Right To Know (R2K), Nigeria and the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will envisage both institutions working together in partnership towards a profound implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 2011 within the institutional structure of the BPSR.
This initiative which is made possible through a funding support from the MacArthur Foundation will establish a mutual agreeable framework for co-operation between BPSR and R2K in undertaking the following; implementing vital aspects and key provisions of the Act; utilising information technology for information disclosure purposes, both proactively as well as, on demand and to facilitate public access to these information.
Ene Nwankpa, R2K National Coordinator stated “that as a key government institution and custodian of respective government reform agendas and various policies, the BPRS’s willingness to comply with the provisions of the Act is laudable as this feat would now enable the public to access information including past reform policies of the government just by the click of a button; thereby ensuring openness and laying to rest, speculations or rumours about the activities of governance”.
The partnership already commenced with a two day training workshop on the FOI Act for both Senior and Middle cadre staff of the BPSR in June 2015, as a launching point for BPSR’s full implementation and compliance with the provisions of the Act. While declaring that workshop open, the Director General of the BPSR, Dr. Joe Abah stated that “the proper use of the FOI will curb the tendency for impunity in those that exercise state power and will ensure that public services are focused on the public and not on the public servants”. It is hoped that this initiative would aid the Bureau in realizing its mandate of initiating, coordinating, monitoring, and ensuring full implementation of all government reform policies and programmes in the public service.
R2K and BPSR calls on all public institutions in Nigeria to institute similar processes that would facilitate their compliance obligations and implementation of the FOI Act within their respective institutional mandates that would help expedite public access to information. This is pertinent in the quest for an institutionalised system of open governance in Nigeria as the FOI presents an excellent opportunity to increase accountability in the public service.
R2K and BPSR remains committed to promoting open and democratic government in Nigeria through advocacy for full implementation of the FOI Act.
www.r2knigeria.org, follow us on Twitter @r2knigeria or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 09 – 2918795.
www.bpsr.gov.ng, follow @bpsr_ng, or call 09- 2918966