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Research shows Victorians value their Right to Know

International Right to Know Day is celebrated each year on 28 September to raise awareness of the community’s right to access government held information.

In the lead up to Right to Know Day 2019, new research commissioned by the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) shows Victorians feel strongly about the importance of having access to government information. The research was coordinated by the Information and Privacy Commission (IPC), New South Wales.

The research shows 90% of Victorians believe having access to government information is important and 85% of Victorians are aware of their right to access government information.

The Victorian Information Commissioner is calling on government agencies to embrace this sentiment by taking a proactive approach to releasing information.

“This research clearly demonstrates that Victorians value their right to know and access to government information” said Information Commissioner Sven Bluemmel. “Government must embrace the public’s right to know as it is essential to a fair, inclusive and democratic society”.

As the primary regulator for how the public sector collects, uses and shares information, OVIC promotes and upholds Victorians’ right to know by providing independent oversight of freedom of information (FOI) in Victoria.

To celebrate Right to Know Day 2019, OVIC is hosting a public forum at the Wheeler Centre on Tuesday 24 September. The forum will include a panel discussion moderated by Professor Moira Paterson, Monash University, and will explore whether community expectations and FOI are at odds.

“Much has changed since Victoria’s landmark FOI Act was enacted in 1982, including the Act itself and the environmental and governmental contexts in which it operates” said Professor Paterson. “This event provides a valuable opportunity to explore how it is functioning and the modern challenges facing applicants and FOI decision makers.”

Panellists include Clay Lucas, The Age, Melanie Olynyk, Maddocks Lawyers, Robin Davey, Victoria Police and Joanne Kummrow, Public Access Deputy Commissioner, OVIC.

OVIC provides free FOI training to Victorian public sector staff and from 1 July 2019 commenced publishing de-identified decisions between government and FOI applicants online.

For media enquiries contact:

Simone Martin

t:            (03) 8684 7585
e:           simone.martin@ovic.vic.gov.au

For enquiries about freedom of information in Victoria contact:

Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC)

t:           1300 006 842
e:           enquiries@ovic.vic.gov.au

For further background, please refer to:

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