Access to information talk set for Thursday

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Freedom of information comes up for discussion on International Right to Know Day this Thursday, with a panel including Sam Strangeways from The Royal Gazette.

Qian Dickinson from Bermemes, and Jonathan Starling from Greenrock, will join Ms Strangeways in the talk, to be held in the Bermuda College Library, where the three will discuss the power of access to information in furthering their work and advocacy.

The purpose of International Right to Know Day is to increase individual awareness of the right to access records held by the Government and other public authorities, and the importance of this right to an open democracy.

International Right to Know Day has been commemorated on September 28 since it was set up in 2002, as a day on which Information Commissioners, advocates, human rights organisations, the media, public bodies and the public celebrate the right to access information, as well as the principles of openness, accountability, and transparency.

The right to know supports the public’s ability to increase the accountability of public authorities, to understand how and why decisions are made, and to increase the transparency of public spending. Bermuda has joined more than 115 counties with public access to information laws.

The “Information in Action” panel discussion will be help from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, and live streamed by Bermemes and Bernews.

The day pays tribute to “the right to know what public bodies are doing and how they make decisions”, according to Gitanjali Gutierrez, the Information Commissioner.

Ms Gutierrez added: “Some people might ask why is it so important to have access to information? Why does it matter?

“On Thursday, our diverse panellists will share with us how they use the information they have, and the power of information to shape, transform and inspire.”

The Information Commissioner encouraged the island’s media to use the opportunity to visit the progress of the Pati regime, and to highlight its potential as a tool for furthering democracy.

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Published Sep 25, 2017 at 1:15 pm (Updated Sep 25, 2017 at 1:15 pm)

Access to information talk set for Thursday

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