No: 19 of 2004. The Freedom ofInformation 1 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
[ L.S. ]
James B. Carlisle,
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
No. 19 of 2004
AN ACT to promote maximum disclosure of information in the
public interest, to guarantee and facilitate the right of access
to information and to provide for effective mechanisms to
secure that right.
[Published in the Official Gazette Vcl. XYIVNo. 93
dated 23rd December, 20041
ENACTED by the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda as
1. This Act may be cited as the Freedom of Information Act, short title and
2004 and, shall come into operation on a date appointed by the Commencement.
Minister by Notice published in the Gazette.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires - Interpretation.
"Commissioner" means the Information Commissioner,
appointed pursuant to Part V;
ANTIGUA 2 The Freedom of Information No. 19of 2004.
AND Act, 2004.
"information officer" means a person so designated
pursuant to section 9 (1);
"Minister" means the Minister responsible for public
"official" means any person employed by the relevant
body, whether permanently or temporarily and whether
part-time or full time;
"personal information" means information which relates
to a natural living person who can be identified from that
"public authority" has the meaning given to it pursuant to
section 3 (1);
"publish" means make available in a form generally
accessible to members of the public and includes print,
broadcast and electronic forms of dissemination; and
"record" has thelmeaning set out in section 4.
Interpretation 3. For the purposes of this Act, a public authority means -
(a) the Government;
(b) a Ministry of the Government and a department,
division or unit, by whatever name known, of a
(c) the Barbuda Council established under section 123
of the Constitution and the Barbuda Local
(i) established by or under the Constitution or
any other law;
(ii) owned, controlled or substantially financed
by the Government from public funds;
No. 19 of 2004. The Freedom of Information 3 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
(iii) carrying out a function conferred by law or by
executive action, or a public function
conferred by the Government, only to the
extent of that function;
(e) such other body carrying out a public function as
the Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette,
4. (1) For purposes of this Act, a record includes any Records.
recorded information, regardless of its form, source, date of
creation, or official status, whether or not it was created by
the public authority that holds it and whether or not it is
(2) A public authority holds a record if -
(a) the public authority holds the record, other than on
behalf of another person; or
(b) another person holds the record, on behalf of the
5. This Act binds the Crown. Act binds the
6. (1) Within the broad objectives of section 12 of the Principles and
Constitution, every person has the right, and is free, to receive objectives, and
and to disseminate information and ideas without interference. Of
Act in relation
The paramount purpose of this Act is to give maximum effect to , other laws,
that right in respect of information held by public authorities etc.
(subject only to such exceptions as are reasonably justifiable in
a democratic society or specifically prescribed by law) and to
enhance good governance through knowledge, transparency
(2) This Act applies to the exclusion of the provisions of any
other law that prohibits or restricts the disclosure of a record by
a public authority to the extent that such provision is inconsistent
with this Act.
(3) Nothing in this Act limits or otherwise restricts the
disclosure of information pursuant to any other law, policy or
Guide to using
officers of public
The Freedom of Information No. 19 of 2004.
7. This Act does not apply to -
(a) a commission of inquiry or the proceedings and
findings of such a Commission, established pursuant
to the Commissions of Inquiry Act;
(b) such public authority or function of a public
authority as the Minister may, by Order subject to
negative resolution of the House of Representatives,
(c) a court, or the holder of a judicial office or other
office pertaining to a court in its capacity or his
capacity as such; or
(d) a registry or other office of a court and the staff of
such a registry or other office in their capacity as
members of that staff in relation to matters pertaining
to the administration of the court.
MEASURES TO PROMOTE OPENNESS
8. (1) The Commissioner shall, as soon as practicable, compile
a clear and simple guide containing practical information to
facilitate the effective exercise of rights pursuant to this Act,
and shall disseminate the guide widely in an accessible form.
(2) The guide published under subsection (1) shall be updated
on a regular basis and in any case once every five years.
9. (1) Every public authority shall designate one of its oficers
as an information officer and ensure that members of the public
have easy access to the information officer, including his or her
name, function and contact details.
