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Papua New Guinea

Legislation on Access to Information (PNG0001)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Papua New Guinea Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: DCIT

Support Institution(s): PM&NEC, CLRC, TIPNG, CELCOR, CIMC, PNG ICT Cluster, PNG Media Council, ICAC

Policy Areas

Legislation & Regulation, Right to Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Problem/ Issue to be addressed: Papua New Guineans do not fully participate in policy and decision making process and development activities because citizens do not have access to information and government in turn is not proactively providing information.; Main Objective: In compliance with s 51 (3) of the PNG Constitution, a specific legislation will be enacted to enable citizens/public to have access to information. The specific legislation "Access to Information Act" will enable greater participation of citizens in the management of public affairs. This will be done in reference to any other policy proposals by government.; Brief Description of Commitment: Pursuant to s 51 (1) of the Constitution it states "Every citizen has the right of reasonable access to official documents subject only to the need for such secrecy as is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society". Further in s 51 (3), it states "Provision shall be made by law to establish procedures by which citizens may obtain ready access to official information". Although the Constitution allows for "Access to Information" legislation, PNG did not enact a specific legislation allowing citizens to have access to information.; OGP Challenge address by the Commitment: OGP Grand Challenge 2, Increasing Public Integrity This commitment to enact the "Access to Information' legislation is expected to be a key instrument contributing towards transparency and accountability to build more open institutions, and generating useful public knowledge. Furthermore, it is a valuable tool to allow for greater engagement of citizens in the management of public affairs.; Relevance - Briefly describe the way in which this commitment is relevant to further advancing OGP values of access to information, public accountability, civic participation and technology and innovation for openness and accountability.: "Access to information" (ATI) is one of the central tenets of the OGP and has become a major driving force in the promotion of ATI reforms worldwide. As a cornerstone for open government policies, ATI legislation is one of the four main eligibility criteria for joining the OGP while the others Fiscal Transparency, Income and Asset Disclosures, and Public Participation. Any country wishing to participate in OGP needs to meet minimum eligibility requirements. For most countries, this includes having in place an ATI law and this directly aligns with our Commitment to the ATI legislation.; Ambition - Briefly describe the intended results of the commitment and how it will either make government open or improve government through more openness: Since 2011, countries in five continents have included more than 120 ATI commitments in their National Action Plans (NAPs), spanning from legal reforms and capacity building activities to technological developments and dissemination programs. The ATI is expected to be a key instrument contributing towards transparency and accountability to build more open institutions, and generating useful public knowledge. Furthermore, it is a valuable tool to allow for greater engagement of citizens in the management of public affairs.; Variable and Measurable milestones to fulfil the commitment: Preparatory budget and plan; Request for drafting of Freedom of Information legislation to CLRC; Technical Working Group formed from stakeholders; Issues Paper; National Consultation for Stakeholders; Consultation Draft Report completed and presented to DCI; Seminar of the report; Drafting of the Bill; Submission and vetting of the Bill for the appropriate state agencies such as State Solicitor and FLC; Minister for CI takes the Bill to NEC for endorsement; Circulation of ATI Bill after NEC notifies Parliamentary Services; First Reading; Second Reading by Minister and voting by Members; Third Reading Passing of the Access to Information Legislation; Certification of Act; Gazetting of Act; A national legislation providing provisions allowing public access to information. The proposed Act to be titled: Access to Information Act (2020)