BUCHANAN, May 26 (LINA) - The Commissioner of the Independent Information Commission (IIC) has called on Government and international partners to assist the Commission with additional funding to decentralize its activities.
IIC Commissioner Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman said the commission has the mandate to monitor government ministries, agencies as well as institutions that are subject to the information law of Liberia to ensure that they comply with the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law.
He told the Liberia News Agency in an interview recently at the close of a two-day training workshop on Regional Sensitization in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County that Liberia, as the only country that has an Information Commissioner in Africa, should serve as mentor for other countries coming after Liberia.
He stressed the need for the appointment of information officers in all ministries, agencies and other institutions so that they can handle complaints on FOI issues, and advise complainants about where they can seek redress.
He said as an instrument of peace, the IIC is appealing to the Executive and Legislative branches of government, UNDP and UNESCO for additional funding to execute its statutory mandate.
Cllr. Freeman said he was elated by the outcome of the sensitization workshop, but expressed disappointment that due to funding gap, materials could not be adequately distributed to participants.
Commissioner Freeman said participants were pleased with the training workshop, but said there is still a need for more sensitization because, according to him, more people still need to know about the functions of the FOI and understand what it really means.
He then thanked the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) for its support to the IIC, and reminded Liberians that OSIWA support for the IIC will soon phase out.