Posted by By Ibanga Isine, Abuja on
The Senate has initiated a new Servicom bill to make government records more accessible and to improve service delivery....
The Senate has initiated a new Servicom bill to make government records more accessible and to improve service delivery.
The bill also prescribes punishment for officials who hide public files.
Under the proposed law, it shall be an offence for a public officer, to, without a good cause, delay the movement of a file, withhold or deny a person authorised to do so, in the performance of his official duty, access to a file.
It shall also be an offence to hide a file; consign a file to an unauthorised person or be in possession of a file while not acting on the file or under any legitimate authority of a superior.
Known as Service Delivery (Control and Monitoring) Bill, 2006, the bill, exclusively obtained by our correspondent, is sponsored by Senator Emmanuel Azu Agboti from Ebonyi State.
Agboti, through the bill, wants a legal framework for strengthening service delivery in all federal ministries, parastatals or other public institutions through the Servicom Unit in the Presidency.
Under the planned law, any person who removes, deliberately defaces or obliterates the content of any public document will be liable to be punished.
Also, a public officer, who deliberately misinforms or misrepresents facts to another so as to mislead, or who publishes information that is likely to mislead as to the functions or activities of the ministry, parastatal or public institution, will be deemed to have committed an offence.
Section 19 (1) of the bill reads, ”A person guilty of an offence under this Act shall be liable on summary conviction to any or a combination of the following punishments: (a) admonished or warned; (b) suspension from office; (c) vacation of office; (d) disqualification from holding any public office (whether elective or not) for a specified period of time; and (e) seizure and forfeiture to the state of any property acquired in abuse or corruption of the office.”
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