In October, a proposed FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA) for The Bahamas is to be tabled in Parliament. Community organizations, churches and private associations are coming together with recommendations to ensure that this bill is strong and fair and is passed this year. However, we need your voice to make sure that Bahamians get the rights they deserve!
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW- A Freedom of Information Act will give citizens and residents of the Bahamas the right to access many types of useful information about government decisions and spending. Today, you don’t have that right.
Civil Society & Private Industry Organizations have come together and put forth a list of recommendations for Government regarding the Freedom of Information Act. These organizations include: Citizens for a Better Bahamas, The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer's Confederation, We The People Bahamas, The Abaco Chamber of Commerce, Save The Bays, The Nassau Institute, reEarth, The Bahamas Federation of Retailers, Civil Society Bahamas, The HeadKnowles Foundation, It's Our Turn, Waterkeepers Bahamas & The Organization for Responsible Governance.
Sign this petition to let our government representatives know that they must represent the interest of the people and fight to pass a TRUE Freedom of Information Act!
Here are some of our recommendations for a strong and fair FOIA:
Give The Power To The People
- We need an independent Information Commission, without ties to government, to enforce the Freedom of Information Act.
- An independent non-governmental panel should be created to work with the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition to select appointees for the Information Commissioner
- We must have a clear understanding of why access to certain information may be denied - Define “National Security” and “Public interest” exceptions clearly.
Keep The Government Honest
- We need a Whistle Blower's Act to protect Government employees who “do the right thing” by coming forward with information about dishonest activity.
- The Minister of Information should not have sole power to omit or withhold information. They should be charged to ensure that all areas of government are trained and organized to comply with requests under the Freedom of Information Act and ensure that citizens are getting the information to which they are entitled.
Don’t wait! Sign the Petition now and complete the short survey on the following page!