Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - First of nine chapters agreed on for draft information law



First of nine chapters agreed on for draft information law

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith. AKP

First of nine chapters agreed on for draft information law

An inter-ministerial meeting to review the draft Access to Information Law led by Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith on Thursday reached an agreement on the first of nine chapters.

The process to draft the law, to include 38 articles over nine chapters, began in 2013.

The Ministry of Information is leading the draft procedure with the participation of Unesco, the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Club of Cambodian Journalists and civil society organisations.

Meas Sophorn, the under-secretary of state and spokesman for the Ministry of Information, said the Access to Information Law draft review had achieved good results.

“We have achieved one chapter and our committee has set subsequent dates for meetings at the appropriate time. It is a good sign that the main relevant [groups] reached an agreement and approval on one chapter of the draft law,” Sophorn said.

Minister of Information Kanharith said the government handed his ministry the task of drafting the Access to Information Law in November 2013, with consultations with relevant groups, including journalists.

In February 2015, the Ministry of Information cooperated with Unesco in Cambodia to create a technical working group called TWGA21 for discussions on the draft law, with financial support from the UN body.

Sophorn said the Ministry of Information will put in place procedures to speed up the draft process.

Pen Bona, president of Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ), said the completion of the chapter showed the process of drafting the Access to Information Law was moving forward.

It will subsequently go to the Council of Ministers for a decision, before being sent to the National Assembly for approval.

“It is good to see that the law has moved forward. This law is important for the public as well as journalists as it requires authorities to provide information as requested and reply within a particular timeframe."

“In the past, it was up to the authorities whether or not they supplied information,” Bona said.

The president of the Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia Huy Vannak said: “The Ministry of Information has drafted a law that is useful for both sides, especially to ensure access to information for journalists so they can serve the public interest.”

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he