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… Access to Information BillThe Guyana Media Proprietors Association (GMPA) has expressed concerns over the short time frame allowed the public to review the Access to Information Bill 2011.The Bill, seen as an information piece of legislation to improve transparency and accountability by any ruling government,China Jerseys Free Shipping, was recently tabled in the National Assembly but was sent to aSpecial Select Committee for review.“The GMPA deplores the very short time frame imposed for submissions on such an important and long-awaited matter,China Jerseys, and strongly urges the Committee to extend the deadline for written interventions.  Nevertheless,Authentic Jerseys China, the association has moved swiftly in order to place its views on the record,” a statement from the body said.Welcoming the Bill, the GMPA admitted that while there are many positive aspects to the Bill, there are serious concerns.“…The proposed legislation also contains several elements which are at variance with best practices elsewhere,NFL Jerseys Cheap, and have the potential to work against the very freedom of information which the Bill is intended to protect and enhance.“Chief among these are the overly numerous and broad exclusions and exemptions proposed in the Bill, and the insufficient powers and independence of the proposed position of Commissioner of Information.”GMPA explained that any Access to Information legislation stands or falls on the extent to which it does or does not cast its net as widely as possible.“The public’s right to know is a fundamental value, which even in our “post-WikiLeaks” era must take precedence over governments’ natural desire to keep their secrets safe from prying eyes.”The Bill, GMPA argued, makes the newly created position of Commissioner of Information responsible for ensuring public access to information.“This can only happen if he or she has the necessary tools to do the job, and is able to function in a way that is independent from the government of the day; given his/her appointment would require consultation with the Leader of the Opposition,Paul Kariya Ducks Throwback Jersey, in addition to two-thirds majority votes from the National Assembly.”The media body made it clear that unless these issues are addressed before the Bill becomes law, it will be open to serious questions as to its credibility and efficacy.“This is Guyana’s unique opportunity to “get it right” with regard to this very important component of participatory democracy.  The only thing worse than the absence of any Access to Information legislation would be the existence of a deeply flawed Access to Information law,NFL Jerseys China, based on the present Bill,” GMPA warned.GMPA is a not-for-profit professional association, whose membership is open to all media houses in the country:  print and broadcast, both state and privately owned.
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