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Preparing for Implementation

In preparing for the implementation of any RTI law, the governments will have to take steps to establish the groundwork necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the access law. This page provides links to implementation resources on the following areas which commonly need to be addressed in preparing for implementation:

GeneralTraining Public Officials
Raising Public Awareness

Proactive Disclosure
Records Management

General

Training Public Officials

As a matter of priority, those implementing the law need to be fully trained in their responsibilities under the law, in how to manage applications/appeals, to apply and interpret the law. Training should be ongoing. As the law is implemented, problems will evolve over time needing solutions and changes in approach and strategy.

Raising Public Awareness

If right to information laws are to meet their objectives of encouraging more public participation and oversight of government, then citizens need to be completely aware of their rights and how to enforce them. Experience has shown that, in the early stages of implementation, it is important for the Government to take a proactive role in promoting the Act and making the public aware of the law and how they can use it.

Proactive Disclosure

Right to Information laws not only require governments to provide information upon request, they also impose a duty on public bodies to actively disclose, disseminate and publish information, as widely as possible. The types of information that organisations are required to publish proactively varies for each RTI law. One of the key activities when preparing to implement an RTI law is putting in place systems which facilitate proactive disclosure of information.

Records Management

At the core of the right to information are records - papers, documents, files, notes, materials, videos, tapes, samples, computer printouts, disks and a range of other things. Without an effective system for creating, managing, storing and archiving records, implementation of RTI laws will be more difficult.