Transparency Saint Helena

Arguing for improved access to the way government takes decisions. In short, the creation of a Freedom of Information Ordinance for St. Helena.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


If we get Freedom of Information, do we not also need Data Protection ('DP') as well?

The answer is, probably, Yes.

A Freedom of Information Ordinance would define government data that is to be released to the general public.  A Data Protection Ordinance would control private data and ensure that it is not released to the general public.

So the government, under Freedom of Information, would release ExCo agendas, papers and minutes, but would not - under Data Protection - release personal details like whether or not I am up to date with my electricity bill.

Similarly, a government department - for example, the Bank of St. Helena - would release information about their general lending, but would not release any information about individuals or their loans.

The UK has Freedom of Information and Data protection legislation.  This is largely historical - DP came into force long before FoI.  Here we should maybe have a single Ordinance, covering both.  Discuss.

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