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Bermuda Looks into FOI

Cayman's FOI Coordinator Carole Excell (centre) with the Bermudian Cabinet Office's policy analysts (L) Marisa Sharp and Kimberley McKeown.

Bermudian government officials reviewed Cayman's experiences with Freedom of Information (FOI) during an official visit last week.

The country's two Cabinet Office policy analysts Kimberley McKeown and Marisa Sharp spent three days in Cayman. Because Bermuda hopes to soon introduce its own FOI legislation, the visitors examined Cayman's overall philosophy and implementation strategies, as well as its issues, challenges and corresponding legislation.

Their agenda included a retreat with the FOI steering committee, as well as meetings with the Cabinet Secretary (under whom the FOI Office falls) and the Cabinet Office's Director of Special Projects; the Portfolio of the Civil Service; the Information Commissioner; Government Information Services; the Cayman Islands National Archives; and the FOI Unit.

The Bermudians also met with Cayman government's information managers' network, and reviewed the FOI information-sharing software programme (JADE) custom-designed by the Computer Services Department.

Cayman's FOI Coordinator Carole Excell welcomed the Bermuda visit, and the opportunity to lend insight into the FOI development process. She added, "As we keep learning through the implementation process I hope that members of the public will continue to learn about FOI and advise us of how the system is working. It is about striving for continuous improvement. This was an opportunity for us to share our views on best practices and the challenges in implementation with the visiting officials."

FOI was launched in Cayman in January 2009, and the participation and involvement of the public has been robust, Mrs Excell noted.

For further information contact: Lennon Christian