IPC, MRA Issue Call for Entries for National FOI Awards to Honour Individuals, Organizations Advancing Right to Information

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The International Press Centre (IPC) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA) hereby invite entries from individuals and organizations in Nigeria for their 2021 National Freedom of Information (FOI) Awards.

The Awards form are part of activities to commemorate the 10th year anniversary of the signing of the Freedom of Information Bill into Law by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 and are being organized with support from the European Union through component 4b: Support to Media of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) Project.

The Awards will recognize and reward individuals, organizations and public institutions that have made significant contributions towards the advancement of the right to information in Nigeria as well as in ensuring the effective implementation of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011. There will be four categories of awards as follows:

a) Individual Category: An individual that has made the highest number of requests for information under the FOI Act to public institutions or private entities to which the Act applies, between May 29, 2015 and October 31, 2021.

b) Organizational Category: A news organization, any other type of organization, company, association, institution, group, or other types of corporate entity that has made the highest number of requests for information under the FOI Act to public institutions or private entities to which the Act applies, between May 29, 2015 and October 31, 2021.

c) Public Institutions Category: A Public Institution FOI Best Practice Recognition will be conferred on a public institution adjudged by the organizers and the panel of judges to be most responsive to requests for information from members of the public under the FOI Act and that has adopted innovative and access-friendly practices and procedures to ensure public right of access to information in Nigeria.

d) Special Recognition: A special recognition Award will be given to an individual adjudged by the organizers and the panel of judges to have made a substantial and lasting contribution towards advancing the right to information in Nigeria over the last 10 years.

GUIDELINES FOR ENTRIES

Individuals Category
Individuals who wish to participate in this category should send scanned acknowledged copies of their FOI requests or other proof of the FOI requests that they made between 29 May, 2015 and 31 October, 2021 to the organisers. The person adjudged to have made the highest number of requests will be identified and honoured at an FOI Award ceremony to be held in Abuja later thisyear. A

copy of every FOI request made which the individual entering for the awards seeks to beincluded in his or her FOI requests count must include or contain proof of delivery of the request,
such as acknowledgment of receipt of the request by the public institution or other entity to which it was made or proof of delivery by a reputable courier company, etc.

Organizational Category
Any news organization, other type of organization, company, association, institution, group, or any other type of corporate entity that wishes to participate in this category should send scanned copies of acknowledged FOI requests or other proof of the FOI requests that they made between 29 May, 2015 to 31 October, 2021 to the organisers. The entity adjudged to have made the highest number of requests will be identified and honoured at an FOI Award ceremony to be held in Abuja later this year. A copy of every FOI request made which the entity entering for the awards seeks to be included in its FOI requests count must be made on the entity’s official letter-headed paper and must include or contain proof of delivery of the request, such as acknowledgment of receipt of the request by the public institution or other entity to which it was made or proof of delivery by a reputable courier company, etc.

Entries should be sent by email to: foientries@ipcng.org with “National Freedom of Information Awards (Organizational)” or “National Freedom of Information Awards (Individual)”, as the case may be, on the Subject line.

The deadline for submission of entries is Sunday, 31 October, 2021. Entries must be received no later than 12.00 midnight (WAT) on that date.

All entries received will be assessed by a panel of independent judges.

Prizes will be awarded to the winning entry and the First Runner-Up in each of the categories.

The winner and the First Runner-Up will be invited, with their travel expenses paid, if necessary, to an award ceremony, which will take place in Abuja on Friday, December 10, 2021.

The winner in the Public Institutions category, that is a public institution adjudged to be the most responsive to requests for information from members of the public under the FOI Act and that has adopted innovative and access-friendly practices and procedures to ensure public right of access to information in Nigeria, along with the First Runner-Up in this category, will also be recognized and honoured at the award ceremony. No entries are required for this category.

During the Award ceremony, a special recognition Award will also be conferred on an individual adjudged to have made a substantial and lasting contribution towards advancing the right to information in Nigeria over the last 10 years. No entries are required for this category.

For enquiries or further information, please send an email to: admin@ipcng.org.