(2) The infonnation officer shall, in addition to any obligations
specifically provided for in other provisions of this Act, have
the following responsibilities -
(a) to serve as a central contact within the public
authority for receiving requests for information, for
assisting persons seeking to obtain information and
for receiving complaints regarding the performance
No. 19of 2004. The Freedom of Information 5 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
of the public authority relating to the provision of
information pursuant to this Act.
(b) to promote within the public authority the best
possible practices in relation to record maintenance,
archiving and disposal; and
10. (1) Every public authority shall, in the public interest, Duty to
publish and disseminate in an accessible form, updated annually, publish basic
information. basic information, clearly dated including -
(a) an accurate and sufficiently detailed description of
its structure, functions, duties and finances;
(b) relevant details concerning =y services it provides
directly to members of the public;
(c) any direct request or complaints mechamms available
to members of the public regarding acts or a failure to
act by that authority, together with a s m q of any
requests, complaints or other direct actions by
members of the public and that authority's response;
(d) a simple guide containing adequate information
about its record-keeping systems, the types and
forms of information it holds, the categories of
information it publishes and the procedure to be
followed in making a request for information;
(e) a description of the powers and duties of its senior
officers, and the procedure it follows in making
fl any regulations, policies, rules, guides or manuals
regarding the discharge by that authority of its
(g) the content of all decisions and policies it has adopted
which affect the public, along with the reasons for
them, any authoritative interpretations of them, and
any important background material; and
(h) any mechanisms or procedures by which members
of the public may make representations or otherwise
ANTIGUA 6 The Freedom of Information No. 19 of 2004.
AND Act, 2004.
influence the formulation of policy or the exercise of
powers by that public authority.
(2) The Minister may, by direction in writing, authorise the
publication in a single document of any statements required to
be published in pursuance of this Part by a public authority
together with the statements required to be published by any
other public authority for which the first-mentioned authority is
responsible; and where a direction has been issued, that other
public authority shall be treated as having complied with this
Guidance on 11. The Commissioner shall -
duty to publish.
(a) publish a guide on minimum standards and best
practices regarding the duty of public authorities to
publish information pursuant to section 10; and
(b) upon request, provide advice to public authorities
regarding the duty to publish information pursuant
to section 10.
Maintenance of 12. (1) Every public authority shall maintain its records ir. a
records. manner which facilitates the right of access to information, as
provided for in this Act, and in accordance with the Code of
Practice issued pursuant to subsection (3).
(2) Every public authority shall establish and maintain
adequate procedures for the correction of personal information
held by it.
(3) The Commissioner shall, after appropriate consultation
with interested parties, issue and, from time to time, update a
Code of Practice relating to the keeping, management and
disposal of records, as well as the transfer of records to the
Cap. 35. Archives and Records Office established under the Archives
and Records Act.
Training o f 13. Every public authority shall ensure the provision of
officials. appropriate training for its officials on the right to information
and the effective implementation of this Act.
Reports to 14. The information officer of a public authority shall, in each
financial year, submit to the Commissioner a report on the activities
No. 19of 2004. The Freedom of Znformation 7 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
of the public authority pursuant to, or promoting compliance with,
this Act, which shall include information about -
(a) the number of requests for information received,
granted in full or in part, or refused;
(b) how often and which provisions of this Act were
relied upon to refuse, in part or in full, requests for
(c) appeals from refusals to communicate information;
(d) fees charged for requests for information; and
(e) its activities pursuant to sections 10 and 12.
RIGHT OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION
15. (1) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary and subject Right of access.
to the provisions of this Act, every person has the right to
obtain, on request, access to information.
(2) Nothing in this Act shall prevent a public authority from
giving access to documents or information other than as required
by this Act where it has the discretion to do so or where it is
required to do so by any written law or order of a court.
16. (1) A person is not entitled to obtain, in accordance with Access
the procedure provided for in this Part, access to - procedure not to
apply to certain
(a) a document which contains information that is open
to public access, as part of a public register or other
document, in accordance with any other written law,
where that access is subject to a fee or any other
(b) a document which contains information that is
available for purchase by the public in accordance
with arrangements made by a public authority;
(c) a document that is available for public inspection in
a regisby maintained by the Registrar or other public
ANTIGUA 8 The Freedom of Information No. 19 of 2004.
AND Act, 2004.
