24 September 2021
Australian Information Access Commissioners and Ombudsmen today published an authoritative statement to promote the proactive release of information. The Open by Design Principles have been released ahead of International Access to Information Day on 28 September, and should be used by government agencies to encourage and authorise the proactive release of information and promote open government.
Citizens throughout Australia experience inconsistent levels of access to valuable and important information from government. This is particularly evident in the differences in proactive release of information between jurisdictions.
The proactive disclosure of government-held information promotes open government and advances our system of representative democracy. The principles are intended to advance integrity in government and provide ready access to information that is important to citizens and the digital economy.
The Open by Design Principles have been informed by citizen surveys that identified information that is important to citizens. The principles recognise that:
All Australian governments – Commonwealth, state and territory, and local – and public institutions are strongly encouraged to commit to being Open by Design by building a culture of transparency and by prioritising, promoting and resourcing proactive disclosure. In their joint statement, Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen recommend ways that public sector agencies can:
In the lead up to International Access to Information Day, Australian Commissioners and Ombudsmen have also released a new consumer video resource to raise awareness of information access rights.
This global event highlights the importance of timely access to information in promoting public scrutiny and participation and allowing individuals and governments to make informed decisions.
Find out more at International Access to Information Day
Media contact: Steven Haigh
Phone: (07) 3234 7373