Do you know about Freedom of Information?
Published On:Wednesday, September 27, 2017
September 28th is the International Right to Know Day on which awareness about people's right to access government information is raised and freedom of information is promoted as being essential to both democracy and good governance.
The Freedom of Information Act has been in force in the Island for just over 18 months and residents are exercising their right to ask for information from public authorities, which includes most government departments and statutory boards.
But do you know that if you are not happy with the public authority's decision about your request
- you can ask the public authority to reconsider its decision, and
- you have the RIGHT to ask the Information Commissioner to review the public authority's decision?
The Commissioner does monitor the responses that are published. Although some responses do raise an eyebrow, there are no proactive powers for the Commissioner to review the decisions of public authorities unless the requester asks him to do so.
"More information is always better than less. When people know the reason things are happening, even if it's bad news, they can adjust their expectations and react accordingly. Keeping people in the dark only serves to stir negative emotions."
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