January 31, 2019      By Cheruiyot Korir
Parliament has been urged to fast-track the enactment of the Data Protection Bill to safeguard the implementation of the Access to Information Act 2016.

The Cabinet Secretary for ICT Mr Joe Mucheru said it was important for parliament to pass the Data Protection Bill to safeguard against possible misuse of the provisions of Access to Information Act 2016.

Mr Mucheru, who made the remarks, in a speech read on his behalf, by Mrs. Fatuma Hirsi, Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunication, at a Nairobi hotel today said, the Access to Information Act provides a framework that compels public bodies to provide information on request by the public and proactively make routine disclosure.
Mr Mucheru said, to actualise the Access to Information Act, the e-government services were being revamped to enable all citizens to easily access information. He added that, the government is developing systems security framework for e-governance and sound ICT policies to facilitate citizens to access information from public entities.

Besides direct efforts to facilitate access to information, ‘ The government has completed over 6000 km of National Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI) to enable more Kenyans to access cheap and high speed internet services” said Mr Mucheru.

To further support citizens’ access to information, the Cabinet Secretary said, ICT Authority established and operationalized the Kenya Open Data Portal. The platform enables the public free access to government data for awareness creation and to hold the government accountable.

Mr Mucheru encouraged Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the National government to disclose information on development, demographics statistical and expenditure data to the stakeholders and the public in line with the demands of the constitution.