PM orders implementation of access to information law


In August 2017, Acting Vanuatu Prime Minister Joe Natuman signed an order for the implementation of the access to information law. Vanuatu enacted the Right To Information Act (RTI) in 2016 but the proper implementation of the law was still pending. The RTI stated that the Minister should specify by official decree "the Government agencies, to which this Act applies". 

The Minister's order now specifies seven government agencies to which the RTI law expressly applies, including the Department of Statistics, Department of Customs, Department of Agriculture, Department of Forestry, Department of Livestock, Department of Tourism, and the Office of the Government’s Chief Information Officer.

The above-mentioned government agencies are obliged to fulfill the purpose of the RTI, including providing access to information held by their respective offices; establishing voluntary and mandatory mechanisms to give the public the right to access to information; and promoting transparency, accountability and national development by "empowering and educating the public to understand and act upon their rights to information in their respective offices and to increase public participation in governance".