(d) a document which is stored for preservation or safe
custody, being a document which is a duplicate of a
document of a public authority.
(2) A person making a request for information to a public
authority shall be entitled, subject only to the provisions of this
Part and Part IV of this Act -
(a) to be informed whether or not the public authority
holds a record containing that information or a record
from which that information may be derived; and
(b) if the public authority does hold such a record, to
have that information communicated to him.
Requests for 17. (1) For the purposes of section 15, arequest for information
information. shall be made by the applicant in writing addressed to a senior
official or the information officer of a public authority or private
body and in sufficient detail to facilitate a determination, with
reasonable effort, whether or not the authority holds a record
containing that information.
(2) Where a request for information does not comply with the
provisions of subsection (I), the official who receives the request
shall, subject to subsection (5), render such reasonable
assistance, free of charge, as may be necessary to enable the
request to comply with subsection (1).
(3) A person who is unable, because of illiteracy or disability,
to make a written request for information may make an oral
request, and the official who receives the oral request shall,
subject to subsection ( 9 , reduce it to writing, and include his
name and position within the public authority, and give a copy
thereof to the person who made the request.
(4) The reason for a request for information made to a public
authority is irrelevant for the purpose of deciding whether the
information should be provided.
(5) An official who receives a request for information may
transfer that request to the relevant information officer for
purposes of complying with subsection (2) or (3).
No. 19 of 2004. i%e Freedotlr of Information 9 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
(6) Without prejudice to the power of the Minister to make
regulations, a public authority may prescribe a form for requests
for information, in a format that does not unreasonably delay
the processing of requests or place an undue burden upon those
(7) An official of a public authority which receives a request
for information shall provide the person making the request with
a receipt documenting the request.
18. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), an official of a Time limits for
public authority must respond to a request for information as 'espgnding to
soon as practicable and in any event within twenty working requests.
days of receipt of the request if the request has been approved
and the applicant has paid the fees required to be paid under
(2) Where a request for information relates to information
which reasonably appears to be necessary to safeguard the life
or liberty of a person, the official shall provide a response within
(3) The official of a public authority may, by notice in writing
within the initial period of twenty days extend the period in
subsection (1) to the extent strictly necessary, and in any case
to not more than forty working days, where the request is for a
large number of records or requires a search through a large
number of records and where compliance within twenty working
days would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the
(4) Failure to comply with the time-limits prescribed or
permitted under this section is deemed to be a refusal of the
19. (1) The response pursuant to section 18 to a request for Notice of
information shall be made in writing and state - response.
(a) the applicable fee, if any, pursuant to section 20, in
relation to any part of the request which is granted,
and the form in which the information will be
(b) adequate reasons for the refusal in relation to any
part of the request which is not granted subject only
to Part IV;
ANTIGUA 10 The Freedom of Infohnation No. 19 of 2004.
AND Act, 2004.
(c) in relation to any refusal to indicate whether or not
the public body holds a record containing the
relevant information, the fact of such refusal and
adequate reasons for it; and
(d) the right of appeal to the Commissioner or to a
judicial review available to the applicant.
(2) The response pursuant to section 18 to a request for
information shall be made in writing and state -
(a) in relation to any part of the request which is granted,
the applicable fee, if any, pursuant to section 20,
and the form in which the information will be
(b) in relation to any part of the request which is no:
granted, adequate reasons for the refusal.
(3) In relation to a request or any part of a request that is
granted, communication of the information must take place
forthwith, subject only to section 20.
Fees. 20. (1) The communication of information pursuant to a
request may, subject to subsections (2) and (3), be made
conditional upon payment by the person making the request of
a reasonable fee, which shall not exceed the actual cost of
searching for, preparing and communicating the information.
(2) Payment of a fee shall not be required for requests for
personal information, and requests in the public interest.
(3) The Minister may, after consultation with the
Commissioner, make Regulations providing -
(a) for the fees to be paid;
(b) for the manner in which fees are to be calculated;
(c) that no fee is to be charged in cases specified in the
(d) for any other matter relating to fees.
No. 19 of 2004. The Freedom of Information 11 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
(4) A public body shall not require payment of a fee pursuant
to subsection (1) where the cost of collecting that fee would
exceed the amount of the fee.
