Every person has the right to receive and to disseminate information and ideas without interference. The purpose is to give maximum effect to that right in respect of information held by public authorities and to enhance good governance through knowledge, transparency and accountability.
The Freedom of Information Act promotes maximum disclosure of information in the public interest, guarantees and facilitates the right of access to information of every person and provides for effective mechanisms to secure that right. Refusals of information based on public economic interests do not apply if the information concerned reveals a serious public safety or environmental risk.
Right to access information (Sections 6(1) and 15)
Obligated entities (Section 3)
A public authority means: the Government; a Ministry of the Government and a department; the Barbuda Council; a body (i) established by or under the Constitution or any other law; (ii) owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Government from public funds; such other body carrying out a public function; among others.
Time limits to provide the information (Sections 18 (1) and 18(3))
Twenty working days of receipt of the request. The official may, extend the period to the extent strictly necessary, and in any case to not more than forty working days.
Active transparency (Section 10(1))
Every public authority shall, in the public interest, publish and disseminate in an accessible form, updated annually, publish basic information, clearly dated including: an accurate and sufficiently detailed description of its structure and finances; relevant details concerning services it provides directly to members of the public; any direct request or complaints mechanisms available to members of the public; a description of the powers and duties of its senior officers, and the procedure it follows in making decisions; the content of all decisions and policies it has adopted which affect the public; among others.
Oversight body (Part V)
An Information Commissioner is established to monitor and report on compliance.
Appeal procedures (Sections 41 and 45)
A person may apply in writing to the Commissioner if an authority has failed to comply with an obligation provided for in the law. The complainant or the relevant public authority may apply to the High Court for a review of a decision of the Commissioner.