Information Commissioner hits milestone of 100 decisions
Bermuda’s Information Commissioner has marked a milestone of 100 decisions since the island’s Public Access to Information legislation came into force in 2015.
She added: “The publication of the 100th decision is a milestone in the development of Pati rights in Bermuda.
“It is an important reminder that the Pati Act gives the public a right to access public records within Bermuda’s Pati framework.”
Ms Gutierrez said Pati helped “level the playing field between the public and government”.
She explained: “The rights under the law empower the public with information on public spending, policies, resources and other issues facing our country.
“Key to the Pati framework is the independent and impartial oversight of the Information Commissioner that can result in legally binding decisions.”
Ms Gutierrez added that the Information Commissioner had to ensure access to public records when the Pati requester is entitled to them.
She said: “Equally important, when access to public records is denied, the Information Commissioner serves as an independent check to ensure that the refusal by the public authority is lawful under the Pati Act.
Ms Gutierrez praised her staff and said they acted with “integrity and dedication”.
She added that in both of the latest decisions, she ruled on “the failure of the public authorities to conduct an internal review and issue a decision within the six-week time frame prescribed in the Pati Act”.
Ms Gutierrez said: “During the Information Commissioner’s reviews, the health ministry headquarters and the Cabinet Office provided the applicants with an internal review decision and, as such, were not required to take further action.”