Govt agrees in principle to enact Freedom of Information Act, says Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR: The Special Cabinet Committee on National Governance (JKKTN) has agreed in principle to the enactment of a Freedom of Information Act to establish clear parameters and guidelines to give the public access to information from public bodies and the government, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Prime Minister said this was among matters discussed in the JKKTN meeting, which was previously known as the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption, that was chaired by him at the Parliament building on Thursday (Sept 14).

"The meeting also took note of the 18 resolutions from the two sessions of the National Level Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Research Conference in 2022 and 2023 which presented recommendations for improvement from a legal and policy perspective related to governance, integrity and anti-corruption.

"The government will continue to implement good governance empowerment efforts to support the development of the country in line with the desire to develop a civilised Malaysia," he said in a Facebook post Thursday night.

Anwar said the JKKTN meeting discussed the country's commitment to continue strengthening governance in the administrative system, specifically through two main shifts, namely institutional framework governance and corruption-related legislation.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), in a statement, said that in line with the meeting's decision regarding the Freedom of Information Act, the Official Secrets Act 1972 (Act 88) will also be amended accordingly.

It said this step was taken to ensure that the delivery of public services can be improved and to encourage the involvement of the people in the process of national policy formation.

Besides this, the PMO said that the meeting also agreed to enact the Government Procurement Bill to strengthen governance of government procurement by law with the aim of increasing the accountability of parties involved in the process.

"The meeting also agreed that the principle of transparency should be taken into account in the Government Procurement Bill that will be enacted by creating a complaint and objection mechanism in line with international standards,” the statement read further.

The PMO mentioned that in order to ensure that subsidiaries established under statutory bodies are administered more professionally based on good governance principles, supervision aspects need to be paid attention to.

"The meeting agreed that the existing and new legal framework should be examined towards the practice of good governance among entities that have government interests,” the statement read. - Bernama

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