Chaguanas chamber joins chorus against FOIA amendments

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 10:00

The Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) has joined the voices of non-governmental organizations, other professional bodies and citizens, calling for the postponement of the passage of the proposed amendments to the Freedom of Information Act Chap 22:02.
The Chamber said in a statement Tuesday that there has been no consultation with stakeholders on the introduction of the proposed legislation in Parliament.
"We are especially concerned with the enlarged time frame for the access of important information from the State and the role of the Attorney General in dealing with applications for the request of information," the CCIC said.
It said that the Freedom of Information Act has been one of the most important pieces of legislation that has been passed in Trinidad Tobago in furtherance of our participatory democracy.

It added that as such, any amendments require the voices of the citizens to be heard.

The Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed amend­ments to the Freedom of Information Act will give pub­lic bod­ies 90 days to re­spond to a re­quest for in­for­ma­tion.

The pre­vi­ous time al­lowed for a re­sponse was 30 days.

The Bill al­so pro­posed that the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al would be the Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for re­spond­ing to FOIA re­quests.