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Constitution Transcripts Available

Cabinet Secretary - Mr. Orrett Connor, MBE, JP

Transcripts from the three rounds of constitutional negotiations between the Cayman Islands and UK Governments in 2008-2009 are now available online from the Freedom of Information (FOI) document library of the Cabinet Office website www.cabinetoffice.gov.ky.

In compliance with the recent ruling of the Information Commissioner, the Cabinet Office has already distributed copies to the applicant who made an FOI request to view the verbatim records of the proceedings. It has also sent copies to all other participants in the negotiations.

Commenting on the release of the transcripts, Cabinet Secretary Orrett Connor said: "In late November 2009, the UK reversed its original decision concerning the confidentiality of the talks. This required the Cabinet Office to carefully consider any obligation it might hold to individuals who had taken part in negotiations with the understanding that the proceedings would be private. There was additional concern that local and overseas parties to future negotiations might be inhibited by the precedent of discussions designated as private, becoming public after the fact."

He believes that the Information Commissioner's finding that the public interest outweighed any such concerns demonstrates the integrity of the system of checks and balances built into the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law by the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Secretary further urges persons with Internet access to take advantage of the historic opportunity to learn how the Government conducts negotiations on their behalf.

In addition to the Cabinet Office site, the transcripts are available in the resources section of the 2009 Constitution website www.constitution.gov.ky. A link to the transcripts is also featured on the homepage of the Government portal, www.gov.ky.

It is also possible to listen to audio of the proceedings. The Cabinet Office is currently considering how it can make these recordings available electronically and will update the public as soon as a decision is reached. To arrange to view the printed transcripts, interested persons should contact Information Manager Kim Bullings at 244-2209.