SEVERAL OFFICERS FROM Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) will be traveling to the island of Santo next week to conduct the Right To Information Public Consultation Forum which is to be held at the Santo VNPF Conference Room on 23 November 2015.

However, prior to this public consultation forum on the Right To Information (RTI) taking place, TIV will get the opportunity to hold a series of civic workshops with the leaders of several communities in urban Luganville and in some of the rural communities.Banner 1

With the assistance of Transparency International Vanuatu’s Sanma Provincial Facilitator, based in Luganville, TIV will get to conduct several workshops on Civic Education, Good Governance, Human Rights, Right To Information and several more.

Furthermore, legal officers from the Advocacy & Legal Advice Centre (ALAC), which is a project under TIV, will be in Santo during that same period to talk about how victims of corruption can lodge a corruption complaint with the ALAC.

An ALAC booth will be erected alongside the workshop locations to receive corruption complaints from members of the public. A Corruption Complaint Box will also be available to the public to slot in their complaints for further perusals by the ALAC Team if they prefer this option, otherwise the TIV Team is inviting members of the public in Luganville, and Santo, to drop by for a chat and to ask for further information and exedra.

Students who are doing assignments, or are interested in fields related to the above mentioned workshops, are also encouraged to get in touch with the TIV Team to get the information th
at they need.

The key reason behind this tour is specifically to organise the Right To Information Public Consultation which will be held at the Santo VNPF Conference Room. It is to make aware to the public the benefits of having an RTI Law in Vanuatu. As part of this tour the recently established Right To Information Unit in Port Vila will also have an officer in Santo to do a presentation on the contents of the RTI bill which currently in draft.

The Vanuatu Right To Information Policy was launched in 2014. It commits the government to release information to the public, subject to certain exceptions protective of a number of interests such as national security, personal information and privacy, and certain commercial information.

A RTI bill has been drafted and the Government is now taking steps to implement the Right To Information Policy.

In support of citizenry privileges, the RTI Policy states that the “Right to Information means that persons and organizations have a legally recognized right to request and obtain access to information, subject to limited exceptions, from public, and in some in-stances, private bodies performing public functions.”(National RTI Policy 2013 – 2018)

Furthermore, citizens will have the right to access and correct all personal information held by public and private bodies about themselves. The importance of having the right to information is because it is the foundation of the development of a nation and a symbol for an open society.

The RTI will also promote openness, transparency and accountability in the functioning of every public authority. It supports and protects human rights and makes citizens a part of decision making. And most importantly it is a tool to reduce corruption in Vanuatu.

It is also important because as citizens we need to have access to information so that we can make the right decisions for the development of our communities and for Vanuatu. TIV is inviting all interested members of the public in Luganville to come and be a part of the consultation process at the VNPF Conference Room on the mentioned date, and to join TIV during other workshops that will be held during the adjacent days.

For further information regarding this activity please contact us; Tel: 25715, Email: transparency@vanuatu.com.vu.

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