Archive for 2003

  • 5 December 2003

    Information, Consultation, Participation (and the Lack Thereof)

    The Inter-American Development Bank and Plan Puebla-Panama Journalist Wendy Call reports on the controversy over the IDB’s multi-billion-dollar development plan for southern Mexico and Central America, with specific attention to information access, public consultation, and participation of stakeholders (and the lack thereof). On September 17, 2003, a representative of the Inter-American Development Bank in Guatemala, […]

  • 1 December 2003

    IDB Adopts Amended Public Disclosure Standards

    The Inter-American Development Bank on November 26 agreed to publish the minutes of its executive board meetings, the first development bank to do so. The disclosure of minutes was the main advance made as the IDB board revised its entire disclosure policy. The IDB board decided to continue giving governments and private sector partners effective […]

  • 22 November 2003

    THAILAND: Anti-graft Agency Exempt from Official Information Act?

    The Bangkok Post reports that the Official Information Commission will seek a Constitution Court ruling on whether the anti-graft agency was exempt from article 40 of the Official Information Act making it disclose state information. Rongpol Charoenphan, Prime Minister’s Office’s deputy permanent secretary, said the meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Visanu Krue-ngam, discussed the […]

  • 12 November 2003

    JAPAN: Supreme Court Overturns Disclosure Ruling

    The Asahi Shimbun (Japan) reports that the Supreme Court has overturned a high court decision ordering the disclosure of the names and titles of private citizens wined and dined by the Osaka municipal government in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The case involves a June 1992 request by the citizens group Mihariban for records […]

  • 11 November 2003

    PHILIPPINES: Court Workers Sing, Dance For Transparency

    SunStar Network (Philippines) reports that court employees, instead of chanting protest lines, sang old-time favorites and danced to boogey tunes as they demanded transparency in the disbursement of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). Wearing red shirts or red armbands, the court employees called for a salary increase and transparency in the disbursement of the Judiciary […]

  • 1 November 2003

    JAMAICA: Senate Passes Access to Information Bill

    The Jamaica Observer reports that the Senate has finally passed The Access to Information Amendment Bill and the accompanying regulations after several weeks of debate fueled by the opposition. In the end, the modified Bill was passed unanimously. The Act, which is aimed at bringing greater transparency to Government by giving the public access to […]

  • 14 October 2003

    The Freedom of Information Campaign in Argentina

    [See also “The Transparency Labyrinth in Argentina” by María Baron, 13 APRIL 2004] Buenos Aires-based journalist Martha Farmelo reports for on Argentina’s current campaign for a freedom of information law, which was passed in May 2003 by the lower house of the national congress and is now pending in the senate. Farmelo describes the […]

  • 11 October 2003

    “The Right to Know is Gaining around the World”

    by Thomas Blanton The International Herald Tribune, October 11, 2003, p. 6 Last month (September 23, 2003), Armenia became the 51st country in the world to guarantee its citizens the right to know what their government is up to. Armenia’s new freedom of information law is the latest outpost of the worldwide movement towards opening […]

  • 5 October 2003

    REPORT: Fiji Debates Freedom of Information Proposal Citizens’ Group Launches Draft Law

    The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum in Fiji has launched a public debate in the South Pacific nation over the unfulfilled requirement in the Fiji Constitution for a freedom of information law. Together with the University of the South Pacific Journalism Programme in Suva, the CCF held a public FOI workshop on September 30, 2004 and released […]

  • 4 October 2003

    JAMAICA: More Delays on Access to Information

    The Jamaica Gleaner reports that the Jamaican Senate will not be debating the amendment to the Access to Information Act until the regulations governing its long-awaited implementation have been presented. The amendment, entitled the Access to Information Amendment Act 2003, was however tabled in the Upper House yesterday (October 3). Last week the Government announced […]

  • 1 October 2003

    African Development Bank Proposes New Disclosure Rules

    The African Development Bank in September proposed modifications of its information disclosure policy. Overall, the bank does not appear to be making many substantive improvements, but does propose to update the disclosure policy to reflect new documents that have come into use since 1997, when the last policy was written. The draft Information Disclosure Policy […]

  • 1 October 2003

    IMF Decides Against Mandatory Disclosure of Article IV Reports

    The International Monetary Fund executive board has decided not to require the disclosure of a key document, the Article IV staff report. The board opted instead to say that publication of the Article IV reports is "voluntary by presumed." This new formulation very slightly ratchets up the existing policy of voluntary disclosure while still permitting […]

  • 23 September 2003

    Armenian Parliament Adopts FOI Law

    The Association of Investigative Journalists of Armenia reports that the Armenian Freedom of Information Law has been adopted by the National Parliament today with all 100 NP’s voting in support of the law. The text of the law can be found here.

  • 22 September 2003

    REPORT: Freedom of Information in Ireland: Five Years On

    The leading freedom of information expert in Ireland, Maeve McDonagh of University College Cork, reviews the first five years of the Irish law, passed in 1997 and implemented in 1998, and deconstructs the latest amendments, from April 2003, that roll back parts of the law. In addition to a penetrating analysis of the statute, Professor […]

  • 13 September 2003

    JAMAICA: Access to Information Access Law Will Have Major Impact

    The Jamaican Observer reports on the Access to Information Act which goes into effect on October 1. According to members of The Carter Centre, “the rules of the game” in government have changed by giving Jamaicans access to official documents that previously were inaccessible. “This is a law that can change lives, and it can […]

  • 8 September 2003

    The Birth of the Freedom of Information Act in Japan: Kanagawa 1982

    Lawrence Repeta of the Information Clearinghouse Japan board of directors reports on the 20-year experience with freedom of information in Kanagawa prefecture — the most influential early Japanese access law, passed in 1982, two decades before the national FOI law. Download the entire report in Adobe PDF format: The Birth of the Freedom of Information […]

  • 25 August 2003

    THAILAND: Deputy PM Discusses Official Information Act

    The Bangkok Post reports on the Thai Deputy Prime Minister Visanu Krue-ngam’s recent remarks at the at the United Nations building on the Official Information Act. Kruengam stated that when the act was first introduced, state agencies had complied strictly with the law requiring them to disclose official information on public demand. But as time […]

  • 1 August 2003

    Inter-American Development Bank Revises Disclosure Policy Proposal

    The Inter-American Development Bank Aug. 4 modified its proposal for a new disclosure policy, making changes that appear to cut in both directions. The bank’s revised 14-page draft is available at: On the positive side, the IADB appears to adopt stronger, clearer language for the disclosure of drafts of operational policies, sector policies, sector […]

  • 1 August 2003

    Asian Development Bank Launches Transparency Policy Review

    The Asian Development Bank Aug. 8 officially kicked off its disclosure policy review by asking for public comments on the current policies. Anticipating a year-long process, the ADB has established a web site ( It provides links to relevant background documents, the review timeline, and contact information for sending comments and asking questions about the […]

  • 14 July 2003

    China’s Pioneering Foray Into Open Government: A Tale of Two Cities

    By Jamie P. Horsley Guangzhou Municipal Provisions on Open Government Information (Decree No. 8 of the Guangzhou Municipal People’s Government dated November 6, 2002) (PDF – 158 KB) China’s initial reticence in sharing information about the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic highlighted anew the culture of secrecy that has for centuries shrouded the Chinese […]


In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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