Next week marks the start of Right to Know Week in many countries across the globe. The very first Right to Know Day was held in 2002 after a FOI coalition meeting in Bulgaria. Since then, Right to Know Day has served as a reminder of the importance of government transparency and citizen engagement worldwide. Freedom of Information and Access to Information policies are important parts of any open government effort. Not only is it important for the public to have access to data that might affect court cases or news reports; reporters, private companies, and individual citizens need the ability to hold their government accountable. This freedom of information day has grown into a week-long celebration with many agencies hosting speeches and other events.
The Access to Information Programme also organizes an annual Golden Key award ceremony for journalists, citizens, and NGOs dedicated to the pursuit and support of right to know access. Each year the AIP awards these honors to those who meet the criteria of consistency, persistency, and public impact. You can get involved with your local FOI efforts starting with the events listed below:
Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada Events
– The Canadian Association of Journalists – FOI Friday, Fri. September 26, 12:30-1:30 p.m. EST, National Press Building Ottawa, Ontario
– ATIP Practitioners Meeting, Wed. September 24, 10:00-10:30 a.m. EST, Ottawa Ontario
– International Right to Know Day (Transparency and Public Health Speech), Mon. September 29, 9:00 – 12:00 CEST, Brussels