Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen recognise importance of the online space in accessing information

To mark International Access to Information Day (IAID, also known as IAI Day), celebrated annually on 28 September, we join in our commitment to promote and uphold the fundamental right of the community to access government information.

IAID recognises the community’s right to access government-held information and its role in helping everyone participate in our democracy. The 2023 UNESCO theme for the day is: The importance of the online space for access to information.

Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen across Australia recognise that the online space plays a pivotal role in empowering citizens by providing easy and convenient access to a vast array of government information. Citizens have a right to expect transparency and accountability from the governments they elected. This fosters an informed and engaged society and enables individuals to participate actively in public discourse. The right to access information recognises that the public interest in open and accessible government information and decision-making is a crucial element of a participative democracy.

Online access to government information must be inclusive, so that all citizens can quickly and easily engage with government agencies, access services, and seek assistance. This enhances overall public service delivery and streamlines e-government services, further developing efficient and effective government.

This IAID, information commissioners and ombudsmen urge all agencies to consider their approach to the online space and implement strategies and practices to further improve digital access and support citizens’ right to access information.

The global recognition of IAID plays a crucial role in highlighting the importance of access to information, which in turn greatly aids our democratic system of government.

Find out more on the UNESCO website.

Co-signed by:

Signature of Commissioners/Ombudsmen

Angelene Falk
Australian Information Commissioner

Toni Pirani
Acting Australian Freedom of Information Commissioner

Iain Anderson
Ombudsman, ACT

Rachel Dixon
Acting Information Commissioner, Victoria

Richard Connock
Ombudsman, Tasmania

Catherine Fletcher
Information Commissioner, Western Australia

Wayne Lines 
Ombudsman, South Australia 

Stephanie Winson
Acting Information Commissioner, Queensland

Peter Shoyer 
Information Commissioner, Northern Territory

Elizabeth Tydd
Information Commissioner, New South Wales