The PATI Act gives Bermudians and residents of Bermuda a right to access records held by public authorities, subject to listed exemptions and administrative grounds for denial of access. Individuals who are dissatisfied with the response of a public authority may seek an independent review by the Information Commissioner.
The Information Commissioner
The current Information Commissioner for Bermuda is Gitanjali S. Gutierrez. Commissioner Gutierrez was appointed on 2 March 2015 and was reappointed to a second term on 2 March 2020.
The mandate of the Information Commissioner is to promote public access to information. The Information Commissioner achieves this by raising public awareness of the rights conferred by the Act and providing guidance for, and oversight of, public authorities’ compliance with the PATI Act. An important part of the Information Commissioner’s job is to decide reviews of a public authority’s decision when a PATI requester disagrees with the response to their PATI request or the authority’s handling of it. To do this, the Information Commissioner and the ICO must remain independent of political parties and the Government, as well as avoid the appearance of any bias. Commissioner Gutierrez is committed to making decisions based upon a fair, independent and responsible application of the PATI Act.
The Information Commissioner’s Office
In addition to the Information Commissioner, the ICO has a team of dedicated professionals to fulfil the office’s mandate.