The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) is encouraging Queenslanders to join communities and government around Australia and the world to celebrate International Access to Information Day (IAI Day) on 28 September 2020.
Access to information can play a key role in saving lives and mitigating the impact of crises such as the current pandemic or natural disasters.
This year IAI Day’s theme is Building trust through transparency.
Queensland’s Information Commissioner, Rachael Rangihaeata, said the theme highlights how important it is to have open, transparent and accountable government that proactively releases information to the community.
“It’s a fundamental building block in a democratic society,” Ms Rangihaeata said.
“Timely access to accurate information helps citizens follow responses to crises like the current pandemic or natural disasters.
“When government is transparent and discloses information, this empowers us as citizens to take responsible action than can help mitigate the impact of the pandemic.”
The Right to Information (RTI) also holds governments accountable in times of crisis, when critical decisions about health or public safety, the economy and human rights are being made. RTI and transparency ultimately build trust, unity and can lead to better decision-making.
Ms Rangihaeata said proactive disclosure of information is critical to influencing community behaviour in Queensland and achieving health, economic and social response outcomes during the pandemic.
“We know Queensland’s economic recovery will rely on access to information so individuals and governments can make informed decisions about matters affecting them,” she said.
IAI Day in Queensland will have a predominantly digital focus in 2020, as we adapt to the challenges of COVID-19. The OIC has a dedicated IAI Day webpage for more information, as well as resources and links to online events.
(Note: Queensland previously celebrated this occasion as Right to Information Day, however Australian Information Access Commissioners have aligned with the United Nations’ international campaign in 2020.)