Abuja: March 23 2016: Right To Know (R2K), Nigeria and the Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR) today launched the newly re-designed BPSR website (www.bpsr.gov.ng), with a Freedom of Information portal designed to receive electronic FOI requests. This innovative website which is the first of it’s kind by any public institution in Nigeria has made it possible for the BPSR to fulfill it’s various obligations under the FOI Act in order 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 it’s operations to more public access and scrutiny, this ingenuity should be followed suit by all public institutions in Nigeria”.
In his reaction the Director General of the BPSR Dr. Joe Abah stated that “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.”
This initiative, which is supported by the MacArthur Foundation is part of an on-going partnership between BPSR and R2K, Nigeria which is geared towards utilizing information technology for information disclosure, both proactively as well as, on demand. The website’s 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 calls on 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.
BPSR and R2K, Nigeria remain committed to promoting open and democratic government in Nigeria through advocacy for the full implementation of the FOI Act.