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FOI Update

The public's right to access government records just got easier with the recent release of a revamped "2010 FOI Publication Scheme List" by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

It is a requirement of the Freedom of Information Law, 2007 (FOI) that all public authorities publish a comprehensive list each year that includes; general information, financial and administrative documents, policy & procedures that govern them, as well as a tally of the types of records they hold and how the public can access those records. This list is known as a Publication Scheme and while most of the 88 public authorities did successfully make the deadline and have had their schemes published in a special supplement of the Cayman Islands Gazette on 4 January 2010, the ICO has found that the 1470 page document was a bit onerous to search.

The ICO reorganized the publication schemes into a more user-friendly document which lists each public authority under their respective Ministry. Not only have the records been reformatted into a common template, but a table of contents was added to help people navigate to the specific areas they seek. While the Law requires that schemes are published each January, the public authorities are also encouraged to update the information on their websites throughout the year. The ICO's new "2010 FOI Publication Scheme List" can be found on the home page of their website www.INFOCOMM.ky.

Along with the release of the new "2010 FOI Publication Scheme List", the ICO is also showcasing their recently redesigned website. The new website which can be found at www.INFOCOMM.ky, has been updated to better serve its purpose to inform the public as well as proactively publish as much information as possible. The ICO's website contains policy documents, information on recent and upcoming hearings, decisions of the Information Commissioner as well as general information on what FOI is and how you can make it work for you.

The Information Commissioner's Office is a quasi-judicial entity tasked with monitoring the compliance of public authorities, promoting the public's right to access records and decide appeals filed under the Law. For more information on the ICO and to download a copy of the "2010 FOI Publication Scheme List", please visit www.INFOCOMM.ky.

For more information email pasha.delahunty@ico.gov.ky or call 747-5402.