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2008

DIALOGUE ON MODERNIZING ACCESS TO INFORMATION

Ottawa, June 19, 2008 –

The Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada is inviting comments, as part of an open dialogue on access to information, from those with an interest in discussing potential options for modernizing the federal access to information regime.

This builds on the workshop the Commissioner asked the Public Policy Forum to host on June 10, 2008 entitled "Modernizing the Access to Information Regime" where leading access to information thinkers, users and decision-makers took part in a discussion about new ideas and possible options for modernizing the federal access to information regime. A summary report of the discussion will be released at the end of the summer 2008.

As part of his role as an officer of Parliament, the Commissioner provides his views and objective advice to Parliament about access to information and the reform of the legislation. In leading up to such a discussion, the Office would like to encourage an exchange of ideas on legislative reform as well as on administrative reform. This is a new approach for the Office and we are hoping that it will generate a valuable exchange of ideas.

The Office is also inviting anyone who is interested in these issues to contribute to this discussion through a Web-based consultation process. We are interested in hearing your comments on possible ways to modernize the federal access to information regime for Canadians and specifically, your suggestions to keep the regime relevant in the context of the particular trends and challenges of the 21st century:

  • Modernizing the culture of access to information — creating and maintaining a culture of access in federal institutions;
  • Modernizing the administration of the access to information regime — processes and tools to facilitate the ongoing improvement of the regime; and
  • Modernizing the Access to Information Act — promoting open, effective and accountable government, an informed citizenry, and the public interest (e.g. mandate of the Information Commissioner of Canada, time limits and statutory incentives, review of exemptions / exclusions, Order making powers, etc.