Access to Information Bill to be tabled by end 2018


The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simataa is optimistic that the Access to Information Bill will be tabled in Parliament by the end of this year.

Simataa was speaking at a consultative meeting with the Editors Forum of Namibia here Friday, saying him and his deputy, with other things being equally important, have again flagged the bill as a priority.

"By the end of this year we must have this bill, it is one of the key deliverables in terms of the Harambee Prosperity Plan and it is still in our performance agreement," he stated.

The bill was expected to be tabled in the National Assembly in 2016, however former minister Tjekero Tweya explained in September 2017 that more consultation needed to be done with people in remote areas who do not have access to information.

The bill gives every individual the right to seek access and receive information from public bodies or private bodies that perform public functions.

Simataa noted that they moved at the right speed when initiating the bill, they went to Cabinet where it was approved and they had extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders.

"Remember, not every idea you generate will be taken on board and we need to accept that principle, because if we do not accept that principle we will have difficulties," said the minister.

He further stated that it is challenging as they need to go back to the Cabinet Committee on Legislation (CCL) and are still consulting other key stakeholders as directed by the CCL, but once this is done they will again table the bill.

"The Access to Information Bill has so many stakeholders and we are part of those stakeholders, as are all Namibians," he said.

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