IPPR launches ATI Report


Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on Tuesday launched a report that assesses the actual state of Access to Information (ATI) in Namibia.
The report titled ?Access Denied: Access to Information in Namibia covers research findings and recommendations on ATI.

In his presentation at the launch, IPPR Research Associate, Frederico Links said Namibia has legal instruments and international obligations in place that deals with ATI to comply to.

The Universal declaration of human rights, locally the Harambee Prosperity Plan, and many other policy and legislative papers, guarantees freedom of expression and thereby ATI, he said.

Links stressed the importance of Government and the private sector in acting on the obligations, therefore, making sure that ATI is prioritised.
Findings of the report show that 80 per cent of all organisations and institutions did not respond or could not provide the information requested.

While probably largely unsurprising, the findings of this study are nevertheless still hugely interesting and instructive, stated the report.

The report further shows that out of the 14 regions, only Erongo responded with information requested within a reasonable time.

Speaking at the same event, IPPR Executive Director, Graham Hopwood said ATI plays an important role in tackling corruption.

Corruption thrives in environments of secrecy, he said.
Hopwood added that by creating and adhering to an accountable and transparent code of governance, entities lose the capacity to obscure corrupt acts.

The Access to Information Bill is currently to be implemented, and it will mark the beginning of realising the full access to information in Namibia, Hopwood added.

The report recommends, among others, the relevant Namibian state authorities resuscitate, rework with relevant stakeholder and public inputs, and ultimately submit to Parliament the draft Access to Information Bill which was crafted with significant civil society input in 2016.

In addition, it further stated that relevant Namibian state authorities should finalise the draft revised National Information Policy of 2016.

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