FOI unit lets in some light

| 23/09/2008

(CNS): With just over three months to go before the Freedom of Information Law (FOI) takes effect the FOI Unit is hosting its annual Sunshine Week from 29 September to 4 October. According to the unit coordinator Carole Excell the aim is to raise public awareness about the FOI Law and its importance and is hoping that the public will come out to some of the events.

The law was passed in 2007. However, it has taken government more than eighteen months to prepare for the impact of the law and train staff. The law, it is hoped, will change the long held culture of secrecy within the civil service and create an open and transparent form of government which will see everyone in the Cayman Islands gaining access to information about their government.

Kicking off the week is the ‘Government Open Day’, which will take place on the Glass House lawn on Monday from 9:00 am, where the unit will be launching Cayman’s own ‘User Guide to the FOI Law’. Government departments will be showing people what they do and there will be free user guides and random giveaways.  

On Tuesday between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm, the open day moves to the District Administration Building on Cayman Brac, where Sister Islands residents will get the chance to pick up their free copy of the FOI’s User Guide and meet people from government departments.

On Wednesday, 1 October, from 6:00 pm the public will have a chance to meet those people who will be responsible for divulging the information asked for. A Meet and Greet of Information Managers on the Glass House lawn, this is an opportunity to learn all about using the FOI Law. The Unit will be explaining the “how-to’s” of the FOI Law to ensure familiarity, and there will be more guides being given away.

A fun run is also planned for Saturday 4 October and students aged 11 to 16 are invited to submit essays in a competition on the Topic: “How will the Freedom of Information Law benefit the Cayman Islands?”

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