The International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC) has endorsed a resolution put forward by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and Western Australian Information Commissioner, Catherine Fletcher to support the proactive publication of information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ICIC is a global forum which connects Information Commissioners responsible for the protection and promotion of access to information laws around the world.
The OAIC said its resolution was co-sponsored by the Ms Fletcher ( pictured) the Victorian Information Commissioner, Sven Bluemmel; the NSW Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Tydd; the Queensland Information Commissioner, Rachael Rangihaeata; as well as Information Commissioners from New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“It supports the ICIC’s vision to promote access to information laws and improve transparency and accountability,” the OAIC said.
“The resolution recognises that public authorities make significant decisions that affect public health, civil liberties and economic participation, and emphasises the importance of access to information in the context of the ongoing global pandemic,” it said.
“It promotes the proactive disclosure of information held by Government or public institutions, wherever this is appropriate.”
The OAIC said the resolution also encouraged the proactive release of information through existing State-based mechanisms, such as information publication schemes, and promoted the implementation of such schemes.
The Office said that following the adoption of the resolution, the ICIC membership published a joint statement to promote the value of proactive publication of information related to the pandemic.