September 18, 2020

Freedom of Information and tea in the Brac

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Jennifer Dilbert along with her staff from the Information Commissioner’s Office hosted an afternoon tea at the Aston Rutty Centre on Friday 16 Sept.

Mrs. Dilbert said the goal of the tea was to set a comfortable atmosphere in which attendees felt at ease to discuss any questions they may have towards her staff and office.

The select gathering allowed individual staffers to easily address concerns and clear up any misgivings as to why Freedom of Information act (FOI) was formed and how it functions for the public.

As Head of the FOI, Mrs. Dilbert stated trips to the sister islands are part of the programme to make sure all the communities understand their rights and the proper procedures of how to utilise her department.

She discussed the 91 public authorities who are responsible answerable to individual requests and the limitations of the type of information that can be accessed.

Mrs. Dilbert said, “Our goal is to promote access rights to the public every quarter.  We make ourselves available to groups in Government Administration, service clubs, the schools and Civil Service and the like.

“These meetings began in January 2009 and we made sure Cayman Brac was the kickoff for our programme to guarantee the public transparency, accountability and accessibility through our services.   We are hoping to jumpstart International Right to Know Day here in the Brac on the 28th of September.” Said Ms. Dilbert

The informal settings help her staff educate the public and governmental departments that are answerable to the population to better understand deadlines for requests and limitations of what information is accessible and why certain information is not.

Such sensitivities in the matters of personal information, commercial, legal and/or professionally privileged, matters of national security or law enforcement may not qualify for release to the general public.

The FOI is working to spread the mechanics of their department to those seeking information and those who are being called upon to release such data.   They are working to clarify guidelines for both sides of the issues.

Brochures and tabletop items were provided to everyone making sure websites, phone numbers and other pertinent information was passed on to those attending the tea.

 

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