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The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has published a new strategy calling for better compliance by public authorities.

Named “Openness by Design”, the strategy sets out five goals in regards to the suite of access to information legislation regulated by the ICO: Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

The five goals are to:

  • Ensure that access to information rights is upheld in a consistent and timely manner and is operated effectively in a digital age.
  • Provide excellent customer service to individuals making requests to us and lead by example in fulfilling our own statutory functions.
  • Raise awareness of access to information rights and make it easier for the public to exercise their rights.
  • Promote the reform of access to information legislation so it remains relevant for our modern society and fit for purpose.
  • Further develop and sustain international collaboration, learning from the best initiatives around the world.

The aim is to increase the impact of its regulation of access to information legislation. The strategy will be running until 2022, whilst being continually assessed.

The “Openness by Design” will encourage public authorities to comply with the law, thus reducing the need for people to complain to the regulator. However if necessary the ICO will make full use of its powers and take enforcement action.

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner said:

“Access to information goes to the heart of a healthy, functioning digital democracy and has a key role to play in an era of increasing public expectation of meaningful government transparency.”

Article originally published on PrivSec:Report.


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