21. (1) Where a request indicates a preference as to the Means of
form of communication of information provided in subsection communicating
(2), a public authority commu~~icating information pursuant information.
to a request for information shall, subject, to subsection (3),
do so in accordance with the preference indicated by the
(2) An applicant may, in a request for information, indicate
the following preferences as to the form of communication of
(a) a true copy of the record in permanent or other form;
(b) an opportunity to inspect the record, where
necessary using equipment normally available to
the public authority;
(c) an opportunity to copy the record;
(d) a transcript of the record in print, electronic, sound
or visual form;
(e) a transcript of the content of a record, in print,
electronic, sound or visual form, where such
transcript is capable of being produced using
equipment normally available to the authority; or
a transcript of the record from shorthand or other
(3) A public authority shall not be required to communicate
information in the fonn indicated by the person making the
request where to do so would -
(a) unreasonably interfere with the operations of the
public authority; or
(b) adversely affect the preservation of the record.
(4) Where a record exists in more than one language,
communication of the record shall, from among those languages,
ANTIGUA 12 The Freedom of Information No. 19 of 2004.
AND Act, 2004.
be given in accordance with the language preference of the
person making the request.
If a record is 22. (1) Where an gficial who receives a request for information
not held. believes, on reasonable grounds, that the request relates to
information that is not contained in any record held by the public
authority, the official may transfer the request to the information
officer for purposes of compliance with this section.
(2) Where an information officer receives a request pursuant
to subsection (I), he shall confirm whether or not the public
authority holds a record containing the information and, if it
does not, he shall, if he knows of another public authority which
holds the relevant record, as soon as practicable -
(a) transfer the request to that public authority and
inform the applicant of such transfer; or
(b) indicate to the applicant whlch public authority holds
the relevant record;
whichever would be llkely to ensure more expeditious access to
(3) Where a request is transferred pursuant to subsection (2)
((a), the time limit for responding to requests under section 18
shall begin to run from the date of the transfer.
Vexatious, 23. (1) A public authority is not required to comply with a
repetitive Or request for information which is vexatious or unreasonable or
requests. where it has recently complied with a substantially similar request
from the same person.
(2) A flublic authority is not required to comply with a request
for information where to do so would unreasonably affect its
financial or other resources.
EXCEPTIONS TO CXNEXAL RIGHT OF ACCESS
Public interest 24. Notwithstanding any provision in this Part, a public
to ovemde authority may not refuse to indicate whether or not it holds a
considerations. record, or refuse to communicate information, unless the harm
that would result from the refusal outweighs the public interest
in the disclosure of that information.
No. 19 of 2004. The Freedom of Znformation 13 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
25. If a request for information relates to a record containing Severability of
information which, subject to this Part, falls within the scope of info'mation.
an exception specified in this Part, any information in the record
which is not subject to an exception shall, to the extent it may
reasonably Lie severed from the rest of the information, be
com~unicated to the person making the request.
26. (1) A public authority may refuse to indicate whether or Personal
not it holds a record, or refuse to communicate information, information.
where to do so would involve the unreasonable disclosure of
personal information about a third party who is a natural person.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if -
(a) the third party has effectively consented to the
disclosure of the information;
(b) the person making the request is the guardian of the
third party, or the next of kin or the executor of the
will of a deceased third party;
(c) the third party has been deceased for more than 20
(d) the third party is or was an official of a public
authority and the information relates to his function
in that capacity.
27. A public authority may refuse to indicate whether or not Legal privilege.
it holds a record, or refuse to communicate information, where
the information is privileged from production in legal
proceedings, unless the person entitled to the privilege has
28. A public authority may refuse to communicate Commercial and
information if - confidential
(a) the information was obtained fiom a third party and
to communicate it would constitute an actionable
breach of confidence;
(b) the information was obtained in confidence fiom a
third party and -
(9 it contains a trade secret; or
ANTIGUA 14 The Freedom of Information No. 19 of 2004.
AND Act, 2004.
(ii) to communicate it would, or would be likely
to, seriously prejudice the commercial or
financial interests of that third party; or
(c) the information was obtained in confidence froni
another State or an international organization, and
to communicate it would, or would be likely to,
seriously prejudice relations between Antigua and
Barbuda and that State or international organization.
