Info boss extends invitation to candidates

| 21/04/2017

(CNS): Acting Information Commissioner Jan Liebaers has issued an invitation to all the candidates running in the upcoming election to meet with him and his staff to discuss the principles and operation of the Freedom of Information Law. The information chief said FOI remains as current a topic today as it was when the law first came into effect some eight years ago and transparency is an important part of good government. It would be helpful, he explained, for the candidates to understand what is happening in his office with the merger with the Office of the Complaints Commissioner and how FOI works.

Candidates could find the FOI law very helpful if they find themselves elected to the Legislative Assembly but sitting in opposition or on the backbenches of a government. As incumbents know only too well, being an elected official does not convey any special privileges when it comes to getting access government files unless you are in the Cabinet inner circle.

Opposition and independent members over the last two terms have made use of the FOI law to find information they need, as it has sometimes proved a more efficient way of getting it than asking formal parliamentary questions.

In his letter to all of the candidates, Liebaers said the understanding of freedom of information continues to improve, and “issues of openness, transparency and accountability are important features of good governance that are at the core of a democratic form of government”.

But with the office preparing to merge with the Office of the Complaints Commissioner (OCC) into a single ombudsman and the addition oversight of data protection police complaints, there is a lot going on and challenges ahead for the commissioner and his team.

He said candidates were welcome to visit the ICO as individuals or with colleagues or running mates who want to learn more and have questions about FOI.

Candidates can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on 345-747-5402 or email: for an appointment.

ICO Letter to Candidates in the 2017 elections

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Category: Election News

Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Excellent idea!! I think we’d all be interested to know who takes up the offer to meet!
    CNS would we be able to get a follow up?

    • Anonymous says:

      I would imagine that AFTER the election is over, winning candidates will be willing to meet with him and discuss what his freedoms are with respect to information.

    • Anonymous says:

      Send an FOI request for the information