Access to Information

The Access to Information Act was passed in June 2002 out of an initiative to provide the public with a greater sense of the accountability and transparency of public entities. The Act enables the public to access some official information pertaining to these government entities, provided that such access does not infringe on the rights of any individual, and provided that the release of the information does not prejudice the interest of national security and other public interest.

The Act requires that Government Bodies provide detailed information to the public on their organizational structure, their functions, how the entity relates to the public and how the public can get involved in the work of the entity.

The Act is being implemented on a phased basis, with the Administrator-General’s Department coming on stream in the third phase of implementation which began in August 2004.

How does the Act work?

Members of the public are able to access documents that pertain to the functions of the Administrator-General’s Department and are in the possession, custody or control of the Department, but which were not created or held earlier than thirty (30) years ago in so far as these documents are not protected from being disclosed by any of the exemptions provided under the Act.

The process

A member of the public may make a request for information by telephone, by fax or in writing, giving as much information about to document to the relevant officer in order to facilitate its expeditious retrieval, and providing the Officer with information on how to remain in contact with you.

The department will acknowledge receipt of your request within seven (7) working days, respond to your request in a timely manner and keep you informed of our progress. We will inform you and provide access within thirty (30) days of receipt of your request if access has been granted to the requested document(s). In the event that the requested document or information is protected from disclosure, you will be informed of your right to appeal.

Where access has been granted, the information may be conveyed orally, through allowing the applicant to view and read the information in a prescribed location or through making copies of the information available on paper or in electronic format. Reproduction of documents attracts a fee which is borne by the applicant.

The Information Officer at our department is Karen A. Campbell-Bascoe. She may be contacted at:

The Administrator-General’s Department 
The Office Centre Building
12 Ocean Boulevard
P.O Box 458
Kingston, Jamaica.

Telephone: 922-1830-3; 922-0700-5

Fax: 922-4201

Email:  admingen@agd.gov.jm

GOVERNMENT BODIES

  • Government Ministries
  • Agencies and Departments
  • Statutory Bodies
  • Parish Councils
  • Wholly-owned Government Companies
  • Companies in which the Government has more than 50% share interest
  • Publicly-funded educational institutions

EXEMPTIONS

The following documents are exempted under the Act:
Documents pertaining to:

  • Security, defence, international relations;
  • The Cabinet;
  • Law enforcement;
  • Legal privilege
  • The national economy
  • Government’s deliberative processes;
  • Business affairs of others (trade secrets, etc.)
  • Personal privacy