Health and 29. A public authority may refuse to indicate whether or not
safety. it holds a record, or refuse to communicate information, where to
do so would, or would be likely to, endanger the life, health or
safety of any person.
Law 30. A public authority may refuse to indicate whether or not
enf~rcement . it holds a record, or refuse to communicate information, where to
do so would, or would be likely to, cause serious prejudice to -
(a) the prevention or detection of crime;
(6) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
(c) the administration of justice;
(d) the assessment or collection of any tax or duty;
(e) the operation of immigration controls; or
('j the assessment by a public authority of whether
civil or criminal proceedings, or regulatory action
pursuant to any enactment, would be justified.
Defence and 31. A public authority may refuse to indicate whether or not
security. it holds a record, or refuse to communicate information, where to
do so would, or would be likely to, cause serious prejudice to
the defence or national security of Antigua and Barbuda.
Public economic 32. (1) A public authority may refuse to indicate whether or
interests. not it holds a record, or refuse to communicate information,
where to do so would, or would be likely to, cause serious
prejudice to the ability of the Government to manage the
economy of Antigua and Barbuda.
No. 19 of 2004. The Freedom oflnformation 15 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
(2) A public authority may refuse to ihdicate whether or not it
holds a record, or refuse to communicate information, where to
do so would, or would be llkely to, cause serious prejudice to
the legitimate commercial or financial interests of the public
authority or another public authority.
(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply insofar as the request
relates to the results of any product or environmental testing,
and the information concerned reveals a serious public safety or
33. (1) A public authority may refuse to indicate whether or Policy making
not it holds a record, or refuse to communicate information, and
where to do so would, or would be likely to - of public authorities.
(a) cause serious prejudice to the effective formulation
or development of Government policy;
(b) seriously frustrate the success of a policy, by
premature disclosure of that policy;
(c) significantly undermine the deliberative process in
a public authority by inhibiting the free and frank
provision of advice or exchange of views; or
(d) significantly undermine the effectiveness of a testing
or auditing procedure used by a public authority.
(2) A public authority may refuse to indicate whether or
not it holds a record, or refuse to communicate information,
which is -
(a) the official record of any deliberation or decision of
(b) a document that has been prepared by a Minister
of Government or on his behalf or by a public
authority for the purpose of submission for
consideration by Cabinet or a document which
has been considered by the Cabinet and which is
related to issues that are or have been before
(c) a document prepared for the purpose of briefing a
Minister of Government in relation to issues to be
considered by Cabinet;
ANTIGUA 16 The Freedom ofInformation- No. 19 of 2004.
AND Act, 2004.
(d) a document that is a copy or draft of, or contains
extracts from, a document referred to in paragraph
(a), (b) or (4; or
(e) a document the dsclosure of which would involve
the disclosure of any deliberation or decision of
Cabinet, other than a document by which a decision
of Cabinet was officially published.
(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to facts, analyses of
facts, technical or scientific data or statistical information unless
the disclosure would involve the disclosure of any deliberation
or decision of Cabinet.
Time limits. 34. (1) The provisions of sections 27 to 32 apply only to the
extent that the harm they seek to protect against would, or would
be likely to, occur at or after the time at which the request is
(2) Sections 28(c), 30, 31, and 32 do not apply to a record
which is more than thlrty years old or such other longer or shorter
period as the Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette,
prescribe either generally or in respect of any particular class of
INFORMATION COMMISSIONER AND
Appointment of 35. (1) The Governor-General, acting on the recommendation
Information of the Prime Minister and with the approval of both Houses of
Parliament signified by resolution, shall appoint an Information
Commissioner for the purposes of this Act, on such terms and
conditions as may be specified in the instrument of his
(2) A person shall not be qualified to hold office as
Commissioner if that person -
(a) is a member of the House of Representatives or a
member of the Senate:
(b) holds or is acting in a public office;
(c) is an undischarged bankrupt, having been declared
bankrupt under any law;
No. 19 of 2004. The Freedom of information 17 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
(d) has, within the period of ten years immediately
preceding his appointment, been convicted of theft,
fraud or other such offence involving dishonesty; or
(e) holds office in, or is an employee of, a political party
or is a political activist.
