The International Press Centre (IPC) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has launched an online voting platform for Nigerians to vote for the public institution adjudged to be the most responsive to requests for information from members of the public under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
The public institutions to be voted must have adopted innovative and access-friendly practices and procedures to ensure the public’s right of access to information in the country.
In a press statement jointly issued by IPC and MRA, it was mentioned that the online voting exercise, which begins today November 29 and closes at midnight on Sunday, December 5, 2021, is the final selection process for the conferment of a “Public Institution FOI Best Practice Recognition” Award under the Public Institutions Category in the National Freedom of Information Awards.
The entities short-listed for online voting for the Public Institution FOI Best Practice Recognition Award are the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ), the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).
IPC’s Executive Director, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, explained the rationale for the public voting saying: “We have decided to open up the process of selecting a winner in the Public Institutions Category to the Nigerian public because we believe that members of the public who have a right of access to information under the FOI Act should be the ultimate deciders, based on their personal experiences or from the information available to them, of how well each of the public institutions at the top of our performance indicators have done in providing information to the public and in the general implementation of the Act.”
Members of the public can indicate their choice of public institutions for the Award in this category by voting at: https://bit.ly/311auJc
The National Freedom of Information Awards is initiated by IPC and MRA as part of activities to commemorate the 10th year anniversary of the FOI Act. The commemoration of the 10th year anniversary of the FOI Act is supported by the European Union through component 4b: Support to Media of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) Project.
The FOI Awards will also recognize individuals and organizations that have made the highest number of FOI requests between May 29, 2015 and October 31, 2021.