The Government of Bermuda is pleased to release the Public Access to Information: Administrative Code of Practice for Public Authorities (the Code) to serve as a practical guide for Government officers, and provide public authorities with information and guidance for compliance with the administrative components required by the Public Access to Information Act 2010 (the PATI Act) and the Regulations 2014. The production of this Code signifies a continuing, positive shift towards greater accountability, openness and transparency.
The PATI Act facilitates the legal right of the public to access records held by Government entities about their structure, operations and decisions. This Code serves as an important tool in the successful implementation, administration and management of the PATI system within public authorities. It contains good practice elements to supplement the statutory provisions of the Act and Regulations. The Information Commissioner has provided consultation and will promote the adherence of the Code.
The purpose of the Code is to:
- provide standards of best practice for administration of the Act;
- provide guidance on the obligations and responsibilities of public authorities to enhance their knowledge and expertise for compliance;
- articulate the process for responding to requests; and
- enable, to the greatest extent possible, consistency of approach by public authorities in responding to requests.
The Code serves as a practical guide, containing good practice elements to supplement the statutory provisions of the Act and Regulations. It articulates the responsibilities of key persons and agencies and the process for administration of requests. The Code details the steps in the PATI process (including timelines) as well as topics such as: clarifying requests, transferring requests, application of the public interest test, handling third party information and steps in the review process. Suggested templates for responding to various aspects of requests are also provided in the appendices of the Code.
This Code is considered a dynamic document, requiring regular reviews and updates. Suggestions for improvements can be addressed to the Policy and Strategy Section, 129 Front Street, Hamilton 12, or email@example.com. The public can visit https://www.gov.bm/online-services/make-pati-request to review the document.