Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner calls on public institutions to join the Transparency Challenge

TORONTO, ON (September 28, 2022) – Today, on International Right to Know Day, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) launched a Transparency Challenge, calling on public institutions to share their innovative projects or programs that improve government transparency for the benefit of Ontarians.

“Transparency is critical to our democracy. It helps people better understand how government decisions are made, and the policies and issues that affect them. This is why Privacy and Transparency in a Modern Government is one of our four strategic priorities and why we are encouraging Ontario’s public institutions to join the Transparency Challenge,” said Patricia Kosseim, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The IPC is seeking creative examples of projects or programs that modernize and improve government transparency, promote civic engagement, and show how open data and open government can have a tangible and positive impact on Ontarians.

Some of these examples will be featured in the IPC’s Transparency Showcase, to be unveiled in mid-2023, as an inspiration for others. Institutions are being encouraged to use visuals or videos and tell concrete stories of how their initiative improves the lives of Ontarians.

“We hope organizations will get excited about this opportunity and rise to the challenge. Our role will be to collect, curate and celebrate great examples of transparency projects and programs,” said Commissioner Kosseim. “The intent is for the Transparency Showcase to illustrate compelling examples and encourage others towards greater openness.  It’s also a way to increase awareness and understanding of the benefits of open data in improving the day-to-day lives of Ontarians.”

The Transparency Challenge is open to public sector institutions in Ontario at the provincial and municipal levels that are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Further details on the Transparency Challenge can be found on the IPC’s website. The submission period closes on January 13, 2023.

The launch of the Transparency Challenge is one of several initiatives for Right to Know Week, which runs in Canada from September 26 to October 2, 2022. International Right to Know Day originated in 2002 at an international meeting of access to information advocates, who proposed September 28 as a day dedicated to the promotion of freedom of information worldwide. About 40 countries and 60 non-governmental organizations celebrate Right to Know Day and one hundred countries have right-to-know legislation.

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