The Newfoundland and Labrador government is now posting completed access-to-information requests and orders in council on its website.

Keith Hutchings, the minister responsible for the Office of Public Engagement, said the move "reinforces our commitment to openness and transparency."

The decision comes nearly a year after the Progressive Conservative administration passed Bill 29.

That law put tighter controls on what information can be accessed by members of the public through open-records laws.

'With our officials, we're moving through, and looking certainly to expand on disclosure and additional information in the future.' —Keith Hutchings, minister for the Office of Public Engagement

Responses to access-to-information requests will be posted 72 hours after being emailed to the person who made the request, or five days after being sent by regular mail.

Orders in council, which relate to cabinet decisions, will go up within two weeks.

Hutchings told reporters the province is looking at what else can be posted online.

"With our officials, we're moving through, and looking certainly to expand on disclosure and additional information in the future," he said.

Federal government departments, for example, routinely disclose all contracts, grants and contributions above a certain dollar amount.

Hutchings said the province would consider making such information available, although there are no plans to do so at this time.

Opposition reaction

The two opposition parties condemned the move as too little, too late.

"I think this is kind of patch-up work for Bill 29," Liberal MHA Jim Bennett said.

'You can put as much lipstick on a pig, and you've still got a pig. You can clean up Bill 29 as much as you want, and you've still got Bill 29.' —Liberal MHA Jim Bennett

"You can put as much lipstick on a pig, and you've still got a pig. You can clean up Bill 29 as much as you want, and you've still got Bill 29."

New Democrat Gerry Rogers said the move came in reaction to public pressure from the fallout of Bill 29.

"This government has said that it runs on a platform of transparency and openness and accountability, and we have seen clearly that is not the case," Rogers told reporters.

"So this is perhaps a little too late."