90 Minute Live Video Replay: PATI Debate

April 12, 2017

In honour of the two year anniversary of the Public Access to Information [PATI] Act, the Information Commissioner sponsored a Public Debate by the Bermuda National Debate Team, with the students debating whether individuals should be able to file PATI requests anonymously.

The PATI Act went into effect on 1 April 2015, and grants Bermudians and residents of Bermuda the right to access public records, subject to certain exemptions set out in the PATI Act.

PATI debate April 12 2017

“Currently, individuals cannot make anonymous PATI requests to public authorities because the requesters must show they are Bermudian or residents of Bermuda. This limitation has raised concerns about protecting the confidentiality of a PATI requester since the PATI Act went into effect,” the ICO said.

The Information Commissioner sponsored the debate to help the team with its preparation for its next international competition, with Information Commissioner Gitanjali S. Gutierrez saying, “This is a question about the evolution of the PATI Act. Who better to begin our discussion than our future political, community, and professional leaders on the Bermuda National Debate Team.”

90-minute live video replay of the debate

Held at the Bermuda College, those in attendance at this evening’s debate included Governor John Rankin, Premier Michael Dunkley, Opposition MP Walton Brown, former Premier Dame Jennifer Smith, John Barritt, Magistrate Juan Wolffe, lawyer Eugene Johnston, Ombudsman Victoria Pearman, former Youth Premier Ryan Robinson Perinchief and more.

The 2017 Bermuda National Debate Team members are: Yasser Baia [The Berkeley Institute], Sierra Brangman [The Berkeley Institute], Tyrese Coakley [The Berkeley Institute], Erin Jones [The Bermuda High School], Megan Sutcliffe [The Bermuda High 2 School], and Asha Symons [Warwick Academy]. They are preparing to represent Bermuda at the 2017 World School Debating Championships in Bali, Indonesia.

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Comments (3)

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  1. NO MORE WAR says:

    Far as I’m concerned there should be no exemptions and the governor should not be able to stop information from being disseminated to the public. Also the DPP should not be exempted either. If you doing what you are supposed to do and all is above board then what’s the problem? The only things that should be exempt is sexual offenses. No one should be able to redacted a document that’s being released save addresses.

  2. Longtail says:

    What a wonderful way to engage Bermuda’s future leaders – our students – in a meaningful conversation on Bermuda’s governance….. More please: education is the way out of these troubled and divisive times.

  3. Tag Team says:

    PATI is great! So many public authorities that never thought their records would see the light of day have had a rude awakening. Public authorities have to justify and account for their decisions. One would hope that if all decisions were made with integrity, fairness and according to established policy, release of records wouldn’t be an issue. Clearly the authorities that fight against every single request have something to hide…. The Information Commissioner’s Office does a fantastic job.