Conference registration opens at 8:45am, 20 September 2017

Opening session

9:15 – Welcome from the host nations

Keynote speech

9:55 – Alasdair Roberts, Director of the School of Public Policy, University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of Four Crises of American Democracy, Oxford University Press 2017.

Questions and discussion

10:45 – Refreshment break

Morning session

The future of transparency and access to information

11:15 – Chaired by Rosemary Agnew, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Introductory keynote presentation:

Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman. An author and former journalist and broadcaster, Emily was Ireland’s first female Ombudsman and Information Commissioner from 2003 and from 2007 Commissioner for Environmental Information until her election as European Ombudsman in 2013. Her current work includes an inquiry into whether the Council of the European Union allows sufficient public scrutiny of evolving discussions on draft EU laws.

Panel discussion:
To be confirmed
Arne Semsrott, Frag den Staat

Questions and discussion

What are progressive information rights?

12:10 – Chaired by Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner (UK)

Panel discussion:

Helen Darbishire, Vice President and Executive Director, Access Info Europe. A human rights activist specialising in the public’s right of access to information and the development of open and democratic societies with participatory and accountable governments. Her current work includes scrutiny of draft access to information laws and campaigns for greater openness in government.

Ben Worthy, Lecturer in Politics, Birkbeck College, and author of ‘The Politics of Freedom of Information: How and Why Governments Pass Laws That Threaten Their Power’, Manchester University Press 2017.

Jill Clayton, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Alberta, Canada.

Further panellist to be confirmed.

Questions and audience discussion

13:00 – Lunch and networking

Afternoon session

Global models for access to information: how well do they work?

14:00 – Chaired by Margaret Keyse, Acting Scottish Information Commissioner

Panel discussion:

Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy. Toby has published extensively on a range of freedom of expression, right to information, communication rights and refugee issues, including comparative legal and analytical studies on public service broadcasting, the right to information and broadcast policy.

Further panellists to be confirmed.

Questions and discussion

Journalists, access to information and Open Data

15:00 – Presentation 1:

Marc Ellison, Data Journalist, BBC

Presentation 2:

Will Moy, Director, Full Fact. Full Fact is a non-governmental organisation providing an international fact checking service. It pushes for corrections where necessary and works with government departments and research institutions to improve the quality and communication of information at source. It also provides a factchecking toolkit to give people the tools they need to make up their own minds.

15:45 – Refreshment break

Showcase: access to information approaches

16:15 – Showcase 1:

Melanie Ann Pustay, Director, Office of Information Privacy of the United States Department of Justice

Showcase 2:

Oscar Mauricio Guerra Ford, INAI Commissioner, Mexico

Showcase 3: to be confirmed

Closing session

17:30 – 17:45 – Closing comments from the host Commissioners.