Gutierrez backs call for pandemic transparency – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

Log In

Reset Password

Gutierrez backs call for pandemic transparency

Access to information is still important even in the grip of a pandemic, the Information Commissioner said yesterday.

Gitanjali Gutierrez said that the Covid-19 crisis and decisions made to fight it needed to be available to the public. She was speaking after the International Conference of Information Commissioners warned that governments must safeguard the right to access information.

The ICIC said: “The impact of coronavirus brings unprecedented challenges for our society, both nationally and globally.

“Public authorities must make significant decisions that affect public health, civil liberties and people's prosperity. The public's right to such decisions is vital.”

The statement added: “As a global community, we recognise that resources may be diverted away from usual information rights work. Public organisations will rightly focus their resources on protecting public health, and we recognise our role in taking a pragmatic approach, for example around how quickly public bodies respond to requests. But the importance of the right to access information remains.”

The ICIC statement added that public bodies must practise “clear and transparent” communication and good record keeping. The group said: “As an international network, the ICIC supports a flexible approach that takes into account the compelling public interest in the current health emergency, while safeguarding the values of the right to access information.”

Unprecedented challenges: Gitanjali Gutierrez, the Information Commissioner (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published April 16, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated April 16, 2020 at 9:02 am)

Gutierrez backs call for pandemic transparency

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon