Have your say! Open Government Bylaw Draft Available for Review and Comment

Have your say!

Draft Open Government Bylaw Synopsis

The Town of Stratford has been implementing improvements to our governance process in order to increase accountability, engagement, transparency and sustainability. The Stratford Town Council, in its efforts to become more open and transparent, is adopting an open by default approach which means that there is a presumption that town data, information and dialogue is open and should not be restricted unless there is a need to protect personal information, privacy or confidentiality. The Province has also decided that Stratford, Charlottetown, Summerside and Cornwall will be subject to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act.  The open by default approach and the freedom of information and privacy protection requirements will be executed through a new Open Government Bylaw which seeks to:

  • Improve the engagement of residents and other stakeholders in the town decision making process, which improves the understanding and acceptance of town decisions;
  • Improve the evidence upon which town decisions are made;
  • Improve the transparency of the town decision making process;
  • Improve the free and open access to town information and data for public and private use, which can lead to increased engagement of citizens and stakeholders, beneficial apps for the public good and innovation/economic development by the private sector; and
  • Improve the protection of personal information in the custody of the town.

The proposed process to improve the Council decision process is as follows:

Step 1 – Decisions are initiated by a Request for Decision (RFD) or an application pursuant to a bylaw or policy.

Step 2 – The RFD or application which requires Council approval is referred to the appropriate Council Committee for review and recommendation to Council.

Step 3 – Before forwarding the RFD, staff will carry out engagement activities, compile background information, assess the sustainability of the proposal and the impact on staffing and budgets and submit a report to the Council Committee for consideration.

Step 4 – The Council Committee agenda package is posted on the town’s website, including the RFD and staff report, for members of the public to view and comment on at least three days before the meeting.

Step 5 – The Committee makes a recommendation to Council.

Step 6 – The Council agenda package is posted on the town’s website, including the RFD, staff report and committee recommendation, for members of the public to view and comment on at least three days before the meeting.

All Council and Committee meetings are now open to members of the public to attend, except for confidential discussion items.

In addition, based on the presumption that town information and data is public information, the town will also publish information and data, except for data that is private or confidential as follows:

  • public data is identified and published in an open data catalogue
  • the priority for the publication of datasets be based on the criteria of enhanced engagement, transparency, service delivery and economic development
  • new software be required to have an open data output
  • the Government of Canada Open Data license is adopted

Effective April 1, 2019, the Town of Stratford will become subject to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection (FOIPP) Act.  The draft Open Government Bylaw incorporates the applicable requirements of the FOIPP Act which can be broadly summarized as follows:

  • Where town records have not already been made available on the website, members of the public have a right to ask for records;
  • Requests for records will be completed within 30 days unless extended;
  • Information that is harmful to the business interests of a third party, personal privacy, intergovernmental relations or public safety, as well as town confidential or privileged information, will not be released;
  • Third parties shall be notified and consulted as required;
  • The type of personal information that is collected and the manner in which it is collected;
  • The protection of personal information;
  • The disclosure of personal information;
  • The power of the Information and Privacy Commissioner;
  • The process for reviews by the Information and Privacy Commissioner; and
  • General provisions.

Council welcomes comments and suggestions from members of the public on the draft Open Government Bylaw.  Please submit comments and suggestions to Chief Administrative Officer Robert Hughes at rhughes@townofstratford.ca.

View the draft bylaw here: Bylaw 44 – Open Government Bylaw January 2019 Draft

Have your say! Open Government Bylaw Draft Available for Review and Comment

Have your say!

Draft Open Government Bylaw Synopsis

The Town of Stratford has been implementing improvements to our governance process in order to increase accountability, engagement, transparency and sustainability. The Stratford Town Council, in its efforts to become more open and transparent, is adopting an open by default approach which means that there is a presumption that town data, information and dialogue is open and should not be restricted unless there is a need to protect personal information, privacy or confidentiality. The Province has also decided that Stratford, Charlottetown, Summerside and Cornwall will be subject to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act.  The open by default approach and the freedom of information and privacy protection requirements will be executed through a new Open Government Bylaw which seeks to:

  • Improve the engagement of residents and other stakeholders in the town decision making process, which improves the understanding and acceptance of town decisions;
  • Improve the evidence upon which town decisions are made;
  • Improve the transparency of the town decision making process;
  • Improve the free and open access to town information and data for public and private use, which can lead to increased engagement of citizens and stakeholders, beneficial apps for the public good and innovation/economic development by the private sector; and
  • Improve the protection of personal information in the custody of the town.

The proposed process to improve the Council decision process is as follows:

Step 1 – Decisions are initiated by a Request for Decision (RFD) or an application pursuant to a bylaw or policy.

Step 2 – The RFD or application which requires Council approval is referred to the appropriate Council Committee for review and recommendation to Council.

Step 3 – Before forwarding the RFD, staff will carry out engagement activities, compile background information, assess the sustainability of the proposal and the impact on staffing and budgets and submit a report to the Council Committee for consideration.

Step 4 – The Council Committee agenda package is posted on the town’s website, including the RFD and staff report, for members of the public to view and comment on at least three days before the meeting.

Step 5 – The Committee makes a recommendation to Council.

Step 6 – The Council agenda package is posted on the town’s website, including the RFD, staff report and committee recommendation, for members of the public to view and comment on at least three days before the meeting.

All Council and Committee meetings are now open to members of the public to attend, except for confidential discussion items.

In addition, based on the presumption that town information and data is public information, the town will also publish information and data, except for data that is private or confidential as follows:

  • public data is identified and published in an open data catalogue
  • the priority for the publication of datasets be based on the criteria of enhanced engagement, transparency, service delivery and economic development
  • new software be required to have an open data output
  • the Government of Canada Open Data license is adopted

Effective April 1, 2019, the Town of Stratford will become subject to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection (FOIPP) Act.  The draft Open Government Bylaw incorporates the applicable requirements of the FOIPP Act which can be broadly summarized as follows:

  • Where town records have not already been made available on the website, members of the public have a right to ask for records;
  • Requests for records will be completed within 30 days unless extended;
  • Information that is harmful to the business interests of a third party, personal privacy, intergovernmental relations or public safety, as well as town confidential or privileged information, will not be released;
  • Third parties shall be notified and consulted as required;
  • The type of personal information that is collected and the manner in which it is collected;
  • The protection of personal information;
  • The disclosure of personal information;
  • The power of the Information and Privacy Commissioner;
  • The process for reviews by the Information and Privacy Commissioner; and
  • General provisions.

Council welcomes comments and suggestions from members of the public on the draft Open Government Bylaw.  Please submit comments and suggestions to Chief Administrative Officer Robert Hughes at rhughes@townofstratford.ca.

View the draft bylaw here: Bylaw 44 – Open Government Bylaw January 2019 Draft

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