Media release: Value of information access during times of crisis and recovery recognised

The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) is encouraging Queenslanders to join communities and government around Australia and the world to celebrate International Access to Information Day (IAI Day) on 28 September 2021.

This year IAI Day’s theme is Open by design: government transparency everyone can see.

Queensland’s Information Commissioner, Rachael Rangihaeata, said the theme highlights how important it is to have open, transparent and accountable government that proactively releases information to the community.

“Timely access to accurate and relevant information supports people to stay informed, reduces misinformation and empowers them to make good decisions. This is particularly important in times of crises like the current pandemic or natural disasters,” she said.

The Right to Information (RTI) also holds governments accountable in times of crisis, when critical decisions about health or public safety, the economy and human rights are being made. RTI and transparency ultimately build trust, unity and can lead to better decision-making.

Ms Rangihaeata said proactive disclosure of information is critical to influencing community behaviour in Queensland and achieving better health, economic and social response outcomes.

“We know a well informed and connected community will recover sooner and become stronger than one without access to information provided through open and transparent government,” she said.

A key activity on IAID in Queensland is the Solomon Lecture. Professor Beth Someone Noveck will deliver the 2021 Solomon Lecture on ‘Solving Public Problems with Data’.

Professor Noveck said, “Access to information is the foundation of democratic decision-making and democratic governance.”

“Access to data from both government and business is vital to solving public problems.”

“It’s vital to introduce more people, especially in the public sector, to understand how information can be used to solve public problems as well as to tools for applying data analytical methods responsibly and ethically,“ Professor Noveck said.

Professor Noveck said in doing so, ‘we can dramatically increase trust and confidence in government and in civil society to solve the challenges that we face today’.

The Solomon Lecture is available online

For more information, resources and links to online events visit the IAI Day webpage

Media contact: Steven Haigh
Phone: (07) 3234 7373