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  • 1.
    Svärd, Proscovia
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, Archive Studies. University of South Africa.
    Freedom of information laws and information access: The case of Sierra Leone2017In: Information Development, ISSN 0266-6669, E-ISSN 1741-6469, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 190-198Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sierra Leone was engulfed in a destructive civil war between 1991 and 2002. The civil war was partly caused by the non-accountability of the government, endemic corruption, misrule and the mismanagement of the country’s resources. Efforts have been made by the country, with the help of the international community, to embrace a democratic dispensation. To demonstrate its commitment to the democratization agenda, Sierra Leone passed the Right to Access Information (RAI) Act in 2013. The Act guarantees access to government information and also imposes a penalty on failure to make information available. However, Sierra Leone’s state institutions are still weak due to mismanagement and lack of transparency and accountability. Freedom of expression and access to information are cornerstones of modern democracies. Public information/records are a means of power that governments and other political institutions use to exercise control over citizens, but are also a means of citizens’ empowerment. Through access to government information/records, media can play their watchdog role and people can assess the performance of governments and hold them accountable. The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate the fact that it is not enough to enact freedom of information laws (FOIs) if there is no political will to make government information accessible, an information management infrastructure to facilitate the creation, capture, management, dissemination, preservation and re-use of government information and investments in civil education to promote an information culture that appreciates information as a resource that underpins accountability and transparency.

  • 2.
    Svärd, Proscovia
    University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.
    Has the Freedom of Information Act enhanced transparency and the free flow of information in Liberia?2018In: Information Development, ISSN 0266-6669, E-ISSN 1741-6469, Vol. 34, no 1, p. 20-30Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article investigates if the adoption of the Liberian Freedom of Information (FOI) law 2010 has led to a transparent government and increased the free flow of government information. Freeing government information is expected to create transparent and accountable governments. It brings forth democratic and inclusive government institutions that work for the people. Inclusivity, transparency and accountability are expected to address sustainable development challenges and democracy deficits. Transparency and accountability can only be achieved through access to government information. The right to access government information is also included in the national constitution of Liberia. The citizens of Liberia in West Africa suffered from a protracted civil war between 1989-1996 and 1999-2003 respectively. These wars were partly caused by non-accountability of the governments, endemic corruption and the mismanagement of the countries' resources. Efforts are being made by the government with the help of the international community to embrace a new democratic dispensation. Liberia was also one of the first African countries to enact a Freedom of Information (FOI) Law that would enable Liberians to access government information.

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CiteExportLink to result list
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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