WANTED: Transperancy! Two Acts that will Save the Country

Didn't you ever dream about knowing all the cunning and mischievous doings of your government or your employer? Didn't you ever dream about publicly telling them off and exposing their nasty little deeds without fear and hesitation? Without losing your job and your social integrity? My friends, this is possible with the immediate enactment of the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act.

What is a Freedom of Information Act?

Freedom of Information legislation are laws that define a legal process by which government information is required to be available to the public. In some countries this freedom to access information is a Constitutional guarantee but it requires other law to support it. The very first article of the UK's Freedom of Information Act 2000 states:
(1) Any person making a request for information to a public authority is entitled—
(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request, and
(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.
The U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law ensuring public access to U.S. government records. FOIA carries a presumption of disclosure; the burden is on the government - not the public - to substantiate why information may not be released. Upon written request, agencies of the United States government are required to disclose those records, unless they can be lawfully withheld from disclosure under one of nine specific exemptions in the FOIA. This right of access is ultimately enforceable in federal court.

Enacted in 1966, The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law that establishes the public's right to obtain information from federal government agencies. The FOIA is codified at 5 U.S.C. Section 552. "Any person" can file a FOIA request, including U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, organizations, associations, and universities. In 1974, after the Watergate scandal, the Act was amended to force greater agency compliance. It was also amended in 1996 to allow for greater access to electronic information.

FACT: Albania, Armenia, Belize, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Georgia, Pakistan Trinidad & Tobago and last but not least...Zimbabwe ALL have a Freedom of Information Act! Malta does not.
What is a Whistleblower?

The whistleblower typically is an employee or former employee or a member of an organization such as a government agency who reports misconduct to the appropriate entities that have the power to take corrective action. Generally such misconduct is a violation of the law or a threat to the public interest such as fraud, health and saftey violations and corruption. With a Whistleblower Protection Act, such persons that expose misconduct are guaranteed protection from victimization and dismissal. The whistleblower DOES NOT have to be involved in the misconduct.
FACT: Paul van Buitenen was a Dutch whistleblower that led to the collapse of Jacques Santer's Commission (European Commission) after he revealed to a Member of the European Parliament the irregularities, fraud and mismanagement within the Commission in 1998
. These two acts are sorely needed in this country if we are in want to boast of having a transperant public administration. Without the necessary legislation and protection the alert public cannot scrutinize the administration's misconduct and this will remain unhindered. Fraud and Corruption will be the order of the day without our knowing or without it being punished. We don't want to keep a watchful eye on the government simply for making its life harder but to ensure that the public interest, our interest, is given the greatest protection.

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