The Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) is committed to building a reliable and trustworthy evidence-based information/data management system to support policy-making and service delivery across the public service. To achieve this, it requires an integrated records and information management strategy linked to a sound legal and organisational structure and a capacity-building programme.
In keeping with this background, the Government recently passed the Right to Access information Act 2013. The new law now provides a legal right to all Sierra Leonean citizens and corporate institutions to access any information held by a public body as well as information held by private organizations when such information is necessary for the enforcement of rights. Classified information, especially of a security and defence nature, and not in the general public interest or covered by legal instruments are exempted from unlimited access. This is expected to be a tool for controlling corruption, supporting accountability and transparency, enforcing rights and enabling a free flow of information, engendering trust between institutions of government and citizens and strengthening the democratic process. Parliament unanimously passed the bill, which now guarantees all citizens the right to seek or have access to information and which constitutes one of the essential elements of good governance, freedom of speech and expression, hallmarks of a democratic dispensation. Trusted information will support this effort only if the information exists and is accessible.