Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Meet on freedom of information law as due date nears

Meet on freedom of information law as due date nears

Meet on freedom of information law as due date nears

Representatives of around 20 civil society organisations (CSOs) will meet today to discuss key chapters of Cambodia’s long-gestating freedom of information law, which is meant to be completed by late December.

“We’ll discuss mechanisms to submit complaints if people don’t receive the requested information,” said Phan Barmey, senior program manager at the Advocacy and Policy Institute (API).

The law has been in the works since 2007, but didn’t pick up steam until UNESCO established a memorandum of understanding with the government in the wake of the 2013 elections.

UNESCO earmarked a three-year time period for the law’s completion. Currently, a committee of officials from the Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Justice, UNESCO and a handful of CSOs meet monthly to discuss and review the draft law.

Meanwhile, CSOs are meeting on the sidelines to solidify their proposals and suggestions.

But while many agree that discussions are proceeding transparently, some expressed concern about a lack of independent enforcement mechanisms once the law was adopted.

“We advocated for the government to have an independent commission to oversee the law, but we haven’t seen any signal from the government on how they will react to this,” said Transparency International Cambodia’s Preap Kol. “Political independence is always a concern, which is why we are pushing for a purely independent commission to investigate complaints.”

CSOs will request three separate channels for handling complaints from citizens seeking information: one within the ministries, one with independent bodies, and one through the courts, Barmey added.

UNESCO’s Cambodia representative Anne Lemaistre, meanwhile, said yesterday that, “There will be [UNESCO] monitors to make sure the law is implemented.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The