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Freedom of information (FOI) regimes are a hallmark of modern democracies and a crucial element of any government transparency and integrity framework. This paper examines how government responses to COVID-19 brought the need for greater transparency of government decision making to the fore. Genuine engagement with FOI regimes provides a fundamental mechanism to keep government decision makers accountable and increases and maintains trust capital between citizens and the state. In turn, governments rely on this trust capital to take strong and decisive action—as highlighted by global responses to COVID19. The author argues that FOI is an important mechanism to challenge poor government decision making, and ultimately enhance the long-term health of our democracy.
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