The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda places a duty upon the Parliament to make laws prescribing the classes of information referred to under the right to access to information in the possession of various state agencies and the different procedures involved in obtaining such information. For a long time, the Parliament in Uganda had not put into effect this law however, in the year 2005, Parliament enacted the Access to information Act, a law that seeks to provide a platform for the media fraternity to use and access what has always been hard to get information from government agencies. Under this law therefore, there are prescribed guidelines on how to get the information.
With the growing use of information and communications technology, the value of information has increased significantly. However, it is now often recognized that information held by government organizations is public information that should be accessible to the public. Citizens, businesses and civil society organizations are constantly pressuring government organizations to provide better access to information and emulate many countries that have enacted legislation which provides for a right for access to information.
In the year 2011, Parliament also issued regulations to be followed when accessing information from government agencies.
This follows the right to seek, receive and impart information is recognized as a human right in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1969 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. At a regional level, the 1986 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, also ratified by Uganda, acknowledges that every individual has the right to receive information. The 1995 Constitution of Uganda also provides for the right to access information held by a government organization, although information that would affect the security or sovereignty of the State or interfere with the right to the privacy of any other person are exempted.