Release of sex offenders’ records stalled

  • Right to know: Gitanjali Gutierrez

    Right to know: Gitanjali Gutierrez


Prison authorities failed to reach a decision on whether to release records about sex offenders under Bermuda’s public access to information law.

But the Department of Corrections said it was now working with the Information Commissioner’s Office to “address this matter” after being ordered to provide a proper response to the requester.

A spokesman told The Royal Gazette that the department “will be in the position to provide further details at a later date”.

The Pati request for “records and information relating to sex offenders” was submitted to the Department of Corrections in March last year.

The department did not respond with a decision within the statutory six-week time frame.

The head of the department, Collin Anderson, the permanent secretary at the national security ministry, also failed to respond to a request for an internal review.

Information commissioner Gitanjali Gutierrez said the department failed to comply with the Pati Act in a decision released in February.

She ordered the permanent secretary to issue a decision to the requester, whose identity is not known, by April 11.

Ms Gutierrez declined to comment on whether the authority met that deadline.

She said public authorities generally had to comply within six weeks of a decision and if they did not she would “evaluate whether judicial action is required to compel compliance”.

The Royal Gazette submitted a Pati request to the Department of Corrections in November 2016 that asked for a list of all sex offenders released from prison in the previous ten years.

The department denied the request and Marc Telemaque, then permanent secretary at the national security ministry, said that “careful, individual consideration” needed to be given in each case involving disclosure.

He added: “I’m not satisfied that disclosure of the information, as requested by the applicant, is in the public interest.”

That request is still under review by the ICO.

To view the decision from the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Ministry of National Security’s response to The Royal Gazette’s separate Pati request, click on the PDF links under “Related Media”

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Published May 8, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated May 8, 2019 at 4:24 pm)

Release of sex offenders’ records stalled

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