Stakeholders Review Privacy and Freedom of Information Bills

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 30, 2013 (SKNIS): Information Technology (IT) stakeholders in St. Kitts and Nevis are reviewing details of two draft pieces of legislation to ensure that the local laws are updated to meet today’s unfolding challenges.

This is being done at a two-day workshop under the Regional Harmonization of Information and Communication Technology Policies, Legislation and Regulatory Procedures (HIPCAR) project. The April 29-30 sessions are being held at the Foundation for National Development (FND) Conference Room and organized by Government’s IT Department.

E-Government Coordinator Ophelia Blanchard told SKNIS that the issues being covered are Freedom of Information and Privacy and Data Protection. The review is being facilitated by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Consultant Dr. Gilberto Martins de Almeida.

“The role of this international consultant is to do what is called a comparative law analysis,” Ms. Blanchard disclosed. “A comparative law analysis is to ensure that our legislation compares to international legislation. We are looking at best practices, so that when this consultation is finished, we can be assured that our legislation will be on par with international best practices and standards.”

The E-Government Coordinator recounted that Dr. Almeida stated that the local legislation was sound.

“He noted that our legislation, that is the Privacy and Personal Data Protection Bill of 2012 is certainly in line with international best practices and I think that is a good indication that the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs is going in the right direction in terms of our ICT legislation,” stressed Ms. Blanchard. “He (Dr. Almeida) however noted that we will have to look at the administrative structures that need to be put in place. There will be some cost implications and certainly that’s why we have our stakeholders here who can share with us some of the … things that they will need to put in place in preparation for the implementation of the legislation.”

Chief Parliamentary Counsel for St. Kitts Israel Mukasa is serving as the local consultant. The recommendations will be drafted and confirmed at a follow up validation and consultation workshop on May 27 and 28, 2013. The draft legislation can be viewed at

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