International Right to Know Day 2023

The ICO celebrated another successful International Right to Know Day with the theme Start. Lead. Change. Use the PATI Act. Our efforts focused on encouraging the public to use their PATI rights to drive the changes that they wish to see in their lives and across our community. The celebrations were launched with Information Commissioner Gutierrez visiting Power 95 for an early morning interview with Ms. Thang on Monday 25 September. The Commissioner wishes to thank Ms. Thang for her time and the lighthearted and important conversation on PATI rights in Bermuda.

On International Right to Know Day (Thursday 28 September), Commissioner Gutierrez returned as the guest on The Daily Hour talk show, with hosts Jamel Hardtman and Sherri Vanderpool. Topical issues of the day, such as the recent cyberattack on the Bermuda Government’s IT systems, were discussed in the context of public access to information. As always, the Daily Hour’s hosts and audience members offered insightful questions to the Commissioner during the interactive interview; questions such as “Is there a running list of all PATI requests?”

In case you missed it, watch the replay for the answers to the many other questions shared. The Commissioner wishes to thank Jamel Hardtman and the Daily Hour team for the opportunity to once again celebrate International Right to Know Day with their audience.

As host Jamel Hardtman shared during the programme: “This Office [ICO] exists for us. It exists for every last one of us and it’s up to us to take advantage of it, use it and really make it work for us. So, there’s no excuse to be frustrated about what the government won’t tell us when we have the opportunity to find out if we really want to know.”

The ICO team also hosted pop-up booths in the City of Hamilton: one at Hamilton Marketplace and the other at Nelly’s Walk at City Hall. People from all sectors of the community came out to meet the members of the ICO team, ask about their PATI rights, and share their experiences with using the PATI Act. People received tips and feedback from ICO team members about how they could use their PATI rights. There were lots of giveaways for the public to enjoy while celebrating International Right to Know Day.

Commissioner Gutierrez also delivered her annual International Right to Know Day message virtually, which is now available on the ICO YouTube channel. She reminded the public that the “power of the PATI Act starts with you” because “actions are powerful catalysts for change.” Commissioner Gutierrez applauded those who have taken action to make PATI requests and used their right to know.

To round out its Right to Know Week events, the ICO launch its new Blog on its website, providing a new hub of PATI resources and ICO-related news. Commissioner Gutierrez encourages all stakeholders, from current and potential PATI requesters to public officers, to take a fresh look at PATI rights through helpful PATI insights, practical resources, and real-time updates on PATI matters both locally and globally.