The Centre for Law and Democracy has published its analysis of the draft Kenyan Freedom of Information Bill. The draft Bill was prepared following a wide stakeholder consultation in November 2011, and it represents a harmonised version of earlier government and civil society drafts. It is hoped that the current process will finally bring to fruition the long-standing campaign for right to information legislation in Kenya
The draft Bill has a number of strengths, including its wide scope, the narrow regime of exceptions and the establishment of an independent and powerful oversight body. A number of CLD’s recommendations are fairly technical in nature, and should be relatively uncontroversial to implement. Some of our key recommendations are:
• The rules on access to information held by private bodies should be better integrated into the law.
• The right of access should apply to everyone, not just citizens.
• The scope of the proactive publication obligations should be extended.
• Some of the exceptions should be further limited.
• It should be clear that public authorities bear the burden of proof in appeals against their decisions.
• The rules on punishment for obstruction of access should be extended.
• A full system for improving record management standards should be put in place.
You can find a version of the draft Bill here:
The Freedom of Information Bill, 2012