Public Reforms Bureau Launches Freedom Of Information Portal

The Bureau for Public Service Reforms, BPSR, made history on Wednesday as it became the first government agency in the country to launch a digital portal designed to receive requests under the Freedom of Information Act, FOIA, 2011.

The portal which would be hosted on the bureau’s redesigned website was launched at a ceremony held at the agency’s offices in Abuja.

The portal would enable the bureau which is driving reforms in the public sector to fulfil its obligations under the Act, including making proactive disclosures of public information in its care.

The new FOI Portal will also allow the public submit requests real time, receive feedbacks, make appeals as well as enable the bureau review cases of any wrongful denial of information by its officials.

The redesigning of the BPSR to incorporate the access to information portal was made possible by R2K, a nongovernmental organisation which advocates access to information and strict implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.

While handing over the re-designed website to BPSR, R2K’s coordinator, Ene Nwankpa observed that it was apt that the bureau which is driving public service reform is the first to develop such a portal and advised other government agencies to follow suit.

She said that the bureau had “demonstrated an exemplary and bold approach that nothing negative occurs when a public institution opens up it’s operations to more public access and scrutiny, this ingenuity should be followed suit by all public institutions in Nigeria”.




     

     

    Nwankpa urged other government agencies to commence similar initiatives to facilitate easy compliance with the provisions of the FOI Act and facilitate public access to information, leading to more openness and good governance in Nigeria.

    The Director General of the agency, Joe Abah, expressed pride that the BPSR was the first to undertake such a noble initiative.

    “Initiating reforms and introducing innovations is one of the key functions of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms and we are proud to be the first government agency in Nigeria to have an electronic platform for receiving Freedom of Information requests. BPSR is grateful for the support of R2K on this very laudable initiative,” Abah stated.

    Read Also:

    The Freedom of Information Act was passed in 2011 to create openness in the conduct of government business and facilitate access to public information by the ordinary Nigerian but many government agencies are still struggling to comply with the letters of the law.

     

     

     

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