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The Access to Information (ATI) Act, 2002

The Access to Information (ATI) Act, 2002 promotes transparency in government and encourages public participation in governance by giving everyone a legal right to access government information.

Under the ATI Act, all persons have a right to access official documents held by government entities. This does not include personal information about individuals or specific sensitive government information.  You can apply to access information held by any government body once it relates to that entity’s functions.

For example, you can access official government documents, correspondence such as letters and emails, budgets, expenditure, computerized records, maps, audio files, videos, photos, and more.

Under the ATI Act, it is a crime to hide, destroy or tamper with any information that the public has a right to access with the intention of preventing disclosure. Anyone who does this can be fined up to $500,000 or sentenced to six months imprisonment, or both.