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Title: Jamaica's right to know : implications of Jamaica's Freedom of Information Act for Libraries and Information Professionals
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 Material Information
Title: Jamaica's right to know : implications of Jamaica's Freedom of Information Act for Libraries and Information Professionals
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Stubbs, Sandra
Publisher: Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries,
Publication Date: 2006
 Subjects
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: Jamaica -- Caribbean
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00083225
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    Cover
        Cover
    Abstract
        Abstract 1
        Abstract 2
        Abstract 3
    Main
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        Page 2
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        Page 5
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Full Text












"Jamaica's Right to Know: Implications of Jamaica's Freedom of
Information Act for Libraries and Information
Professionals "


ABSTRACT



The passing into law of the Jamaican Access to information Act (ATIA) on
July 22, 2002 with its implementation on a phased basis beginning on
January 5, 2004 concluded a process, extending over 10 years, of seeking to
provide the public with a legal right of access to the information produced by
government and affiliated agencies.

The country is now in the process of moving from a long ingrained culture of
secrecy as evidenced by the upheld Official Secrets Act of 1911, which civil
servants were required to sign and which penalized public officials for
disclosing classified information, to the new overriding ATIA with its
implications and exemptions.

This paper seeks to examine the processes involved with assisting the
Jamaican public to exploit the benefits of this legislation. Also discussed are
documented successes and challenges to date, as regards obtaining access to
government documents in the pilot agencies according to the provisions
granted under the ATIA The author looks at the agencies currently involved
in the implementation of the act and discusses the role envisaged for
libraries.

How prepared are our libraries in the various sectors and categories? What
are the copyright and cost and linguistic implications? Assisting the process
of empowering citizens to ensure that the provisions of the ATIA are enforced
through the library's historical and expanding roles of identifying, storing
and/or providing access to and dissemination of information are examined in
the context of structures such as legal deposit, application of information and
communication technologies and the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas with
newly signed regional agreements establishing the Caribbean Single Market
and Economy.






Submitted by Sandra O. Stubbs
February 23, 2006.










traducciones vertaingen tradukshon traducies traductions 06ersetzungen


"El derecho de Jamaica a la informaci6n:
las implicaciones de la Ley de Libertad de Informaci6n
para las bibliotecas y los profesionales de la informaci6n"


RESUME

La entrada en vigor, el 22 de julio del 2002, de la Ley de acceso a la informaci6n (LAO) en
Jamaica, con su implementaci6n por fases a partir del 5 de enero del 2004, marc6 la
conclusion de un process de diez aflos que pretendia darle al piblico en general el derecho
legal de tener acceso a las informaciones producidas por el gobierno y las agencies afiliadas.

El pais se encuentra actualmente en el process de pasar de una arraigada cultural de secrets -
evidenciada en la sostenida Ley de secrets oficiales de 1911, que los funcionarios pfiblicos
estaban obligados a firmar y la cual imponia una pena a aquellos funcionarios piblicos que
revelaran informaciones clasificadas al predominio de la nueva LAO con sus implicaciones
y exenciones.

En esta ponencia, se pretend investigar los process que ayudan al pfblico jamaiquino a
explotar los beneficios de esta legislaci6n. Asimismo, se habla de los dxitos y retos
documentados hasta el dia de hoy con respect a la obtenci6n de acceso a los documents
gubernamentales en las agencies pilots de acuerdo con lo establecido en la LAO. La autora
estudia las agencies involucradas actualmente en la implementaci6n de la ley y habla del
papel que podrin desempeflar las bibliotecas.

iQud tan preparadas estAn nuestras bibliotecas en los diferentes sectors y categories?
,Cuales son las implicaciones con respect a los derechos de autor y los gastos, y cuales las
implicaciones lingiisticas? Se investiga el papel hist6rico y creciente que pueden desempefiar
las bibliotecas para asistir en el process de dar a los ciudadanos el poder de asegurar que se
cumpla lo establecido en la LAO al identificar, almacenar y/o dar acceso a y divulgar las
informaciones, todo esto en el context de estructuras como la del dep6sito legal, la
aplicaci6n de tecnologias de informaci6n y comunicaci6n y el revisado Tratado de
Chaguaramas con acuerdos regionales recidn firmados que establecen el Mercado y
Economic OInicos del Caribe.


Presentada por Sandra O. Stubbs
23 de febrero del 2006.













John g. Emanstraat 110, Oranjestadi Aru6a, W.L cPhone: (297)588-2842 FaC (297)588-4678
E-mai: unlimitedtranslations@hotmail.com









Le droit de la connaissance en Jamaique : Les implications de la liberty
de I'information en Jamaique pour les bibliotheques
et les professionals de I'information


Resume

L'adoption de la loi Jamaicaine Loi d'acces a information (ATIA) le 22 juillet, 2002
avec son application sur une tape echelonn6 commengant le 5 janvier, 2004 a conclus
Un processus, se prolongeant sur 10 ans, en cherchant a apporter au public un droit legal
pour l'acces a l'information fournit par le gouvernement et les services affili6s.
Le pays est maintenant en course de changer d'une longue culture enracin6e dans le secret
comme d6montr6 par la loi des secrets officials de 1911, qui au travers de fonctionnaires
6taient obliges de signer mais aussi defavoris6s pour reveler des informations classes, de
la nouvelle loi ATIA avec ses implications et exemptions.

