Public’s right to know highlighted in video
A new video has been released highlighting how the Information Commissioner’s Office upholds the rights of those who request records under public access to information legislation.
Information Commissioner Gitanjali Gutierrez said: “When Bermudians and residents make a Pati request for public records, they may receive the information they need, or may accept a public authority’s reasons for refusing access to the records.
“However, in some situations a Pati requester may disagree with a public authority’s decision on their Pati request and question what they should do next.
“The aim of the ICO’s new video is to help explain the roles of both the Information Commissioner and ICO when this question arises.”
Ms Gutierrez explained that the rights enshrined in the Pati Act were legally enforceable and the ICO would enforce them when necessary — at no cost to requesters.
She said: “Anyone who makes a Pati request can turn to the Information Commissioner for an independent assessment of whether public authorities have upheld their Pati rights.
“You have the right to ask the Information Commissioner whether you should have access to the public records that you seek.”
The Pati Act was passed by Parliament in 2011 and came into force in 2015, paving the way for a new era of open government — one in which citizens have the right to ask for records held by the departments and organisations their taxes fund.
The video, shown above, is also available on the ICO’s website and its YouTube channel and Facebook page. To contact the ICO, call 543-3700 or e-mail email@example.com.