Information Commissioner urges people to be changemakers
Residents were urged by the Information Commissioner to be changemakers as she marked International Right to Know Day this week.
Gitanjali Gutierrez praised people who used records released to them after a request made under the Public Access to Information Act.
She said that Pati rights empowered Bermudians and other residents to hold public authorities accountable for the decisions they make.
The theme for the island’s ninth recognition of International Right To Know Day, held on Thursday, was Start. Lead. Change: Use the Pati Act.
Ms Gutierrez explained: “The Information Commissioner’s Office, or the ICO, is focusing on the public’s use of your Pati rights to drive the changes that you wish to see for your schools, families, businesses and communities.
“The power of the Pati Act starts with you, each Bermudian and resident.
“Each time you make a Pati request for access to public records, each time you review government contract details that are published in The Official Gazette, and each time you ask for an independent review from the Information Commissioner, your actions are powerful catalysts for change.
“Bermuda is facing many challenges — education reform, a cybersecurity incident, healthcare reform, the effect of climate change and the impact of government policies and regulations.
“Some people are taking action to help meet these challenges. They have started making Pati requests to get the information they need.
“They are leading the way for a broader participation of our community to be involved in the government decisions that impact us all.
“They are changing how decisions are made and what the outcomes are to successfully meet the unique challenges facing Bermuda.”
She added: “By using their Pati rights, informed people are helping to create solutions that impact us all.
“By exercising your Pati rights, you can lead the change that you wish to see; it is your right to ask.
“I commend those of you who have bravely exercised your right to know and have used the disclosures given to you.”
• To learn more about making a Pati request, visit ico.bm, call 543-3700, or go to the ICO on the fourth floor of the Maxwell Roberts Building at 1 Church Street