25 Aug 2009

Cooks deputy PM urges OIA propagation

2:32 pm on 25 August 2009

The Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister says the Official Information Act should be applied across the Pacific to reduce corruption.

The Cook Islands was the first Pacific Islands country to pass legislation with its Official Information Act coming into effect in February this year.

The Ombudsman, who administers the Act, has phased in the law to allow staff in the various ministries and councils to be trained in what their responsibilities are under the change.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Terepai Maoate, says it is working well and similar legislation would help other countries in the region to ensure accountability and transparency.

"I think the idea of the Official Information Act has been recommended to all governments as complying with law and order and accountability. Because a lot of us in the Pacific should really have this Official Information Act in place to help us to guide us and to keep us on track to do the right thing."

Sir Terepai Maoate says they are now working on a media standards bill which will lead to the setting up of a Media Commission.