All Government Ministries to Adopt ATI Act by October 2004


By October 2004, all Government Ministries are expected to come under the ambit of the Access to Information (ATI) Act, which was approved by the Senate last week.
Minister of Information, Senator Burchell Whiteman, told Journalists at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing on Monday (Nov. 3), at Jamaica House, that seven Ministries and agencies were now ready to implement the Act after it has been gazetted.
While unable to say the exact date of implementation, the Minister disclosed that it should be done shortly. The seven are the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), the National Works Agency (NWA), the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Office of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Office.
Senator Whiteman said that phase two of the implementation process would see the Accountant General’s Department, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Bank of Jamaica, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the Ministries of Commerce, Science and Technology; Health; Water and Housing; Education, Youth and Culture adopting the Act in May, 2004.
Mr. Whiteman informed that phase three of the exercise would involve another five Ministries implementing the Act by August 2004. The Ministries include, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Transport and Works, Justice, National Security, and Labour and Social Security.
Phase four will see the Ministries of Industry and Tourism and Land and Environment implementing the Act.

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