OFFICERS FROM TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL VANUATU will be visiting the island of Vanua Lava in the Banks Group this month 15th to the 18th to conduct awareness sessions with communities there. The awareness sessions will focus mainly on the Right To Information (RTI) Bill and on topics surrounding the Vanuatu National Constitution and the different forms of corrupt acts.
Prime Minister Charlot Salwai announced earlier in May he would see to it that the Right To Information (RTI) Bill is taken to parliament for the second time and we hope that it would be for the last time, the first time it was taken to Parliament was in 2014, unfortunately the RTI Bill was withdrawn for further revisions at the last minute. This important announcement by the Head of the Government shows that the government of Charlot Salwai is committed to ensuring that transparency must prevail within the public institutions.
Transparency International Vanuatu’s visit to the islands since late last year has been to promote the Right To Information to the people and to let them know that there is such a Bill in existence, and has been since 2014, therefore it is about time now that the RTI Bill must be listed to be tabled and discussed in the Parliament, and also to be voted in as a national law because it is the interest of the people.
Previous main islands that were visited to talk more on the Right To Information are Santo, Tanna, Malekula, Ambae and including schools around Efate, Luganville, South and East Santo. This month the Transparency International Vanuatu team will be visiting the Banks islands, and again to Santo specifically to the Big Bay area and then back to Port Vila.
WATCH: Right To Information Consultation Tour around Tanna Island.
Transparency International Vanuatu believes that it is important for the citizens from the farthest regions of Vanuatu to be aware of the RTI Bill, and to make good use of it when it becomes law because it would help them in a lot of different ways; to cut down on transportation costs as information would become much more accessible, information like Birth Certificates, Examination Grades, information of public interest, Press Releases and etcetera.
Already interests in the RTI awareness has been expressed by community leaders from other islands and including communities around Efate, community leaders are inviting us to their communities via facebook, face to face meetings, and by phone. Once confirmed requests are received Transparency International Vanuatu will proceed with the planning arrangements, and when the arrangements are ready Transparency International Vanuatu will send out a Team to conduct the RTI awareness’s in those areas that send their requests.
The RTI awareness programs are being financially supported by the Pacific Leadership Program.
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