The Information Commissioner’s Office is an independent, non-governmental office that promotes and oversees the use of the Public Access to Information (PATI) Act 2010 in three ways:
Public Awareness: promoting the public’s awareness of their rights under the Act and their understanding of how to use the Act
Guidance and Oversight: providing general guidance about and oversight of public authorities’ responsibilities under the PATI Act
Appeals: hear, investigate and decide applications for review of public authorities’ decisions on requests for access to records and other decisions made under the PATI Act
An important part of the Information Commissioner's job is to hear appeals (reviews) from requesters who disagree with a public authority’s decision or handling of their request. To do this job, the Information Commissioner and the ICO must remain independent of political parties, the Government and avoid the appearance of any bias. The Information Commissioner is committed to making decisions based upon a fair, independent and responsible application of the PATI Act.