Law Association calls for talks on FOIA amendment

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    Parliament is scheduled to today debate the Miscellaneous Provisions NPO Bill 2019, which seeks to amend the Freedom of Information Act.

    This aims to extend the period within which a public authority is required to inform an applicant of its decision in relation to a request for information, from 30 to 90 days.

    The Attorney General says it is a money-saving move and there is no attempt to undermine transparency.

    However, there is a mass appeal by several local bodies including the Law Association to postpone the debate, and have public consultation on the proposed amendment first.

    The Trinidad Guardian reported that LATT said the FOIA has become a cornerstone in civil society’s effort to hold public authorities to account.

    “The association said any such substantive changes ought to be considered after the views of key stakeholders are widely canvassed and thoroughly ventilated.”

    Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says they will voice its own dissent of the amendments today, as they too, do not support it.