30 June 2021

The International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC) has endorsed a resolution put forward by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to support the proactive publication of information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ICIC is a global forum which connects Information Commissioners responsible for the protection and promotion of access to information laws around the world. The 2021 conference was hosted by the Brazilian Office of the Comptroller General.

The OAIC resolution was co-sponsored by seven other information commissioners from NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Canada. It supports the ICIC’s vision to promote access to information laws and improve transparency and accountability:

As the global pandemic continues, the importance of transparency and the right to access information remains. Recognising the role that access to information has in building trust in our global community during times of crisis and beyond, Information Commissioners around the world highlight the importance of the proactive disclosure of information held by governments or public institutions.

The resolution recognises that public authorities make significant decisions that affect public health, civil liberties and economic participation, and emphasises the importance of access to information in the context of the ongoing global pandemic.

It promotes the proactive disclosure of information held by government or public institutions, wherever this is appropriate. It also encourages the proactive release of information through existing state-based mechanisms such as information publication schemes and promotes the implementation of such schemes.

Following from the adoption of the Resolution, the ICIC membership has published a joint statement to promote the value of proactive publication of information related to the COVID-19 pandemic.