Policy Alert holds a one-day training for Capacity Building On Freedom Of Information(FOI) Act 2011 for Ministry/Departments/Agencies.
Policy Alert delivered a very successful training on “Utilising the Freedom of Information Act (2011) as a tool for Combating Public Sector Corruption in Akwa Ibom State.” The activity is a component of the Strengthening Citizens Resistance against the Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C) being implemented by Actionaid Nigeria in six states.
SCRAP-C is about mobilising and strengthening demand-side actors, but it has been observed that demand without knowledge on the supply side is often ineffective. To this end, about Thirty-five (35) FOI Desk Officers and other staff from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were trained to enable them proactively provide information and more effectively respond to FoI requests by citizens.
The nexus between official secrecy and corruption in the public sector was highlighted. Misconceptions relating to the applicability of the FOI Act at the subnational level and the limits of the Official Secrets Act under the FoI regime were dispelled.
In the end, several commitments were made towards blocking corruption through improved access to information. The imperative of proactive disclosure and the need to establish FOI desks at all MDAs was emphasized. In addition, participants were trained on the Dos and Don’ts of responding to FOI requests alongside the obligations of requested institutions under the Act.
We encourage citizens to test the value of this training by sending more FoI requests.