The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gregory Coleman has stressed the importance of access to information, and admonished officers of the LNP to be prepared to account for their actions in the discharge of their duties.
He said it is the right of the public to know and to be informed about police functions.
Director Coleman said access to information is a fundamental human right as it increases transparency and government accountability, while allowing citizens to participate in matters affecting them.
Coleman, according to an LNP release yesterday, said the Freedom of Information Law (FOI) is essential and promotes transparency in the public and private sectors, while withholding information from the public creates doubt and promotes a confidence crisis in the workings of any institution.
Director Coleman said, “Access to information is something that has to be at hand like access to justice, and we will do all within my power to promote the FOI within the Liberia National Police.”
IGP Coleman maintained that access to information is a critical component of any democratic process, and denying people their right to know constitutes a violation of their human rights.
He told a Carter Center sponsored workshop on the FOI Law held at the headquarters of the LNP that it is unfair to withhold information from members of the public on grounds of secrecy, stressing that under his watch the public will be furnished with needed information in line with the FOI Law.
He said the LNP will only deny a requester of needed information if it falls under exemptions as enshrined within the FOI Law.
He cautioned his men to desist from acts that have the propensity to undermine the credibility of the police.
The project lead at the Carter Center, P. Alphonso Zeon, lauded the IGP for affording them the opportunity to speak to police officers on the importance of the Freedom of Information Law.
Zeon said the LNP has been outstanding in its cooperation with the Carter Center in the provision of information to the public.
He recounted the LNP’s involvement in the recently held information fair at the Ministry of Information, adding that the information provided at the fair was of great interest to the public.