Malawi Government says it is on track to fulfil its commitment to principles of open government partnership with several laws and policies enacted to facilitate successful implementation of its targets in the area.
Wezzie Kayira, Principal Secretary for Good Governance in the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC), expressed the sentiments in Mangochi on Thursday during a multi-stakeholder preparatory meeting for the enactment of the new National Action Plan (NAP) on Open Government Partnership (OGP) ahead of an international deadline next January.
He said government has adopted various measures in open government thematic areas, including transparency, citizen’s participation, Access To information (ATI), accountability, technology and innovation.
Kayira said Malawi has made steady progress towards the attainment of open and democratic government. He cited implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, ATI law and transparent pre-budget consultations, among others.
On ATI, he said government is at an advanced stage in the process of setting up a mechanism that would support its implementation.
Said Kayira: “Malawi has to date made tremendous changes in as far transparency is concerned by putting in place policies, legal frameworks and institutions that support transparency and accountability.
“Examples include the Public Finance Management Act, the Corrupt Practices Act and the Money Laundering Act. And these have been supported by enforcement institutions like the Auditor General’s office, Public Accounts Committee and the Anti-corruption Bureau.”
Director of good governance in the OPC Reinford Mwangonde said government was ensuring the NAP enactment process was consultative, citing the role various civil society and private sector groups were taking in the preparatory work.
He said government was ready to take on board suggestions by the various players because it was committed to serving the citizenry better and believed in building consensus.
Among others, delegates at the meeting discussed ways to improve the current action plan and how the country can use local government structures such as Area Development Committees (ADCs) and Village Development Committees (VDCs) to improve governance at local government level.
The NAP process on open government is being supported by, among other partners, Hivos Malawi office.