|Welcome to the Information Commissioner's Office in the Cayman Islands|
What is FOI?
The Cayman Islands Freedom of Information Law (2015 Revision), referred to as the "FOI Law", is based on the principle that the government should rarely, and only in compelling circumstances, possess more information than citizens possess. Freedom of Information is critical to a well-functioning democracy. The FOI Law takes away the discretion of government to determine what information, if any, they choose to provide, when, and to whom. It replaces this discretion with a set of rules that apply when responding to a freedom of information request. The Law seeks to strike a balance between the public’s legitimate right to know and the need for government to keep some information confidential.
The FOI Law gives individuals the right to timely and complete access to government information. Individuals are not required to give any reasons for requesting the information. Government may refuse access only in eleven narrow circumstances, of which all but one, are reviewable by the Information Commissioner. The FOI Law and the Commissioner expects Public Authorities to be transparent and provide people with access to official information as a matter of course.
The Information Commissioner’s Office is an independent entity responsible for monitoring compliance with the FOI Law. Individuals denied access or who believe their request was mishandled may appeal the matter to the Commissioner, who has the authority to review the matter, make all findings of fact and law, and issue a binding decision. The Commissioner is also responsible for promoting general awareness of the FOI Law, the public’s rights and the obligations of government under the Law.
The Role of the Information Commissioner's Office
The Information Commissioner's Office promotes access rights to Government records and monitors the compliance of public authorities with the Freedom of Information Law (2015 Revision). Successive Government's have demonstrated a commitment of Freedom of Information by passing appropriate legislation and enshrining it in the Cayman Islands Constitution.The ICO works to ensure that information is available and the public understands how to access it.
In addition to specific powers and responsibilities provided for in the Freedom of Information Law (2015 Revision), section 39 of the Law states that the Information Commissioner may:
Frequently Asked Questions