About 60 members of the Cambodian Parliament convened yesterday to discuss a policy paper urging the adoption of a draft law on Access to Information during a workshop in Phnom Penh.
Tep Ngorn, second vice president of the Senate, said that access to information was one of the most important components to promoting human rights and democracy in Cambodia.
“I think that access to information is a major way to stimulate transparency and participation from the public with the aim of developing the country,” he said.
The workshop, titled “Access to Information and the Cambodian Parliament”, was organized by the Advocacy and Policy Institute.
Neb Sinthay, director of the institute, said the law on Access to Information was particularly important for members of the media to be able to report accurately on information from the government and the private sector.
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said the government had been working on the issue since 2004, when it wrote a draft policy paper on freedom of information, finalised in 2007, which served as a framework for a draft law.
“Recently, the [policy paper] on the Access to Information law has been openly discussed by civil society and state institutions, and has also drawn the attention of state institutions, the National Assembly and donors,” he said.
“We hope that the draft will be forwarded to the office of the Council of Ministers for considerations soon.”
Khieu Kanharith added that the paper was currently at the Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection.