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Cabinet Approves Access to Information Bill to Promote Transparency and Accountability

Information and Media Minister Chushi Kasanda

The Cabinet has granted initial approval for the introduction of the Access to Information Bill in the Parliament, marking a significant step towards promoting transparency, accountability, and curbing corruption. Chief Government Spokesperson, Chushi Kasanda, made the announcement following the 12th Cabinet Meeting held at State House to address key developmental policies and legislative matters.

Once enacted into law, the Access to Information Bill aims to empower citizens with easy access to information from both public and relevant private bodies. The bill is envisioned to be a powerful tool in preventing corruption, countering misinformation, and debunking falsehoods that may hinder the nation’s progress.

Addressing the media, Ms. Kasanda emphasized that the government’s decision to push for the Access to Information Bill reflects its commitment to open governance and a desire to foster a more informed and engaged citizenry. By granting the public greater access to information, the government seeks to enhance public trust and strengthen democratic institutions.

In addition to the Access to Information Bill, the Cabinet has also given the green light for the publication and introduction of the 2023 Public-Private Partnership Bill in the Parliament. This bill is set to play a crucial role in bolstering the institutional framework for the implementation of Public-Private Partnership projects in the country. By creating a more robust framework, the government aims to attract private investment, foster innovation, and accelerate economic development.

Furthermore, the Cabinet has approved the introduction of the 2023 Public Procurement Amendment Bill, which seeks to bring about essential reforms in the public procurement process. Among its objectives, the bill aims to streamline the procurement process, introduce restrictions on subcontracts for procurement of works, and extend subcontracts to local bidders. These reforms are expected to enhance efficiency, promote local participation, and ensure the fair allocation of contracts.

Keeping in line with the government’s commitment to technological advancements, the Cabinet has also approved the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy and its Implementation Plan. The new ICT Policy will serve as a comprehensive roadmap to update the 2006 version, ensuring that the country is well-equipped to navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape. The policy will lay the groundwork for harnessing the full potential of technology in various sectors, driving innovation, and bridging the digital divide.

Finally, the Cabinet has granted approval for the appointment of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) Council. The appointment of this council will play a crucial role in overseeing legal education and maintaining professional standards in the legal sector. It highlights the government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that legal professionals are well-trained and equipped to serve the nation.