A three days capacity Building Training on the Right to Access Information Act is underway at the Radison Blu Hotel in Freetown. The Training organized by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OJI) in collaboration with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and the Right to Access Information Commission, brought together Staff of the Right to Access Information Commission all over the country under one roof in a high level Advocacy engagement on Compliance and Implementation of the Act in Sierra Leone.
Declaring the training open, the Minister of Information and Communications, Hon Mohamed Raman Swarray said the he had had discussions with the leadership of the RAIC where they agreed the need for organizational functional Review sprouting from the lack of adequate support staff and the ability to hire among others.
He said even with the best of intentions, the lack of the requisite skills, manpower and commitment will result to the waste of government resources and fruitless endeavors which is why he is, on behalf of the government assuring the RAIC of two things; Government’s support the resuscitation and rejuvenation of the RAIC, and his personal support to human resource capacity which he has been doing for the past year and hope there will be fruitful deliberations over the couple of days.
Earlier welcoming participant at the three day training, the chairman and Information Commissioner of RAIC, Dr. Ibrahim Seaga Shaw, said the training is an opportunity for the commission to look at its strengths and Challenges and building on them and help commission staff to have the skills to perform at the highest level. The chairman added that there are existing gaps that the training opportunity will identify in the resources and capabilities in carrying out the mandate of the commission and will help learn about international best practices in the implementation of right to access information and help in solving complex problems relating to the implementation of the right to access information.
Key facilitators Maxwell Kadiri of the Open Society Justice Initiative reflected his first training of RAIC Staff in 2016, where they came up with several resolutions that were later presented to the then Minister of information and Communications who made commitment to ensure the full implementation of those outcome which were sadly never met. He expressed optimism that this new government will ensure that they meet whatever solutions that will be proffered at the end of the three days
Representatives from the sponsors, OSIWA and PFMICP pledged their continued commitment to support the work of the RAIC whose work is a top priority for government and look forward to what the couple of days will unfold. Topics as the State of Compliance /implementation of the law was handled by the Executive Secretary Hon. Mustapha Braima, Existing Challenges to effective implementation of the RAIC in Sierra Leone Proactive Disclosure of information was handled by the commissioner West-Yeama Thompson, whilst expert Maxwell Kadiri and Dr. Olalade Olakitan Shyllon will take the commission staff through Global best Practices on RTI, Revised Draft ACHPR Declaration of principal on FoE and ATI among other interesting topics will come be covered.
It is believed that staff of RAIC after these three days training will be well capacitated to perform their functions effectively and efficiently.
FROM RAIC MEDIA TEAM