(3) The Commissioner shall hold office for a term of three
years and may be re-appointed for a further tenSof three years,
but shall not hold office for more than two consecutive terms.
(4) The Commissioner may be removed from office by the
Governor-General for inability to exercise the functions of his
office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or any
other cause) or for misbehaviour, on the recommendation of the
Prime Minister and with the approval of both Houses of
Parliament signified by resolution.
36. There shall be appointed, with the concurrence of the Appointment of
Commissioner and in accordance with the laws governing Staff.
appointments to the public service, officers and employees to
assist the Commissioner in the performance of the functions of
37. In addition to any other functions under this Act, the Functions of
functions of the Commissioner shall be - Commissioner.
(a) to monitor and report on the compliance by public
authorities with their obligations;
(b) to make recommendations for reforms of a general or
specific nature to facilitate compliance with this Act;
(c) to undertake or promote the training of officials of
public authorities and other persons on the right to
lnformation and the effective implementation of this
(d) to refer to the appropriate authorities cases which
reasonably disclose evidence of criminal offences;
(e) to publicize the requirements of this Act and the
rights and obligations under the Act.
ANTIGUA 18 The Freedom of Information No. 19 of 2004.
AND Act, 2004.
Independence 38. (1) In the exercise of his functions under this Act, the
Of Commissioner shall not be subject to the direction or control of
and employees of
Comissioner~s any person or authority.
(2) All officers and employees of the Office of the
Commissioner and any other persons authorised to perform any
functions under this Act shall be under the control and direction
of the Commissioner and shall perform their functions without
fear, favour or prejudice; and no person or authority shall interfere
with or exert undue influence on them in the exercise of their
powers or in the performance of their professional functions.
Annual reports. 39. (1) The Commissioner shall, within three months after the
end of each financial year, prepare and submit to the Minister a
report on the operations of the Office of the Commissioner during
the preceding financial year and such other information as the
Minister may direct in writing.
(2) The Minister shall cause a copy of each annual report
subrnittedpursuant td subsection (1) to be laid before the House
of Representatives as soon as practicable after he has received
Exemption from 40. (1) The Commissioner, any officer or enlployee of his
personal liability. Office or any other person acting on behalf of or under the
direction of the Commissioner shall not be personally liable in
criminal or civil proceedings for any act done in good faith
pursuant to this Act.
(2) For the purposes of proceedings for defamation, any
information provided, whether orally or in writing, pursuant to
an investigation by or on behalf of the Commissioner under this
Act shall be treated as privileged information unless it is shown
that that information was not provided in good faith.
ENFORCXMENT BY COMMISSIONER
Complaints to 41. A person who has made a request for information may Commissioner.
apply in writing to the Conmissioner for a decision that a public
No. 19 of 2004. The Freedom of Information 19 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
authority has failed to comply with an obligation under Part 111,
including the following:
(a) refusing to indicate whether or not it holds a record,
or to communicate information, contrary to section
(b) failing to respond to a request for information within
the time limits established in section 18;
(c) failing to provide a notice in writing of its response
to a request for information, in accordance with
(d) failing to communicate information forthwith,
contrary to section 19 (3);
(e) charging an excessive fee, contrary to section 20;
failing to communicate information in the form
requested, contrary to section 2 1.
42. (1) The Commissioner shall, subject to subsection (2), Decision on
decide an application made pursuant to section 41 as soon as is
reasonably possible, and i r~ any case within 30 days, after giving
both the complainant and the relevant public authority or private
body an opportunity to provide their views in writing.
(2) The Commissioner may summarily reject an application -
(a) which is frivolous, vexatious or unreasonable; or
(b) if the applicant has failed to seek or use any other
remedies established by the relevant public which
are available to him.
(3) In an application pursuant to section 41, the burden of
proof shall be on the public authority to show that it acted in
accordance with its obligations under Part 111.
(4) In a decision pursuant to subsection (I), the Commissioner
(a) dismiss the application; or
ANTIGUA 20 The Freedom ofInfirmation No. 19 of 2004.
AND Act, 2004.
