The Province is now proactively publishing summaries of active Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to increase government transparency and accountability for the timeliness of responses.
Beginning June 7, summaries of active FOI requests will be published to Open Information each week, 30 days after the end the week they cover. These summaries show the broad category type of applicant (i.e. individual, law firm, media, or interest group), a description of the records requested, the request status and due date. The identity of the requestor will not be published, and information that could identify individuals will be removed from the request descriptions.
This approach reflects consultations with the information and privacy commissioner, and is intended to balance the interests of individual applicants with government’s desire to increase transparency about the processing and timeliness of FOI requests.
Applicants will now also have a longer period of exclusive access to the information before it is published to the Open Information website, as government has issued a further directive extending the publication timeline for response packages from 72 hours to five business days.
These changes are in addition to measures announced on May 9, including:
- The categories of records marked for routine proactive disclosure have been expanded to include ministers’ and deputy ministers’ calendars, receipted travel expenses, summaries of community gaming grants and directly awarded contracts.
- An updated Open Information website now gives the public easier access to records already published through FOI or proactive release.
- The Information Management Act has been brought into force, replacing the Document Disposal Act of 1936. This new legislation lays the foundation to bring government records management practices into the digital age.
Proactive disclosure ministerial directives: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/open-government/open-information/freedom-of-information/ministerial-directives-proactive-releases
Open Information: www.openinfo.gov.bc.ca