Information Week message delivered and received

“I’m a great believer in the right
to know,” Governor Duncan Taylor said at a recent Government House reception, a
finale for Cayman’s Right to Know Week 2010.

Advising guests that the key to
Freedom of Information success is to take the initiative in providing up-front
data on websites and other outlets, he added,

“I know it’s not always easy for
custodians to be forthcoming and the work can be both challenging and
time-consuming. However, in the main, information should be made available
unless there are compelling reasons why it shouldn’t.”

During the week the Information
Commissioner’s Office conducted activities designed to encourage the public to
use and understand the FOI Law. These events coincided with similar
international activities.

Highlights included community
outreach promotions at supermarkets and the Cayman Islands Hospital. The Health
Services Authority’s education efforts were supported by the Chief Executive
Officer Lizzette Yearwood and Information Manager Sharaine Chin.  Working with ICO staff, they shared
information, give-aways and refreshments with
numerous visitors.

Ms Chin said HSA processed 59
information requests since January 2009. She also commented on the volume of
information handled by the Authority: during 2009, inclusive of Cayman Brac’s
Faith Hospital, the HSA had dealt with 242,145 outpatient visits and 5,619 admissions.

Additional RTK activities included
the ICO’s press conference to announce the findings of Operation Fred – the
recent investigation into the response times of public authorities. Officials
also visited Cayman Brac; hosted an afternoon Open-house Tea and presented
daily information via local media.

“Just about everyone in Cayman now
knows something about FOI,” said Information Commissioner Jennifer Dilbert. “It
is indeed a success and we are seeing the benefits on a daily basis.”

She also thanked the FOI Unit and
the many departmental Information Managers for their hard work and added that
the ICO will continue with a series of monthly meetings to ensure compliance
with the law.

For more information on how to make a Freedom of Information
request, contact the ICO on
747-5405 or at [email protected]