02 September 2010

Info commissioners and ombudsmen call for open government

Information commissioners, privacy commissioners and ombudsmen from across Canada issued a call on September first for government sin the country to adopt open government principles.

They issued the call from their joint meeting held this year in Whitehorse.

Specifically, the commissioners resolved:

1. The Commissioners endorse and promote open government as a means to enhance transparency and accountability which are essential features of good governance and critical elements of an effective and robust democracy.

2. The Commissioners call on the federal and all provincial and territorial governments to declare the importance of open government, including specific commitments for stronger standards for transparency and participation by the public.

3. Governments should build access mechanisms into the design and implementation stages of all new programs and services to facilitate and enhance proactive disclosure of information.

4. Through ongoing consultations with the public, governments should routinely identify data sources and proactively disclose information in open, accessible and reusable formats. Public access to information should be provided free or at minimal cost.

5. In implementing open government policies, the federal and all provincial and territorial governments should give due consideration to privacy, confidentiality, security, Crown copyright and all relevant laws.

- srbp -