(b) require the public authority or private body to
take such steps as may be necessary to bring it
into compliance with its obligations pursuant to
(5) The Commissioner shall provide a copy of the decision to
the complainant and the public authority together with
information regarding the right of the parties to a review of the
Direct 43. (1) Where Commissioner decides that a public authority
imp'ementation has failed to comply with an obligation pursuant to Part 11, the
of decision. Commissioner may require the public authority to take such
steps as may be necessary to bring it into compliance with its
obligations under Part 11, including the following -
(a) appointing an information officer;
(71) publishing the relevant information and categories
(c) making relevant changes to its practices in relation
to the keeping, management and destruction of
records, and the transfer of records to the Archives
and Records Office;
(d) enhancing the provision of training on the right to
information for its officials;
(e) providing the Commissioner with an annual report,
in compliance with section 14.
(2) The Commissioner shall serve notice of the decision, to
the public authority together with information regarding the right
of the public authority to a review of the Commissioner's decision.
Commissioner's 44. (1) In coming to a decision pursuant to section 42 or 43,
powers to the Commissioner shall have the power to conduct an
investigate. investigation, including the issuing of orders requiring the
production of evidence and compelling witnesses to testify.
(2) The Commissioner may, d h g an investigation pursuant
to subsection (1), examine any record to which this Act applies,
No. 19 of 2004. The Freedom ofInformation 21 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
and no such record may be withheld fiom the Commissioner on
45. (1) The complainant, or the relevant public authority may, Review of
within 28 days, apply to the High Court for a review of a decision ~e~'?~~~~''~'s
of the Commissioner pursuant to section 42 or 43, or an order orders.
pursuant to section 44 (1).
(2) In any review of a decision pursuant to subsection (I),
the burden of proof shall be on the public body to show that
it acted in accordance with its obligations under Part 111.
46. On the expiry ofthe period of 28 days referred to in section Commissioner's
45 or such longer period as the Commissioner may, pursuant to decisions and
a decision or order under section 42 or 43 determine, the decision O
of the Commissioner shall become binding.
BONA FIDE DISCLOSURE OF WRONGDOING
47. (1) A person may disclose information to the Whistle-blowers.
Commissioner or to my other authority on the wrong-doing by
a public authority concerning -
(a) a serious threat to the health or safety of an
individual or a serious threat to the public or the
(b) the commission of a criminal offence;
(c) failure to comply with a legal obligation;
(d) a miscarriage of justice;
(e) corruption, dishonesty or serious maladminis-
abuse of authority or neglect in the performance of
(g) injustice to an individual;
ANTIGUA 22 The Freedom of Information No. 19 of 2004.
AND Act, 2004.
(h) unauthorised use of public funds,
and that person shall not be liable in any legal proceedings or to
any sanction relating to his employment if the information was
disclosed in good faith and in the reasonable belief that it was
(2) A person who, pursuant to subsection (I), discloses
information maliciously or without reasonable belief of the
truthfulness of that information, commits an offence and is liable
on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand
dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or
Offences. 48. (1) A person shall not wilfully -
(a) obstruct access to any record contrary to Part I11 of
(b) obstruct the performance by a public authority of a
duty pursuant to Part I11 of this Act;
(c) interfere with the work of the Commissioner;
(d) destroy, mutilate, remove or in any way alter a record
with intent to prevent the disclosure of information
contained therein; or
(e) fail to comply with a decision or an order of the
Commissioner made pursuant to section 42 or 43.
(2) A person who contravenes any of the provisions of
subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to
imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both.
Regulations. 49. (1) The Minister may, after consultation with the
Commissioner, make Regulations for the purpose of giving effect
to the provisions of this Act.
No. 19 of 2004. The Freedom oflnformation 23 ANTIGUA
Act, 2004. AND
(2) Regulations made pursuant to this section shall be subject
to negative resolution of the House of Representatives.
Passed the House of Representatives this Passed the Senate this 28th
27th day of October, 2004. day of October, 2004.
D. Giselle Isaac-Arrindell,
Dr. Edmond k Mansoor,
Y. Henry, Y. Henry,
Acting Clerk to the House of Representatives. Acting Clerk to the Senate.
Printed at the Government Printing Office, Antigua and Barbuda
by Walter A. Massiah, Government Printer
-By Authority, 2004.
800-12.04 [Price $9.251