The Parliamentary Committee on Media, Information and Communications has commended the Tobacco Commission for orienting its staff on the Access to Information Act (ATIA).
Speaking when she opened a one-day ATIA orientation workshop for the commission’s management in Lilongwe on Thursday, Committee Chairperson Hon. Susan Dossi said the training was an important step taken by the regulator and encouraged it to ensure implementation.
“It is not just about orienting staff, which we are here for, but the Commission should also ensure that there are the necessary infrastructure, budget and processes within the organisation for effective implementation of the ATIA,” said Hon. Dossi.
“Access to information is a fundamental right which establishes that everyone can access information from public bodies including the Tobacco Commission.”
TC Director of Human Resources and Administration Mr Evans Chilumpha said the institution considered the orientation very important.
“A lot of people in Malawi are interested in what we do as Tobacco Commission. So, we need to ensure we make the information that we hold accessible to the public. The orientation is also part of our compliance with the law,” said Mr Chilumpha.
The Access to Information law was passed in parliament in December 2016 and was operationalized in September 2020.
The orientation workshop was facilitated by the Malawi Human Rights Commission.