Right To Know (R2K), Nigeria and the Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR) have launched a Freedom of Information portal designed to receive electronic FOI requests to the bureau.
Being the first of its kind by any public institution in Nigeria, the innovative website has made it possible for the BPSR to fulfill its various obligations under the FOI Act to promote openness and facilitate public access to information and documents held by the institution.
While handing over the re-designed website to BPSR, R2K’s Coordinator, Ene Nwankpa stated that BPSR as the major government institution that drives reforms among public institutions in Nigeria, has demonstrated an exemplary and bold approach that nothing negative occurs when a public institution opens up its operations to more public access and scrutiny, this ingenuity should be followed suit by all public institutions in Nigeria.
“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.” Dr. Joe Abah, Director General of the BPSR stated.
The initiative is supported by the MacArthur Foundation which is part of an on-going partnership between BPSR and R2K.
The FOI Portal will allow the public submit real time online FOI requests, receive feedback and has also made provision for appeals as well as reviewing cases of any wrongful denial of information by BPSR officials.
R2K Nigeria and BPSR called upon all public institutions in Nigeria to commence similar processes that would facilitate their easy compliance with the provisions of the FOI Act, which would help enshrine a culture of openness, facilitate public access to information and improve governance in Nigeria.