New law al­lows pub­lic ac­cess to govt records

The Myanmar Times - - World -

PRES­I­DENT Ro­drigo Duterte has signed a land­mark free­dom of in­for­ma­tion order to al­low the pub­lic full ac­cess to govern­ment records for the first time, his spokesper­son said on July 24, in a move wel­comed by trans­parency ad­vo­cates.

The ex­ec­u­tive order, pro­vid­ing for “full pub­lic dis­clo­sure and trans­parency” by govern­ment agen­cies, was signed by the fire­brand leader on July 23, spokesper­son Martin An­da­nar said, just 25 days af­ter tak­ing of­fice.

Me­dia and watch­dog groups had been de­mand­ing the re­form, the first na­tional free­dom of in­for­ma­tion order, for years.

“This is record-break­ing speed for a land­mark ex­ec­u­tive order be­ing signed,” Mr An­da­nar told re­porters.

Press and anti-cor­rup­tion groups have long cam­paigned for free­dom of in­for­ma­tion to com­bat en­demic cor­rup­tion blight­ing the im­pov­er­ished na­tion.

The order, cov­er­ing all cen­tral govern­ment of­fices, re­quires them to make pub­lic records, meet­ings, re­search and any in­for­ma­tion re­quested by a mem­ber of the pub­lic, ex­cept for mat­ters af­fect­ing na­tional se­cu­rity, Mr An­da­nar said. –

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