For Immediate Release
VIENTIANE -- U.S. Embassy Vientiane’s Embassy's Charge d'Affaires, Mr. Paul Mayer, and Professor Ket Kiettisak, Vice-Minister of Justice, opened the first of two national workshops designed to improve legal transparency in the Lao PDR, in part through an online portal containing the countries’ laws.
The E-Gazette, established in November 2013 with U.S. Agency for International (USAID) support under its Lao PDR–U.S. International and ASEAN Integration (LUNA II) project, is the official repository for all legislation in the country. National and provincial legislation is to be posted on the E-Gazette website.
“The Lao E-Gazette is an important tool to help citizens and business leaders shape new laws that affect them," said Mr. Mayer. "People now have access to a wide range of laws and regulations about doing business in Lao PDR and actively take part in this important process by providing comments on draft legislation.”
The first workshop focused on enabling users of the E-Gazette to improve their understanding of website and to receive comments on improving the functionality of the E-Gazette. The second workshop, held in Vientiane on August 21, included officials from all government ministries. This workshop was designed to encourage Ministries to post legislation on the E-Gazette to avoid revoking legislation if not posted by the end-2014 deadline.
Following the workshops, officials will conduct a series of regional missions to Luang Prabang, Champassak, Khammouane and Savannakhet with Governor’s offices, provincial offices of Ministries as well as Justice departments to build greater awareness and support the timely publication of provincial legislation on the E-Gazette.
Lao PDR has made significant advancement towards the establishment of a Rule-of-Law State by 2020 through its Law on Making Legislation. The law helps create a standardized and inclusive legal reform process by requiring economic impact assessments, allowing for a 60-day public comment period for proposed legislation, and requires publication of all legislation on the Government E-Gazette. The law also stipulates that all legislation in existence prior to the Law on Making Legislation needs to be posted on the E-Gazette by January 1, 2015 or the legislation will be revoked.
By making legislation more transparent, Lao PDR will help improve the business environment and integrate more fully into the multilateral trading system, which will help strengthen the foundation for a modern, market economy. Deeper integration and a more predictable and transparent rules-based system will help spur investment to generate jobs and economic growth.
Last updated: August 26, 2014