Promised deadline for PATI looms

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  • <B>Former Premier </B>Alex Scott holds a PATI discussion document in this 2008 file picture<B></B>

    Former Premier Alex Scott holds a PATI discussion document in this 2008 file picture

Public access to information (PATI) law has a matter of weeks to become operational, according to Government’s promise to have in place by the year’s end.

However, former Premier Alex Scott, who first pledged to bring in PATI procedure back in 2003, advised that putting the information up in computer-accessible form could be presenting a challenge.

“I’m guessing they are doing it digitally,” Mr Scott told The Royal Gazette, adding: “I don’t know what may have overtaken the process in my absence.”

Addressing the House of Assembly in March, Premier Paula Cox reiterated a 2011 promise to have the legislation — which was passed by Parliament in 2010 — up and running by the close of 2012.

“I knew it was going to take time, but I had hoped that it would be up and running,” Mr Scott said.

“I look to the day when it’s operational. It will be an important benchmark, just as the letters in its name indicate — public access is fundamental.

“My view was, and Government’s view is, that Government is the keeper of records and archives in the public interest. This will put the information in the hands of those for whom it is intended.”

With legislative hurdles out of the way, Mr Scott speculated that the remaining task is the “clerical exercise” of preparing the information.

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Published Dec 12, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 12, 2012 at 12:25 am)

Promised deadline for PATI looms

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