In June 2002, Jamaica passed the Access To Information Act (ATI) legislation. The provisions of the Act were implemented on a phased basis, starting on 5th January 2004 and culminating on 5th July 2005, with all Ministries, government agencies and public bodies implementing the Act.
The ATI Act seeks to grant the right of access to records in the custody of government entities, to groups, organizations and the ordinary Jamaican Citizens. However, exception is made for documents and information which fall into certain categories, which are designated by the act as exempt and therefore not open to public scrutiny.
The ATI Act seeks to reinforce the basic principles of:
• Government accountability
• Transparency; and
• Public participation in national decision making