Promoting Access to Information

National Network for the Right of Access to Information

Who We Are:
        The National Network for the Right of Access to Information is a multi-sectoral group formed on April 11, 2008 upon the initiative of the Lebanese Parliamentarians against Corruption (LebPAC), the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) and Association pour la Défense des Droits et des Libertés (ADDL), in collaboration with the American Bar Association (ABA) Rule of Law Initiative in Lebanon.
Members of the Network include representatives from the following organizations and institutions: LebPAC, the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (OMSAR), the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy and Trade, the Beirut Bar Association (BBA), the National Audio-Visual Media Council, the Press Syndicate, the Syndicate of Journalists, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture in Lebanon, LTA, ADDL, Maharat, Nahwa Al Muwatiniya (Na-aM), Association Libanaise pour l’Education et la Formation (ALEF), and Nahar Ashabab –Youth Shadow Government.

Our Purpose:
        The Network seeks to enhance transparency and accountability and to strengthen the rule of law and civic participation in Lebanon through access to information and protection for individuals who report corruption ("whistle blower protection") The need for forming this Network stemmed from the absence of key transparency and anti-corruption legislation in Lebanon. An Access to Information law will create a more open and democratic society by allowing individuals to seek and receive public documents that affect their daily lives, enabling them to make informed decisions and deepening trust between the citizens and their government. Access to Information also increases government efficiency, discourages arbitrary state action, reduces corruption, promotes investment and enhances investigate journalism. In turn, a Whistleblower Protection law will empower Lebanese citizens to speak out in the public interest without fear of retribution, unveil cases of corruption, and expose public mismanagement and other illegal practices.
To this effect, the Network specially undertakes to draft access to information and whistleblower protection legislation, raise awareness on these two rights among citizens, the public and private sectors, members of parliament and candidates, and the media, build citizens' capacity to claim their right for access to information and for protection when reporting corruption, and encourage stakeholders to support the passage of the laws.

Our Structure:
        The Network is coordinated by a Steering Committee, which is comprised of the founding member organizations: LebPAC, LTA, ADDL - as well as OMSAR and the BBA. The Network conducts its core activities through two working groups:
  • The Legal Working Group, a group of legal and policy experts tasked with drafting two laws, one concerning the right of access to information and the second concerning whistleblower protection, with input from international specialists drawing on international best practices. This group is coordinated by LebPAC.
  • The Advocacy Working Group, comprised of government ministries and NGOs, is responsible for raising awareness and building capacity to uphold these two rights through a series of outreach activities, the development of educational tools and the establishment of a Network website. The Advocacy Working Group will also lobby parliamentarians to support the passage of the draft laws. This group is coordinated by LTA.
The ABA Rule of Law Initiative provides technical assistance to the Network through its expertise in law reform, advocacy and institutional development and provides financial assistance to a number of activities implemented by the Network. Read more on the Network's website.