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Govt publishes Freedom of Information Bill

Gibraltarians will soon have access to a mass of government information held by public authorities after a Bill for a Freedom of Information Act was published on Christmas Eve.

This legislation will allow access to data held by the government and will establish a ‘right-to-know’ legal process where requests for government information may be made.

The Government had previously introduced a 20-year rule for the release of documents held in the archives to the general public. No. 6 Convent Place has previously stated that Freedom of Information legislation will add to the climate of openness and transparency that the Government has sought to foster since it was first elected in December 2011.

The legislation provides for the disclosure of information held by public authorities or by persons providing services for them.

The legislation will cover any recorded information that is held by a public authority in Gibraltar and recorded information will include printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, and sound or video recordings.

A person seeking information may apply to a public authority and that authority must respond within specified time limits.

The main principle behind freedom of information legislation is that people have a right to know about the activities of public authorities, unless there is a good reason for secrecy.


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