MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, CULTURE AND TOURISM
P. O. BOX 10-9021 - CAPITOL HILL
Office of the Deputy Minister Cell #: +231 (0) 886523518
For Press & Public Affairs Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate effect
(Monrovia: January 22, 2015) Government officials and civil society representatives are expected to meet this Friday in a follow-up meeting to discuss the need and means of promoting accountability of Ebola resources in Liberia, with particular emphasis on the necessity for increased proactive disclosure and timely responses to request for information on funds and other resources donated, received, used and held in connection with the fight against Ebola.
The first meeting, organized by The Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism and The Carter Center’s Access to Information Project, was held on November 19, 2014 and brought together key stakeholders to discuss accountability of Ebola resources. Participating in the inaugural event were officials from the Ministries of Finance, Education, Gender and Development, Internal Affairs and the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission, LACC as well as representatives from some leading civil society groups in the country, including the Christian Association of the Blind, The Liberia Crusaders for Peace, Center for Accountability and Transparency, CENTAL, Liberia Media Center and the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building, CEMESP among others.
MICAT and The Carter Center’s Access to Information Project are convening the ongoing discussions in support of the commitment of The Government of Liberia to ensure that both local and international funding, supplies and other resources provided for fighting the Ebola Virus Disease are fully utilized and accounted for. The meetings are based on the belief that a gathering of information holders and those seeking information to discuss ways to enhance proactive disclosure of public information best serves the interest of building trust and guaranteeing continued support from local and international partners in the fight against the EVD.
Deputy Information Minister for Public Affairs, Isaac Jackson said the ‘outcome of the meetings will re-enforce the Ministry of Information Daily Ebola press briefing’ that regularly updates the public on the state of the Ebola fight and management of resources.
The Carter Center’s Access to Information Project Lead, Cllr Negbalee Warner also said, ‘the effort is consistent with the value of Liberia`s Freedom of Information Act which promotes the right of people to be informed about their government and how it manages the affairs and resources of the people.’
When the stakeholder’s first met in November, they called for public institutions to regularly provide information to the public; to inform on the utilization of Ebola funding, supplies and other resources and to hold regular meetings of stakeholders to discuss challenges in information disclosure.
The Liberian FOI Law was passed September 2010 as part of the Government of Liberia`s efforts to empower citizens to request information and get informed as well as actively participate in policy and development debates.
The Carter Center Access to information Project is working in Liberia at the request of the Government of Liberia to share international FOI implementation experiences and assist all Liberia stakeholders to advance freedom of information in the country.
Atty. Isaac Jackson, Jr.
Deputy Minister for Public Affairs