Globally, Information Commissioners are appointed in line with access to information legislation that the various countries subscribe to. The commissions allow ordinary citizens and civil society organisations to seek redress whenever they have been unfairly denied access to information.

Back in Africa, the appointment by Liberia makes this the first Information Commissioner on the continent.

For more information contact the Freedom of Information Programme at SAHA.