Today ACT Ombudsman, Michael Manthorpe PSM, has published the first full financial year annual report on the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 2016 in the ACT.
The FOI Act is designed to ensure agencies take a pro-disclosure approach when considering the release of government information.
The report highlights areas the Ombudsman will continue to monitor in 2019–20 to ensure the FOI Act contributes to an open and transparent ACT Government, and an engaged and informed ACT community.
‘Agency activities have matured during 2018–19, now the FOI Act has been in place for more than 18 months. However, there is always more to be done to ensure agency decision-makers make consistent decisions in line with the pro-disclosure objectives of the FOI Act’, said Mr Manthorpe.
‘We will continue our work with the ACT community to ensure the public understand their right to access government information, and the most efficient ways to do so’.
Saturday 28 September 2019 was also Right to Know Day (RTKD). RTKD recognises everyone’s right to access information and reinforces the importance of transparency in building trust in government.
ACT Government agencies are required, under the FOI Act, to actively release information. They must also release information where requested, unless they can prove it would be contrary to public interest.
On this #RTKD2019, we encourage the ACT community to ensure they understand their right to access government information and the most efficient ways of accessing this information.
Remember that a click online can save time! In the ACT, you may not need to lodge a formal access application to get access to the information you want. You can check out your options here.
For more information about the operation of the FOI Act in the ACT, visit our website at: insert link.
More information about Right to Know Day is also available on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at https://www.oaic.gov.au/s/rtk/.