Cette 6tude cherche a analyse les processus impliqu6s en secondant le public Jamaicain
pour profiter des avantages de cette legislation. En outre sont discut6s les succ6s et defis
jusqu'ici, en ce qui concern 1'acces aux documents du gouvernement dans les
organismes d'essai selon les dispositions accords sous lajurisdiction de I'ATIA.
L'auteur cherche dans les organismes actuellement impliqu6s et traite le role envisage
pour les biblioth6ques.

Comment organiser nos bibliotheques dans les divers secteurs et categories ? Quel sont
les droits d'auteur et cofit et les implications linguistiques ? Assistez et encourager les
citoyens pour s'assurer que les dispositions de la loi ATIA sont appliques au travers de
l'histoire de la bibliotheque et sa politique d'l6argissement pour son repertoire, sa
conservation et/of en fournissant l'acces A la diffusion d'information qui sont explores
dans le context des structures telles que le d6p6t 16gal, I'utilisation de l'information et
des technologies de la communication et le Trait6 r6vise de Chaguaramas avec les
nouveaus accords r6gionaux signs instaurant le march6e conomique unique des
Caraibes.








Jamaica's Right to

Know


Implications of Jamaica's
Access to Information Act for
Libraries and Information
Professionals


Sandra 0. Stubbs
University of the West Indies Library, Mona
Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I .


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Information & Human Rights

* InfOrmed Choices
* Democracy
* Public Accountability
* Equal Access to Justice
* Transparency & Corruption Prevention
* Promoting Social & Economic Welfare


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


ACURIL XXXVI





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Access to Information

* Breadth of Exemptions
* Public Interest Test
* Administrative Procedures
* Enforcement Mechanisms


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


ACURIL XXXVI





The Jamaican Access to

Information Act


* Ensuring Open Government


* Changing Culture of


Secrecy


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


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esou


ACURIL XXXVI




00O
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0*.
Processes

* Designated Officers
* Assisting Patrons to access publications and
navigate difficult legal and other jargon
* Assisting individuals who need help to draft
their request for information
* Providing "How to" information


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


ACURIL XXXVI







Responding Agencies


* Jamaica Records


Access to


& Archives Department -


Information Unit


* Public Authorities
* Libraries
* Non-govermental Organisations
Volunteer Attorney's Panel


* Citizens Against State


Terrorism


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


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*0@*
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ACURIL XXXVI





How Prepared Are Our

Libraries?


* Gathering, Collating, Organizing, Analyzing
and Storing Information relevant to the
provisions of the Access to Information Act.


* Knowledge of Government Departments


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


000
0000
5,8
S ~


ACURIL XXXVI







Role of Libraries


* Easing The Burden on Public Officials


* Centres for Promoting


Awareness of


the Law


* Creating Pathfinder to the Records Held by
Different Agencies of Government
* Acquiring Some Records Automatically
* Institutional Repositories


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


000*
00*6
*0s


ACURIL XXXVI




000
***
***
0 ..
Role of Libraries



* Use of ICT

* Promoting Legal Deposit Act

* Information literacy
* Exhibitions, lectures, seminars and
workshops for stakeholders


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


ACURIL XXXVI








Collaboration & Pro-activity


* Public Libraries, National


& LIAJA


* Academic Libraries

* Special Libraries

* Library School


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


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*0**
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99e
i^ .


ACURIL XXXVI





"LIBRARIES AND THE ACCESS
TO INFORMATION ACT"


* Statement to the Joint Select Committee of
Parliament for Review of the Access to
Information Act (ATI) by the Jamaica Library
Service (JLS), National Library of Jamaica
(NLJ) and the Library and Information
Association of Jamaica (LIAJA)




ACURIL XXXVI Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


*00
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***000
***
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LIAJA '

* "The Library and Information Association of
Jamaica (LIAJA) will also incorporate the
issues and techniques related to
dissemination of information on the Act into
the professional development opportunities
offered to its members and other librarians
and information professionals."


Sandra O. Stubbs, UW,1, Mona


ACURIL XXXVI




*00
000*
000
JLS

* Public Education Fora (panel discussions,
talks, seminars, workshops)
* Exhibitions and displays
* Internet Access and related services
* On going training of staff in reference and
information work
* On going training of front line staff in
customer service


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


ACURIL XXXVI




S**
0**O

Documented Public Response *

* Media Use investigations of public
institutions
* Advocacy Groups pursuing complex human
rights issues and challenging government
policy
* Citizens & their legal representatives
* General Public


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


ACURIL XXXVI







Regional Considerations


* Caribbean Single Market


&


Economy


* Caribbean Court of Justice

* ACURIL


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


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*098
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0~i..


ACURIL XXXVI







Related Legislation


* Related statutes include the consideration of
the :
Archives Act; Copyright Act; Corruption


Prevention Act; Interpretation Act; Official
Act


Secrets


* Legal


Deposit


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


*@ee
0@**
0*es


Law


ACURIL XXXVI







Cost


* Costs


to Agencies


& individuals could both


prove prohibitive


* Applying Information
Technologies


&


Communication


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


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00@*


ACURIL XXXVI








Linguistic Implications


* Translation to Jamaican English


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


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00


ACURIL XXXVI







Challenges


* Promoting awareness among the general
public, of the nature of the Act, and the types
of documents which can be obtained under
the Act.


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


*00
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000 .


ACURIL XXXVI




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Next Steps .

* Encouraging/assisting public agencies to be
more open & speedy in their delivery of
information
* Restructuring to improve processes &
procedures.


Sandra O. Stubbs, UWI, Mona


ACURIL XXXVI




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