ICO Responds To PATI Amendment Bill 2019

July 8, 2019 | 6 Comments

“It is the Information Commissioner’s view that records related to the financial and economic interests of Bermuda are already adequately protected under existing exemptions under the PATI Act,” the ICO Office said.

The ICO office said, “The Information Commissioner is aware that the Public Access to Information [PATI] Amendment Bill 2019 [PDF] was tabled in the House of Assembly. The Amendment Bill seeks to place any records, obtained or created by the Financial Policy Council in the course of carrying out its functions, outside the scope of the PATI Act 2010.

“The public should be aware of the potential impact of this amendment on their rights under the PATI Act. Section 4 of the PATI Act is designed to take outside the scope of the Act certain records related to the functions of the listed public authorities.

“The functions of those public authorities fall into three categories: [1] oversight over other public authorities; [2] judicial functions; and [3] the provision of legal advice to the Government. The authorities listed in section 4 include the Auditor General, the Ombudsman, Courts and tribunals, and the Attorney General’s Chambers.

“The Information Commissioner notes that the Financial Policy Council does not fall into the above categories, nor are its functions and responsibilities outlined in any provision of law. It will be the first financial public authority whose non-administrative records are removed from the PATI Act.

“It is the Information Commissioner’s view that records related to the financial and economic interests of Bermuda are already adequately protected under existing exemptions under the PATI Act, including section 31.

“This section protects the disclosure of records which could have a serious adverse effect on the financial interests of Bermuda or on the ability of the Government to manage the national economy, unless their disclosure is in the public interest.

“In jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom, records related to monetary policy or financial operations intended to support financial institutions for the purposes of maintaining stability are exempted from public disclosure. These restrictions are coupled with a formal transparency governance framework that ensures that appropriate information is shared with the public.

“It is the Information Commissioner’s view that, from a public access to information perspective, the proposed framework for the Financial Policy Council does not meet the same standards as the formal transparency governance frameworks adopted by other jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom.

“If the Amendment Bill is adopted as proposed, the Information Commissioner strongly urges that it be supported by a robust and formal transparency framework for the Financial Policy Council, to ensure that the public’s right to access information is protected.”

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Comments (6)

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  1. Toadinthehole says:

    More interference from the government in institutions here

    • inna says:

      Yet Burch is up the house preaching transperancy as the PLP’s M.O. ?!?

  2. aceboy says:

    The PLP trying to hide financial matters. SHOCKER!!

  3. Quote says:

    So funny! The PLP quote analogies to Britain when it is convenient or it can be used to justify their behavior. Otherwise it’s OT vs The Crown!

  4. sandgrownan says:

    Transparent PLP? LOL.

    Stupid. Incompetent. Now add to that secretive. The question is why?

    Reading that commercial real estate rates are down….circling the drain under PLP interference and ineptitude.

  5. Joe Bloggs says:

    “It is the Information Commissioner’s view that, from a public access to information perspective, the proposed framework for the Financial Policy Council does not meet the same standards as the formal transparency governance frameworks adopted by other jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom.”

    The proposed framework for the Financial Policy Council is not supposed meet the same standards as the formal transparency governance frameworks adopted by other jurisdictions. How dare you suggest that people be allowed to know the true economic rational underlying Governmet’s decisions to spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year!

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