The International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC) will hold its 12th annual conference virtually and will be hosted by the Brazilian Office of the Comptroller General (CGU).
The theme for the 2021 edition of ICIC Conference is “Access to information for a changing world: using technology to promote inclusion”. It will bring together experts and professionals from around the world to discuss specific themes on transparency and access to information in a series of webinars throughout the year titled ‘ICIC Wednesdays’. The online closed sessions will take place on June 23 and 24, 2021 for members and observers only.
The Conference which will be in open sessions, taking the form of webinars and online workshops, will be available to everyone through the ICIC’s YouTube channel and CGU’s YouTube channel.
The webinars aim to provide participants with dialogue and reflection on some of the most important topics related to the right of access to information and will be marked by appreciating the diversity of opinions and points of view, with representatives from academia, the public sector and the private sector. More than offering unilaterally the transmission of information or knowledge, the event will seek to encourage dialogue, discussion and the development of critical reasoning, being free and open to everyone and all those interested in the proposed themes.
The first webinar took place on May 21, 2021 and explored the topic: “Transparency and Trust in Pandemic Times”. The session, a mediated conversation, was watched on the ICIC channel and the CGU channel.
The first open session webinar in the series of eight took place on 26 May 2021 and took off with opening remarks by Elizabeth Denham, Chair of the ICIC Governance Working Group and UK Information Commissioner; and Wagner de Campos Rosário, Chief Minister of the Office of the Comptroller General (CGU), Brazil. The session explored the topic; ‘Transparency and trust in pandemic times’.
The following is the schedule for the remainder of the year:
- June 30, 2021 – Blurred boundaries in access to information: home office and public records management
July 28, 2021 – Privacy and transparency in health issues
- August 25, 2021 – Access to information and Freedom of Press
- September 29, 2021 – Challenges of Transparency in the Digital Governments: Transparency of public administration in the use of Artificial Intelligence
- October 27, 2021 – State Secrecy
- November 24, 2021 – Interplay between data protection and access to information
- December 8, 2021 – Environmental Information and P10
The webinars will all be broadcast live in English at 1400 hours UTC on the following YouTube channels: ICIC channel and CGU channel.
The ICIC conference was held in April 2003 in Berlin, Germany with the Theme: Regulation on access to information and freedom of expression, its implementation and exercise of the right of access to information. Subsequently the conferences were held in South Africa (2004), Mexico (2005), England (2006), New Zealand (2007), Norway (2009), Canada (2011), Germany (2013), Chile (2015), and England (2017).
The goals of the ICIC are to: Protect and promote access to public information; Promote and support dialogue and mutual cooperation; Encourage the development and sharing of information and best practices, including peer learning; Undertake and support research on issues integral to access to public information; and Develop the capacity of the ICIC.
Its other goals are to: Help to develop the capacity of its registered members and increase membership; Facilitate reflection and learning from case work on systemic issues; Act as a collective voice in the international community to raise awareness of issues that impact upon access to public information; and Promote the development and adoption of international standards in access to public information in all regions across the world, including the establishment of independent oversight bodies.