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Bermuda's FOI bill to be retroactive

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  1. Freedom of Information
Bermuda’s new freedom of information bill will apply to all government-held records, including those created in the past, the Royal…

Bermuda’s new freedom of information bill will apply to all government-held records, including those created in the past, the Royal Gazette reported.

When Premier Ewart Brown first introduced the public access to information legislation, or PATI, in October, the bill only granted public access to records created after the law takes effect. But an international “outcry” from freedom of information advocates prompted the lawmakers to make the bill retroactive.

According to Brown’s statement released Friday, the legislature will consider a redraft of the bill containing the retro-activity provision when the House reconvenes in January.

In preparation for the expected passage of the legislation, a team of archivists will conduct a survey to assess the strengths and weaknesses of Bermuda’s record keeping system. The survey results — expected mid-2010 — will aid in the development of new regulations for the management and retention of public records.