Information Commissioner’s ‘Monthly Roundup’

March 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Information Commissioner’s Office [ICO] released the latest edition of their ‘Monthly Roundup.’

The ICO said, “Information is constantly flowing throughout our communities. Whether it’s printed, spoken or digital the right information, in the right place, at the right time can be lifesaving or life changing. Sometimes the information is fact, while at other times, information may be pure speculation and rumor. These sources of information are coming through chat groups, from our mobile phones, social media profiles, the airwaves and across our dinner tables.

“When it comes to access to information from public authorities, more and more Bermudians and residents are raising their voices to openly ask ‘but what about…?’ or ‘can you tell me more?’ More and more people are choosing to empower themselves with the information that affects their personal well-being, family, business and community.

“Many people are empowered to make their own public access to information, or PATI, requests. They are asking public decision makers how public decisions were made, who should be held accountable for the outcomes of those decisions or what financial commitments are tied to specific initiatives. The PATI Act gives any Bermudian or resident the legal right to ask for what they want to know to stay informed, included and involved.

“The public’s expectations have shifted. When an empowered public understands and exercises their PATI rights [and has confidence in the Information Commissioner to safeguard and enforce their rights], public decision makers have a powerful opportunity. It is an opportunity to build and deepen trust amongst an engaged public.

“When public decision makers treat each decision as if the public has the right to know more about it, transparency and accountability will ultimately motivate and guide any actions that they take. And when the public then uses their PATI rights to question or better understand what has occurred, the conversation is more likely to be one of mutual engagement and understanding.”

The full ICO February/March 2021 Monthly Roundup follows below [PDF here]:

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