Carter Center and Liberia Extend Agreement to Promote Freedom of Information
The Carter Center and the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism (MICAT), have extended their Memorandum of Understanding to continue ongoing collaboration to promote and strengthen awareness, implementation, and compliance with the 2010 Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
Freedom of information is critical for good governance, accountability, and participation and is a fundamental human right. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Information Minister Lewis Brown referred to the MOU extension as part of government efforts to build a new and stronger foundation that is open, freer, and enables Liberians to lift themselves. Liberia became the first country in West Africa to pass a comprehensive FOI Act in September 2010.
Implementation is challenging for any government and requires strong leadership and champions to achieve the paradigm shift to openness. With the signing of the extension, the Government of Liberia through MICAT has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to advance beyond passage of the law.
MICAT and The Carter Center are working with seven pilot ministries and agencies to serve as a vanguard and model to effectively implement the FOI Act. With the support of USAID, the Center will continue to provide technical assistance and share the international experiences with regard to FOI implementation and enforcement.
In addition to the need for complete implementation of the law, a responsibility is also placed on civil society to generate demand for information. Therefore, all Liberians are encouraged to file requests for information and to explore information made available by public authorities through automatic publication.
The Carter Center looks forward to deepening its partnership with the Government of Liberia and its citizens as they work to advance the right of access to information.