He said access to information is a fundamental human right and increases transparency and government accountability, and at the same time allows citizen participation in matters affecting them.
According to a release from the LNP, the Liberian Police chief said the Freedom of Information law is essential and promote transparency in the public and private sectors as withholding information from the public creates doubts and promote confidence crisis in the workings of any institution.
The release followed report by The News newspaper on Wednesday that it had written the Police— evoking the Freedom of Information Act—over information into an investigation surrounding an alleged armed smuggling deal between officials of the Police and a man.
“The access to information is something that has to be at hand like access to justice, and I will do all within my power to promote the FOI in the Liberia National Police,” Inspector General Coleman said in the release.
Coleman maintained that access to information is a critical component of any democratic process, and denying people of their rights to know constitutes a violation of their human rights.
He told a Carter Center-sponsored workshop held at the headquarters of the LNP on the FOI Law that it was unfair to withhold needed information from 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.
The Inspector General of Police cautioned his men to desist from acts that have the propensity to undermine the credibility of the Police service.
For his part, the project lead at the Carter Center, P. Alphonso Zeon lauded the LNP IGP for affording them the opportunity to speak to Police officers on the importance of the Freedom of Information Law.
Zeon said the LNP had 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 fare at the Ministry of Information, adding that the number of information provided at the fare was of great public interest.