Seychelles' Official Gazette goes digital, increasing accessibility and reducing print costs
Screenshot of the Official Gazette for the digitalisation as of January 1. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles' Official Gazette will be issued online as of January 1, 2021, to make it more accessible to the public, donors, partners and international community, said a legal officer from the Attorney General's office.
The move, which will also save the government on printing costs, comes after the Digitalization and Publication of Gazette Act, 2020, which was passed by the National Assembly in July, was assented to by former President Danny Faure in August.
State counsel Stefan Knights told SNA recently that the official gazette is important as it publishes all government-related legal documents including legislation bills, statutory instruments and notice for citizenship and companies.
For 2020, the office of the Attorney General has published around 101 statutory instruments, 22 bills, 19 acts and 630 notices which include notices for citizenship applications as well as dissolution of companies.
"Any Seychellois citizen can object to an application for citizenship but how can you do that if you are not aware of what is going on and you do not have access to it. You will not be able to exercise your civic duty," said Knights.
He added that other than legislation, government documents of national interest including international treaties and contracts where there are no confidentiality clauses will also be posted on the website.
"We want to ensure there is more transparency in what the government is doing and raise public awareness about things happening in the country. So these documents will also be made available to the public on the website," he added.
A digital copy of the Official Gazette will also reduce the printing cost.
Knights said that AG's office collects an average SCR1.7million ($95,000) annually on notices and sale of the official gazette and but spent SCR1.5million ($84,000) on printing.
"We will be making a huge saving once we publish the gazette online and the money will be redirected towards other expenses such as law revision and law reform which we have been planning for a while," he said.
The AG's Office said the online service will be free but a subscription service will also be available to those who would like to receive notifications when the official gazette is published. The fee is still under discussion.
A few hard copies of the official gazette will also be made available.
Official gazettes as far back as 2015 are expected to be uploaded to the new website.