Know Your FOI

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FOI Policy Analyst Natasha Bodden explains the ins and outs of the FOI Law.

Published 17th March 2008, 5:7pm

With more than 200 attending, the Freedom of Information (FOI) Unit's first round of sensitisation sessions at the Family Life Centre last Wednesday (12 March) was deemed a 'popular draw.' Geared towards civil servants, the sessions are designed to give all public officials a general knowledge base regarding the FOI Law. Presentations start with an audio-visual viewing of the main aspects of FOI and conclude with a question and answer segment. "FOI can seem like a daunting initiative. With these sessions we are trying to give people some insight into the practical implications of the law," comments FOI Coordinator Carole Excell. The concept of people having access to government information is new to Cayman, and FOI implementation will not happen overnight: "The sensitisation sessions are just the beginning, providing a good starting point for all to hear why we have the law, what it means to them and how they fit into it. More targeted training sessions are in the works for information managers," Ms Excell explains. With implementation less than a year away, the FOI Unit will work non-stop to help public agencies overcome any stumbling blocks such as record keeping, she says. "And starting with the baseline assessments we received from each public agency, we are now identifying the gaps we need to bridge in time for implementation in January 2009." The next FOI sensitisation session is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday 18 March) from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the Family Life Centre. Anyone is welcome to attend. For more information on FOI, log onto www.foi.gov.ky or visit the FOI Office in Elizabethan Square.