OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
The commission shall receive complaints on failure to abide by provisions of the Act and after review, within fifteen working days order that:
The request for information be rejected
The public authority comply with its obligations under the Act .
Any person who obstructs access, compliance, or destroys a record with intent to deny access deliberately, or conceals or falsifies records or interferes with the work of the commission shall be guilty of an offence.
Any person who provides wrong information in order to deny access to information shall also be guilty of an offence
Any person or organization who commits the above offences is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Ten Million Leones for an individual, and one Hundred million Leone for a corporate body, or a term of imprisonment not exceeding One year or both.
Information is not exempted by the RAI Act if the public interest in accessing the information outweighs the harm which the exemption seeks to prevent.
Disclosure by a public Authority of the following information is exempted by this Act, consistent with international best practices :
Information is reasonably accessible to the applicant e.g. published.
Adversely affect National Security and the Defense of Sierra Leone
Seriously prejudice relations between Sierra Leone and other states or inter-governmental bodies.
Seriously prejudices the ability of the Government to manage the economy
Seriously prejudice the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension and prosecution of offenders or matters that are subjudice
Could constitute a breach of confidence of third parties actionable by them.
Legally privileged information.
A trade secret or commercial interest obtained by the public authority from a third party.
Seriously prejudice the commercial interests of a public authority.
A certified ongoing need for historical records to be kept confidential.
Any matter concerning the traditional rights or customary usage of a group of people in Sierra Leone.
Information which is exempted by this Act , but part of a general record, not exempted
Any person who fails to get a positive response to a request for information can complain to an internal appeals mechanism, where available, or complain to the RAIC for review and enforcement.
The RAIC can, compel the Public Authorities or private bodies to comply with the RAI Act within Fifteen day or face appropriate penalties..
The Right to Access Information Commission has :
The powers of a High court to: administer oaths, order the release information, impose fines, imprisonment or both.
Has powers to conduct any investigation for enforcement of the Act.
Powers to utilize the services of any official or investigation agency of the government