28 September 2023

To mark International Access to Information Day (IAID, also known as IAI Day), celebrated annually on 28 September, we join in our commitment to promote and uphold the fundamental right of the community to access government information.

IAID recognises the community’s right to access government-held information and its role in helping everyone participate in our democracy. The 2023 UNESCO theme for the day is ‘the importance of the online space for access to information’.

Information commissioners and ombudsmen across Australia recognise that the online space plays a pivotal role in empowering citizens by providing easy and convenient access to a vast array of government information.

Citizens have a right to expect transparency and accountability from the governments they elected. This fosters an informed and engaged society and enables individuals to participate actively in public discourse.

The right to access information recognises that the public interest in open and accessible government information and decision making is a crucial element of a participative democracy.

Online access to government information must be inclusive, so that all citizens can quickly and easily engage with government agencies, access services and seek assistance. This enhances overall public service delivery and streamlines e-government services, further developing efficient and effective government.

This IAID, information commissioners and ombudsmen urge all agencies to consider their approach to the online space and implement strategies and practices to further improve digital access and support citizens’ right to access information.

The global recognition of IAID plays a crucial role in highlighting the importance of access to information, which in turn greatly aids our democratic system of government.

Find out more about IAID.

Co-signed by

Angelene Falk, Australian Information Commissioner

Toni Pirani, Acting Australian Freedom of Information Commissioner

Iain Anderson, Ombudsman, Australian Capital Territory

Rachel Dixon, Acting Information Commissioner, Victoria

Richard Connock, Ombudsman, Tasmania

Catherine Fletcher, Information Commissioner, Western Australia

Wayne Lines, Ombudsman, South Australia

Stephanie Winson, Acting Information Commissioner, Queensland

Peter Shoyer, Information Commissioner, Northern Territory

Elizabeth Tydd, Information Commissioner, New South Wales