8 Feb 2017

Right to information becomes law in Vanuatu

10:03 am on 8 February 2017

Vanuatu journalists are preparing their first requests under Vanuatu's new freedom of information rules.

A retiring Vanuatu media pioneer says he believes there will always be a need for mainstream media in the country.

Vanuatu Daily Post Photo: FB

The Right to Information Act was gazetted yesterday establishing an Information Commissioner and putting Vanuatu alongside 105 countries around the world with similar legislation.

The Media Director of the Vanuatu Daily Post Dan McGarry said he had asked his journalists to test the system and to put in requests for information.

He said questions still hung over how the law will be implemented and there was a possibility bureaucrats could drag out requests.

"I think there's some room for abuse that might be tightened up in the future but by and large as a piece of legislation, it's a really really significant piece of policy for the government and we do applaud it."

The law will be rolled out over the next two years.