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Helen Darbishire (Executive Director, Access Info Europe)
Kevin Dunion (Executive Director, Center for Freedom of Information, University of Dundee)
Sponsored by OGP Networking Mechanism (Global Integrity) and World Bank Institute
1. Does the right of access to information imply that governments must publish information without an access to information request?
2. Which information should be prioritized? What types of information are becoming emerging international standards as part of government obligations to publish proactive information?
3. What is the relationship between “open data” and proactively published information?
4. What are good practices from different countries around the world?
5. What should the proactive publication priorities be for countries which are members of the Open Government Partnership?
These are some of the key questions about proactive publication of information which will be discussed during this webinar led by Helen Darbishire of Access Info Europe, and Kevin Dunion of the Centre for Freedom of Information at the University of Dundee.
Helen Darbishire will review recent developments concerning the right of access to information and will summarize the global trends with respect to proactive publication with a focus on the classes of information which are being published and/or which access to information and other laws require to be made public.
In addition, she will review recent developments in the world of open data and evaluate how this relates to the right of access to information. Is there something which can be qualified as a “right to data” or is this an inherent part of the right of access to information?
Finally she will discuss advocacy strategies that can be pursued by civil society to promote greater proactive publication and how to structure dialogue with governments over how to prioritize information due for release.
Country Experience- Scottish Model Publication Scheme, by Kevin Dunion
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 requires Scottish public authorities to proactively publish information. In particular, each authority must produce a Publication Scheme which has been approved by the Scottish Information Commissioner. In the first few years this meant hundreds of schemes, of variable quality, being submitted.
Kevin Dunion will present this case study that shows that the Information Commissioner resolved matters by producing a single Model Publication Scheme, which could be adopted by any authority. The Model Scheme describes classes of information which should be disclosed, providing a high degree of proactive openness and making it easy for authorities to comply with the law. An example of how this can be used to recover routinely available information from a public authority, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, will be presented.