1 Jul 2008

Call for Pacific countries to develop freedom of information laws

1:41 pm on 1 July 2008

An official with the Pacific Islands Forum says each country in the Pacific needs to develop its own freedom of information laws to suit its environment.

The Forum is running a workshop with the UNDP in the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, to make public officials from around the Pacific region aware of the benefits that FOI laws would bring.

The regional governance advisor for the Forum, Dr Henry Ivarature says the body accepts it will take years to create a whole different mindset.

But he says they are not looking for standardised legislation.

"What we are hoping to work is for different Pacific Island countries to develop policies and legislation that reflect their unique environment situations. A classic example - the basic infrastructure we would want for the implementation of effective FOI is still rudimentary in many countries. So we want to appreciate that while we want to promote the concept."

Dr Henry Ivarature