April 21, 2021

Cayman Islands: “It’s Yours Just Ask” involved lots of outreach

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dressforcauseprintThis year’s Freedom of Information (FOI) “Right to Know Week” on Grand Cayman wrapped up with a “Dress in Blue” event on Friday, 30 September 2016.

Held at the Government Administration building, attendees included the Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and Acting Information Commissioner Jan Liebaers.

Observed in more than 90 jurisdictions annually, the 2016 Right to Know Week themed “It’s Yours Just Ask” promoted open and transparent governance and the public’s right to access government information.

Other local events this year (26 September to 3 October) involved a raft of outreach events including meet-and-greets with the public and workshops for the media and civil servants.

All part of the mandate of the Information Commissioner’s Office to publicise the rights of individuals under the Freedom of Information law, the week also saw the publication of the FOI annual statistics 2015/16.

The figures highlighted a sharp 42 per cent drop in the number of FOI requests from 702 to 404, and a marked decrease in the average response time from 31 to 20 days. This reflected the best recorded response times since FOI was set up more than seven years ago.

Mr. Liebaers said that the figures were in part due to internal vigilance and increased training of information managers.

“Late last year the Deputy Governor sent around an administrative circular to information managers urging them to do better and to staff asking them to co-operate fully when the officers put in information requests,” he noted.

“We also think that these figures reflect the efficacy of increased training. This led to information managers having the confidence to give out information which mitigated the need for some potential FOI requests.”

Encouraged by the improved results, Mr. Manderson promised, however, that they would not lead to complacency. “These are the best statistics we’ve had so far,” he said, noting “I’m delighted with the improved turn around and response times and will aim for even better results in the future.”

To view the FOI annual statistics 2015/16, visit www.infocomm.ky.

The week ends with a Sister Islands workshop for civil servants and a high school presentation on Cayman Brac (Monday, 3 October 2016).

 For the official Cayman Islands Government web portal, www.gov.ky:

Web title: FOI Week encouraged public to ask 28

Web blurb: Right to Know Week Built Bridges and Reinforced Public’s Rights. 65



This year’s Freedom of Information’s (FOI) “Right to Know Week” on Grand Cayman wrapped up with a “Dress in Blue” event and concluded with a meet-and-greet between Information Commissioner staff and the public.


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