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Chuck to chair committee reviewing ATI Act

MINISTER of Justice Delroy Chuck will chair the joint select committee (JSC) of Parliament which will handle the review of the three Acts which relate to access to government information. The announcement was made by the leader of the House of Representatives, Karl Samuda, on Tuesday after approval was given to withdraw a previous motion for an affirmative vote on a ministerial order extending the waiting period for access to information requested from the government from 20 to 70 years. The other members of the committee from the House of Representatives are: Government MPs — Heroy Clarke, Leslie Campbell, Olivia Grange and Marisa Dalrymple Phillibert; and, Oppostion MPs — Dr Morais Guy, Horace Dalley, Mark Golding and Ronald Thwaites. Samuda reminded the House that, unlike the requirement for an affirmative vote to approve the order signed by the prime minister on September 5, the new JSC will be required to also review the provisions of the Official Secrets Act and the Archives Act, in addition to the Access to Information (ATI) Act. Dr Morais Guy, who was introduced as the new leader of Opposition Business in the House at the start of the sitting, welcomed the withdrawal and the presentation of the new motion. “This side supports the (new) motion. This side also recognises that good sense has prevailed on the part of the Government in withdrawing this motion, and this side, the Opposition, cannot fathom why, in an age of increasing transparency by the populace, that it would seek to extend the time to 70 years,” Dr Guy said. “Having said that, this side supports it and to say that we will work together to ensure that we have a proper reduction, or a proper period of years which we are more comfortable with,” he added.  — Balford Henry

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