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Public input touted for access to information draft law

A person browses the internet at a cafe in Phnom Penh.
A person browses the internet at a cafe in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Public input touted for access to information draft law

Public officials and stakeholders drafting new access to information legislation listened yesterday as speakers underlined the importance of incorporating public feedback into the long-awaited law.

First flagged almost 10 years ago, the proposed bill is being created by a joint technical working group consisting of Ministry of Information officials, UNESCO and civil society groups.

At a workshop in Phnom Penh, which finishes today, participants discussed how to absorb and include public contributions to the bill, many of which will arrive via a new website that allows direct feedback to the current draft.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said the team would try to speed up the drafting of the “important” law, scheduled for completion in 2018.

According to UNESCO communication specialist Jamie Lee, among challenges discussed yesterday was translating people’s specific requests for information from different public sectors into broadly applicable articles.

The collaborative process arose out of a memorandum signed in 2014, which is backed by a $1 million Swedish grant.

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