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Implementation FAQs

How do you know if a request for information from the public is an FOI request?
An FOI request is a request for any information from a Cayman Islands Government public authority. It must be in writing, describe the information requested in sufficient detail to identify the record, and the requestor must provide a name.
Is a public FOI request form available?
The FOI Unit has issued a prescribed form which may be utilised to make a request for information. This form is authorised pursuant to the Freedom of Information Regulations 2008. You may also make a request online.
Who is responsible for transferring a request to another agency if the government agency does not have the record requested by the applicant?
An Information Manager has been appointed for each public authority. The Information Manager, once they have conducted an appropriate search for the requested record and made a determination that their authority does not hold the record, must contact other public authorities whose functions relate to the request and determine whether they hold the relevant record. If a record is held by another public authority then the Information Manager must transfer the application within 14 calendar days.
Can civil servants make an FOI request?
Yes, civil servants can make FOI requests. This law applies to all persons.
Is their a charge for making an FOI request?
There is no fee for making an FOI request. However, fees will be charged for reproduction of copies of the record or changing the format of a record from paper copies to electronic files.
Will it be more difficult to get documents from the Cayman Islands Government with the introduction of FOI?
No, public authorities have been told to continue to provide information as they normally do. An FOI request is only required where there is a request for a record that is not already in the public domain (e.g. available on a register or for purchase).
Is every Department required to keep a log of FOI requests?
The FOI regulations require that each Information Manager keep a record of all requests received and the decisions taken for each request. The FOI Unit has indicated to public authorities that it is good practice to also have a disclosure log. The purpose of a disclosure log is to make individual releases of information disclosed under the FOI Law available to the widest possible public audience, especially where it is of public interest.
Is their a limit on the amount of information a person can ask for?
No, there is no limit to the amount of information a person can ask for, however if a request is so voluminous that it would divert the resources of a public authority and prevent it from carrying out its mandate, this request may be refused. Full reasons have to be provided to the applicant and they will first be asked to narrow down the request before it is refused.
How much money is it costing government to introduce FOI?
The estimated cost to public funds of implementing the Law will include the cost of staff for the FOI Unit and Information Commissioner’s Office, the cost of processing requests (search and review time), costs of appeals, costs of making information available on publication schemes, the costs of training programs, and the cost of acquiring the necessary computer support systems to handle tracking of requests. It has been determined by the Government that the Law will be implemented using current staff and this will not have a significant impact on the manpower level elsewhere in the public sector.
What are the consequences of not creating a record?
It is a requirement of the National Archive and Public Records Law that each public authority creates records of their business operations. Action may be taken against a civil servant for failure to keep records in accordance with the requirements of this Law.