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Fijians Can Now Access Information From Agencies And Govt Ministries

Fijians Can Now Access Information From Agencies And Govt Ministries
May 17
11:03 2018

The Act now gives effect to sections 25 and 150 of the 2013 Fijian Constitution

Fijians can now access information from agencies and Government min­istries with the 2016 Information Bill enacted and passed last night in Parlia­ment.

The Information Bill, which gives effect to sections 25 and 150 of the 2013 Fijian Con­stitution to facilitate the right of access to information held by Government and public agencies, received 23 votes for the Bill – 12 did not agree and 10 did not vote.

Section 25 of the Constitution provides for the right of every person to access informa­tion held by Government and to correct or delete false or misleading information that affects a person.

Section 150 of the Constitution provides that a written law shall make provision for the exercise by a member of the public of the right to access official information and documents held by Government and its agencies.

The Information Bill was a fulfilment of the requirement to enact legislation giving effect to sections 25 and 150 of the Fijian Constitution.

National Federation Party Opposition MP Biman Prasad did not support the Bill.

He said he had issues with the Bill because it was only concerned with information for a particular pers on or individual and there were no provision otherwise.

He was also concerned with the public in­terest, transparency and accountability.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-Gen­eral Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum said people who were making decisions about Fijians would now have to be cautious and they could be called out.

He said the Permanent Secretaries and any organisation could now be aware of infor­mation and by this civil servants could now be cautious, decisions could now be seen and people could know how they arrived to certain decisions. He said the Act opened a new chapter for Fijians as never before.

Meanwhile, the Community Based-Correc­tions Bill was also passed and enacted in Parliament last night with the support of all MPs.

The Act now legislates community-based sentence options for courts in Fiji. The prin­ciple objective of this Act was to provide for the administration of a community-based corrections system that contributes to the maintenance of a just society by:

  • Providing the courts with a range of sentencing options and the means for deal­ing with offenders, other than by imprison­ment;
  • establishing conditions so that the reha­bilitation of offenders may be promoted or facilitated;
  • reducing re-offending by managing the rehabilitation of offenders and their reinte­gration into society;
  • providing useful and timely information to courts to assist them in making decisions relating to the rehabilitation and reintegra­tion of offenders;
  • ensuring that community-based correc­tions sentences are administered in a fair and effective manner; and
  • promoting community participation and volunteerism in the rehabilitation and rein­tegration of offenders.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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