Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Access to Information Manual for Citizens

A team of researchers from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic has released a Canadian Access to Information Manual for all 14 Canadian jurisdictions (federal, provincial and territorial).

The Manual explains how to use federal, provincial, and territorial laws to access information about the government. As well, it provides information on using federal, provincial and territorial laws to request personal information held by the public and private sectors.

Each chapter explains not only how to make a request, but also what to expect in response, and how to appeal an unsatisfactory response. There are also links to legislation, government sites and guides.

As the January 31, 2006 press release accompanying the manual explains, the intention of the project is to fill a gap on issues of government accountability and privacy rights.

"While many of the agencies responsible for access to information and privacy across Canada provide guides and Q&As on their websites, these are generally incomplete. And the legal manuals designed for professional lawyers provide more detail than the average user needs. Our User Manual is written for citizens and researchers who aren't legally trained, but who still want to exercise their legal rights."

The Manual is an initiative of "On the Identity Trail", a multidisciplinary research project led by University of Ottawa law professor Ian Kerr and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's "Initiatives on the New Economy" program.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:25 pm

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