Do you know your rights when it comes to accessing government records? Well, as BC’s annual Right to Know Week is set to kick off in just seven days, I thought a two-part blog post series on information access – and the event itself – might be in order. First up: all about Right to Know Week.

Freedom of information legislation around the world

Did you know that as of 2012, approximately 90 countries have freedom of information legislation? Celebrated each year as an extension of the International Right to Know Day, BC’s Right to Know Week is designed to educate the public around their right to access government records.

How it all started

Right to Know got its start back in 2002 when a number of freedom of information organizations met in Bulgaria to form the Freedom of Information Advocates Network. One of this network’s goals was to promote individuals’ access to government information and to promote open, transparent governance. The FOIA Network proposed September 28 to be known as an international Right to Know Day. In 2009, our province’s Right to Know Week was officially proclaimed by the BC government.

Right to Know Week 2012

During this year’s Right to Know Week, there are a number of great information access-centric events scheduled to happen across Canada. One of the events in BC is the Open Data Learning Summit held in Vancouver on September 21. The event is open to the public, but registration is required.

Mark your calendar for September 24 as next week marks the second half of this two-part blog series. The subject will be on information access and open data, what having a right to know means for you and how you can exercise these rights.