A Comprehensive Framework for Access to Information Reform

Conclusion

It has been said that information is the currency of democratic life. This is true, in part, because the public's ability to hold government to account depends on having a full understanding of the circumstances in which government operates. Also, a well-informed citizenry can participate more effectively in public life.

However, the public's right of access to government-controlled information must be balanced with the public interest in protecting certain types of information. Maintaining this balance is the most significant challenge facing the development of a comprehensive reform package. Also, any amendments to the Access to Information Act should be forward-looking, able to withstand changing circumstances, and effective for many years to come. The Parliamentary and public debate engendered by this paper and the work of the Committee will make an important contribution to the creation of a modern, finely balanced, and enduring federal access regime.

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