Press release from ICO
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is marking International Your Right to Know Day (Thursday 28 September) by launching a new initiative on Freedom of Information publication schemes.
The move follows a review of publication schemes in 2005 which highlighted the need to develop and improve the dissemination of public sector information.
The initiative will seek feedback from anyone with an opinion on publication schemes – whether a freedom of information professional, practitioner or user.
This will be followed by a series of sector specific workshops to be held between January and August 2007 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Practitioners and representative bodies from each of the sectors – central government, local government, police, health and education - will be invited to participate.
In addition, the ICO is also enrolling an Advisory Panel of experts and interested parties who will provide a sounding board for ideas and provide feedback where appropriate.
The output of the workshops will be published as sector specific publication scheme guides, containing the core classes required for approval and good practice tips on dissemination, maintenance, training, promotion and review. This process will be rolled out between September 2007 and March 2008. Public authorities will then be required to submit their schemes for re-approval between June 1 – 31 December 2008.
Dawn Monaghan, senior manager with responsibility for good practice in freedom of information at the ICO, said: “We want to work closely with public authorities to help them improve and enhance their publication schemes. We hope this process will help to steer all sectors towards a culture of proactive disclosure and ensure a consistency of core classes of information across public authorities.
Also see ICO Policy on publication schemes