The importance of freedom of information (FOI) legislation, the different experiences in developing them and key components needed were some of the topics for discussion at a regional workshop.

"Allowing citizens to access government information under a freedom of information (FOI) law can strengthen the trust between governments and citizens and lead to better service delivery," said Charmaine Rodrigues from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Centre at a 'Freedom of Information Workshop for Pacific Policy Makers' held in Honiara.

The three day workshop is organised by the Pacific Forum Islands Secretariat, with support from the UNDP Pacific Centre, and ends yesterday.

The workshop highlighted that to ensure the optimal application of FOI legislation, both the public and government officials need to be made aware of their rights and obligations.

Public participation in the ongoing process of developing, implementing and using a law is crucial.

The workshop is attended by participants from ten Pacific Island Countries - Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.