The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 2011 establishes the right of any person to access or request information which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency, or institution.
The Bureau aims to make public records and information more freely available to the public, subject to the provisions of the FOIA.
Under the FOIA, public institutions must routinely and regularly publish certain information. This obligation is separate from the duty to make information available in response to applications for information under the Act.
Accordingly, the Bureau is committed to:
- Making public records and information more freely available
- Proactive, periodic disclosure of certain information
- Providing for public access to public records and information
- Protecting public records and information to the extent consistent with the public interest and the protection of personal privacy
- Protecting serving public officers from adverse consequences of disclosing certain kinds of official information without authorization
The task of effectively discharging the proactive disclosure obligation under FOIA or responding to requests for information promptly is a shared responsibility within the Bureau.
However, the Bureau manages compliance with its FOIA obligations through an FOI Committee, which comprises of staff drawn from different departments and functions. The FOI Committee, is chaired by the Bureau’s FOIA Desk Officer, and is mandated to:
- Ensure the proactive disclosure of relevant information, periodically
- Prepare and submit the annual FOI Report for the preceding year to the Attorney-General of the Federation on or before 1st February each year.
- Ensure that the Bureau’s annual FOI Report is made available to the public.
- Review of FOIA applications for access to information and records.
- Ensure that applications are brought to the notice of the appropriate departments, divisions or units within the Bureau as quickly as possible.
- Liaise with other departments, divisions and units in the Bureau to address requests.
- Consult, where necessary, with other stakeholders internally and externally on FOIA-related matters.
- Ensure the appropriate timely response to all requests in collaboration, as appropriate.
- Determine the standard charges for document duplication and fees transcription where necessary for responding to any request.
- Record all FOI requests and the action(s) taken.