A new system to access information from past in-camera city meetings will be up and running as soon as two weeks from now, officials say.
Mayor John Ruttan and top city staff members unveiled details of the system Friday, which they say is a big step forward in improving openness and transparency within the organization. Information from in-camera sessions - closed meetings dealing with issues like land purchases or labour issues - is currently not available for public viewing.
However, soon members of the public will be able to go to the city's website where council meeting agendas are posted now and view resolutions and votes taken from past meetings.
Council has already reviewed material dating back to 2010, and the city's legislative services department is currently checking to ensure the information is clear of sensitive material. Review of 2011 and 2012 in-camera information is expected to begin this month and in November, respectively.
"We're doing as much as we can to make sure it's easy to find and easy to use," said city business applications manager Guillermo Ferrero.
The city estimates all in-camera information will be up to date and available by February. Going forward, council members will vote at each in-camera meeting to decide which in-camera information can be released. General guidelines on what information is regularly released, such as voting records, will prevent the decisions from becoming overly-politicized, said Ian Howat, acting general manager of corporate services. While the city will "automatically sever out third-party information" that falls under access to information laws, Howat said "90 to 95 per cent" of the information will be available.
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