New Zealand Law Society - Celebrating first-ever Freedom of Information Act

Celebrating first-ever Freedom of Information Act

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The 250th anniversary of the passing of the first Freedom of Information legislation, in Sweden, is being marked in New Zealand and across the Tasman.

The office of the Ombudsman is marking the anniversary by highlighting the importance of open government and the right to access government-held information.

This sestercentennial anniversary also coincides with the closing of public submissions on Australia’s first Open Government National Action Plan today.

In a joint statement by the Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier and the Ombudsman Leo Donnelly, and the Australian counterparts say: “The right to access government held information and our ongoing commitment to Open Government is a cornerstone of modern democratic society.

“Freedom of information enables citizens to access information held by governments and their agencies.

“Having access to Government held information is critical to citizens being able to meaningfully participate in Government decision making.”

New Zealand established its own Freedom of Information Act in 1982, replacing the Official Secrets Act of 1951.