UNESCO promotes records management for effective implementation of freedom of information right

On 23 and 24 October, the School of Information Science in Morocco, an institution historically created with UNESCO’s support, together with the UNESCO Office in Rabat, the National Council of Human Rights, the European Union and the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, hold a Colloquium on records management, open government and right to access information at the National Library of Morocco.

The objective of the Colloquium was to highlight the role of records management as the backbone of a transparent and accountable government. Participants were presented with experiences and good practices from the rest of the world. The need to modernize the management of public information and data, including electronically, was strongly emphasized by the speakers of the colloquium.

In her presentation of the United States Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Corinna Zarek, the Attorney Advisor at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, stated, “The records and information that public administrations are creating are national assets that must be effectively managed and secured so that the public can be assured of the authenticity of the record.” “Public participation is crucial in any Open Data, Open Government, FOIA or other access to information issues. With Open Data, U.S. agencies are directed to prioritize release of data based, in part, on requests from the public,” she further added.

The event took place in the context when the Government of Morocco started to undertake a series of legislative reforms in a view to adopt an access to information law in line with its 2011 Constitution.

This activity was made possible thanks to the support of the Government of Finland.