Freedom of Information Underpins Strong Democracy
There has been so much palaver about the pressing need to implement transparency legislation. Specifically a Freedom of Information Act. It is one of those issues political parties refer to on a campaign trail because it fits with the political rhetoric these days about promises to root out corruption in government blah blah blah…
Trinidad implemented a Freedom of Information Act in 1999 and serves as a model for Barbados to look to. What are the learnings so far? Read what Citizen Advocate Afra Raymond is saying. – David Blogmaster
The ongoing Information War is increasingly driven by the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA), which in 1999 created the right to obtain information held by Public Authorities, subject to certain limitations as to State security and private or commercial information.
The relationship between a bank and its customers is a useful analogy to understand these principles. The customer depositing money into her account does so for safekeeping and to earn some small interest. Although the bank is responsible for that money, at no point in time is it the property of the bank – indeed, it is a liability in the bank’s accounts. The bank merely has custody of that money and must follow the customer’s lawful instructions as to how that money is dealt with.
The FoIA at S.4 defines ‘official documents’ held by Public Authorities as – “…a document is held by a public authority if it is in its possession, custody or power…”.
Full text @ Afra Raymond.net