Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada
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September 1, 2010 – Whitehorse, Yukon
Calls for greater openness
and transparency are exerting increasing pressure on governments to
transform their traditional, reactive information dissemination methods
into a mode that facilitates proactive disclosure. Furthermore, governments
around the world are recognizing the value of sharing information with
the public in accessible, open formats. They understand that collaborating
with citizens, businesses and non-government organizations to enrich
their information resources improves communication channels, promotes
citizen engagement, instils trust in government, fosters economic opportunities
and ultimately results in more open and responsive democratic government.
Technology now affords public
institutions the opportunity to directly engage citizens, to proactively
disclose information and to support the renewal of the social contract
between government and citizens.
Open government is linked to
access to information legislation. However, it extends the concepts
inherent in these laws to promote an entirely new way of viewing the
role of government and the participation of citizens in it. While access
to information provides a right of access to government information,
the laws are fundamentally reactive because access is granted only after
a request is made.
Access to information and privacy
commissioners are advocates for open government and promote the paradigm
shift from reactive to proactive disclosure, and ultimately to open
The basic tenets of a sound
open government strategy are:
IN THIS CONTEXT, CANADA’S
ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND PRIVACY COMMISSIONERS (“COMMISSIONERS”)
RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS: