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Tanzania: Analysis of Right to Information Bill

"Elephant and Kilimanjaro" by Charles Asik from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“Elephant and Kilimanjaro” by Charles Asik from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) has prepared an analysis of Tanzania’s draft Access to Information Act, which was released by the government recently. The draft Act follows up on the Tanzanian government’s commitment at the October 2013 London Summit of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to adopt a right to information law. It scored 91 points on a quick assessment using the RTI Rating, which would put it in 42nd position globally out of the 102 countries which currently feature on the RTI Rating website.

“We welcome the fact that Tanzania is moving forward with this important piece of legislation”, said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “While the draft Act has some strengths, we believe that more needs to be done to ensure that it reflects international standards in this area.”

Click here for the Analysis
Click here for a copy of the draft Law

The draft Act has a number of positive features, including its relatively broad scope, fairly narrow regime of exceptions and the fact that it allocates an oversight role to the independent Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance. At the same time, it has a number of weaknesses and fails to come up to the level of many of the newer generation of right to information laws. Among other problems, it suffers from a lack of detail in relation to requesting and appeals procedures and it includes only a small number of promotional measures.

CLD urges the government of Tanzania to review the draft Act with a view to amending it to bring it more fully into line with international standards.

For further information, please contact:

Toby Mendel
Executive Director
Centre for Law and Democracy
Email: toby@law-democracy.org
+1 902 997 1296
twitter: @law_democracy

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