Public Forum on the Access to Information Act
Executive Director of the National Integrity Action, Professor Trevor Munroe, is among those confirmed for the Access to Information Public Forum to be held at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) Annex II, UWI, Mona on Thursday, September 29, at 5:00pm. Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Derrick Smith will officially open the function.
The Forum is being put on by the Access to Information Unit, Office of the Prime Minister, in partnership with CARIMAC, as part of the observance of Right to Know Week (September 25 to October 1). The Forum is being held under the theme: ‘The Access to Information Act—Impact, Challenges and Opportunities’.
Mrs. Shereika Hemmings-Allison, Senior Legal Officer in the OPM with Interim Oversight Responsibility for the Access to Information Unit explained that the Forum is being staged as a crucial part of RTK Week, specifically to engage stakeholders and the wider public in a conversation about the impact of the Act and the way forward.
“The Act has been in effect since 2002 and operational since 2004. Now is a good time for us to look at the Act and assess how it has helped to transform the information landscape in Jamaica and if the Act has played a role in improving government accountability and transparency,” she noted.
Mrs. Hemmings Allison further encouraged members of the public, especially stakeholders in government, academia, the private sector and civil society to come out to be a part of the forum.
“It is important that we hear from members of the public and our stakeholders, because we need their views on how we can improve service delivery to them, and in so doing, support the advancement of public accountability in our country,” Mrs. Hemmings-Allison stated.
Other participants in the forum include Jo-anne Archibald, Principal Director of Information, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; Damian Cox, Chief Technical Director, Ministry of Labour (former Director of the ATI Unit); Jenni Campbell, former Gleaner Managing Editor and Past President, Press Association of Jamaica, and Nastassia Robinson, Legal Officer, Jamaica Environment Trust (JET). The discussion is to be moderated by Mrs. Emily Shields Attorney-At-Law and Talk-Show host.