The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter has awarded the Malawi National Assembly its 2013 Golden Key Awards (GKA) for the most open public institution in the country.
Misa Malawi chairperson Anthony Kasunda handed over the award on Friday at the 2013 Right to Know Day in Lilongwe where Misa presented its study findings based on questionnaire and website analysis.
Kasunda said Parliament was the only public institution, out of the eight that were targeted, that had its website running when the research was conducted.
“The National Assembly has an active website which had good information on policies, contact details, institutional structure, laws and some reports. The website also uses a facility that facilitates interactivity with various stakeholders,” said Kasunda.
He added: “Although it delayed responding to our questionnaire, the institution has a public information officer designated to deal with information requests.”
Misa also recognised the Ministry of Energy as another transparent public institution though it does not have an established public relations desk and a website.
However, Misa’s most secretive public institution awards went to the ministries of Health and Information and Civic Education.
“The two institutions scored poorly under the oral and written requests for information as they did not respond to the questionnaire and did not have websites,” said Kasunda.
Upon getting the award of most secretive public institution, Ministry of Health spokesperson Henry Chimbali expressed shock at the outcome.
“This is a surprise. I do not think we are so secretive because we always treat any information with urgency. Maybe it is because of the criteria that were used,” said Chimbali.