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Access to Information

Kofi Annan said "Information is a great democratising power, allowing us a
chance to conduct change and alleviate poverty."

 

Cambodia currently does not have an access to information law. The Access to Information Law development campaign will encourage a culture of better public access to public institutions, public information and the legislative process that will encourage the Royal Government of Cambodia and the National Assembly to adopt an international standard a Rights Access to Information Law.

 

As Cambodian taxpayers and voters the Cambodian people have the right to
access public information: this right is guaranteed by the Constitution of Cambodia.

 

What are the benefits of a Right Access to Information Law?

 

The Cambodian people -

  • Access to public services information.
  • Access to information about requests (e.g. for identity cards, birth
    certificates, etc.) to authorities.
  • Access to information on public expenditure for projects.

Members of Parliament -

  • Better access to information held by public institutions on development
    projects, business contracts with companies, public expenditure, etc.
  • More access to information held by public institutions such as the Ministry
    of Expenditure required by the National Audit Authority.
  • Improved access to information held by public bodies needed for investigation.

The Media -

  • Increased access to public information for reporting in publications.
  • More accurate reporting as public officials cannot hide public information.

The Private sector -

  • Access to information regarding public bidding, development projects, etc.
  • Access to information on the economy, investments, tax policies, laws, and other
    information useful for business.

Civil Society Organisations -

  • Access to information regarding public policy held by public bodies.

 

In August 2007 the Royal Government of Cambodia under leadership of the Ministry
of National Assembly Senate Relation and Inspection (MONASRI) completed the
Rights Access to Information Policy Paper. Today all eleven political parties, including the Cambodian People's Party say they have the political will and commitment to pass the Rights Access to Information Law in the next fourth-mandate Government.

 

These are very positive indications. We, civil society organisations, encourage the
new Government and will fully support further actions towards this new law.

 

We, civil society organisations, look forward to actively working with the new
Government to ensure full participation and support from all stakeholders in passing the Rights Access to Information Law. We also call for national and international organisations, donors, Embassies and foreign Governments to join hands and support this process both technically and financially.

 

The Advocacy and Policy Institute in conjunction with Article 19 have produced a
legal analysis on the draft law on access to information see below:

Cambodia: Draft Law on Access to Information
September 2011 (English)

Cambodia: Draft Law on Access to Information
September 2011 (Khmer)

 

An assessment study of Access to Information and the Cambodian
Parliament was conducted in December 2010 by API and can be viewed
here.