Section 3(2) of the draft Bill provides:
Subject to the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania
1977, the provisions of this Act shall override the provisions
of any other enactment relating to right to information.
Maximum Disclosure
The stakeholders’ proposed Right to Information Bill was based on
the principle of maximum disclosure with minimum exemptions
guaranteed by law. This principle requires governments enacting
legislation to promote freedom of information to ensure that
there is maximum disclosure of information from public and
private bodies. Exemptions, which are allowed for in the Bill
in certain circumstances, are normally accepted only if such
exemptions are clearly provided for in the law. The stakeholders’
Bill restricts the powers of public bodies to be able to deny access
to information based on their personal discretion.
Right to Access Information
Part II of the Bill defines the right to access information, as well as
setting out procedures on how to request and obtain information.
Conditions and circumstances for refusal of access to information
are also mentioned. If access is denied, the information seeker is
entitled to appeal at a higher level within the same organisation.
A second appeal can be made to the Information Commission.
Any aggrieved party may refer the matter further to the High
Court to review the legality of the decision of the Commission.
Appointment of Information Officers
The draft Bill imposes a duty on every institution, whether
public or private, to appoint or designate an ‘information desk
officer’ who will be responsible for providing information. The
information officer will also handle all complaints concerning the
provision of information from that institution. The information
officer position does not necessarily mean recruitment of new
staff; anyone within the organisation could be so designated,
provided that person is conversant with available information
within the institution.
Duty to Publish Information
The draft Bill imposes a duty on every public or private body to
publish key information relevant to its activities. The recently
established Commission of Information is empowered to make
regulations regarding this obligation.
Disclosure of Information of Public Interest
This allows for the disclosure of exempt information on the
grounds that it is in the public interest to disclose such information.
Whistleblowers are also protected against actions and unfair
treatment because of their voluntary disclosure of certain
information. The main condition for people to be considered
whistleblowers and bonafide informers is that they should act
in good faith for the purpose of unearthing wrongdoing such
as corruption, pilferage of public property and danger to the
environment or public health.
New Institutions
This establishes new institutions that would be responsible for
all issues relating to access to information. The Commission of
Information was established with a mandate of implementing
and supervising effective implementation of the law. The
appointment procedure and qualifications of members of the

Commission and of the appointments’ committee is laid down
in the draft Bill. Another body proposed by the draft Bill is an
independent stakeholders’ forum.

MISA Tanzania joined other MISA Chapters in participating in
a study to establish the most open and secretive government
institutions in each respective country. The study started on the
16th of June and was concluded on 7th of July 2014.
Six of the eight participating institutions were randomly picked
depending on the relevance of their mandated work. The other
two – the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and the Ministry of
Health and Social Welfare – were selected because they were the
best and worst performers respectively from last year’s study, and
MISA Tanzania wanted to see if there has been any significant
change with respect to their openness since the last study was
Selected Ministries included:
1. Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW)
2. Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT)
3. Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM)
4. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Selected agencies included:
5. The Judiciary of Tanzania
6. National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)
7. National Identification Authority (NIDA)
8. The Parliament of Tanzania (BUNGE)

The research adopts qualitative and quantitative methods of
data collection, and seeks to evaluate the level of public access
to information held by government and public institutions. Each
MISA Chapter conducts research by evaluating the websites of
government and public institutions along with submitting oral
and written requests for information. This method seeks to
establish the transparency and efficiency of government and
public institutions in providing information to the public.

Category 1: Evaluation of government and public institution
websites to determine the access and presence of credible and
updated public information, which includes but is not limited
to: powers and functions of the institution in question; vacancy
and budgetary allocations; procurement procedures and contact
details and reports.
Category 2: This category was divided into two sections, namely
written questionnaires and oral requests for information. These
instruments were adopted to determine the ease with which
public information is obtained from government and public


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