Archive for 2005

  • 9 December 2005

    Armenia: Freedom of Information Awards Winners of 2005 Announced

    On December 9, 2005 the Freedom of Information Center (Yerevan, Armenia) announced its Freedom of Information Awards winners for 2005. Read more >>.

  • 30 November 2005

    EU Parliamentary Committee Rejects EIB Effort to Dodge Aarhus Rules

    A committee of the European Union Parliament Nov. 22 rejected an effort by the European Investment Bank to be exempted from rules implementing the Aarhus Convention, the EU agreement that governs transparency policies for environmental-related activities. Approval of an amendment by the Environment Committee to include the EIB came despite campaigning by EIB officials to […]

  • 16 November 2005

    How to Measure Openness?

    Towards an International Index Government transparency ranks as a fundamental human right and an essential element in developing effective democratic governance. Nonetheless, international freedom of information advocates face a daunting challenge in quantifying and evaluating government openness and access to information in different nations. A wide range of researchers have pioneered the development of indexes […]

  • 16 November 2005

    IFC, EIB, IIC Make Few Concessions on Disclosure About Private Sector Projects

    Three of the major international lenders with a mandate to finance private sector projects with public interest benefits are making few concessions to transparency. Pro-disclosure campaigns are underway to achieve better outcomes in ongoing disclosure policy reviews being conducted by the European Investment Bank and the World Bank’s private sector lending arm, the International Finance […]

  • 6 October 2005

    IMF Modifies Disclosure Policy to Address Deletions, Delay

    The International Monetary Fund has taken steps that may reduce the number of deletions made in the publicly disclosed versions of its key reports about member countries, including the significant Article IV reports. The moves come after an internal report found that more than one-third of the published reports “incorporate substantive changes” as a result […]

  • 28 September 2005

    International Right to Know Day 2005

    Since 2002, freedom of information advocates around the world have been working together to promote the right of access to information for all people and recognize the benefits of transparent and accountable governments. We use this day as a way to share ideas, strategies and success stories about the development of freedom of information laws […]

  • 14 September 2005

    Documents Spur Public Debate about World Bank Involvement in Awarding Contract for Delhi Water Deal

    World Bank and Indian Anti-corruption Group Trade Charges about Bidding Process Documents released recently under Delhi’s freedom of information law raised a major public controversy over World Bank involvement in contract bidding and fueled a public debate over possible privatization of the Delhi water system. On July 28, Indian anti-corruption group Parivartan, citing internal documents […]

  • 12 September 2005

    Best Practices on Transparency Among IFIs

    The Asian Development Bank has pulled markedly ahead of other international financial institutions in its standards for disclosure and civic participation, but like its sister international organizations the ADB continues make slow progress when measured against the increasingly refined transparency agenda of critics. In recent years several international finance institutions have adopted improved transparency policies, […]

  • 18 August 2005

    German Federal Data Protection Commissioner to become Freedom of Information Commissioner

    Under the new German Freedom of Information Law, which will enter into force on January 1, 2006, the current Federal Data Protection Commissioner Peter Schaar will also assume the job of Federal Commissioner for Freedom of Information. Schaar has emphasized the importance of his new position to the successful implementation of the new law: Timeline: […]

  • 18 August 2005

    WTO Offers 400 Audience Slots to Public for First Open Panel Hearings Next Month

    Reproduced with permission from Daily Report for Executives, No. 156, pp. A-2 – A-3 (Aug. 15, 2005). Copyright 2005 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) GENEVA – The World Trade Organization announced Aug. 12 that it will allocate 400 places, on a first-come, first-served basis, for the public to observe the global trade […]

  • 9 August 2005

    EIB Declines to Release Ukranian Framework Agreement

    The European Investment Bank has declined to release the text of a framework agreement recently signed with Ukrainian leaders. Although the EIB a year ago promised the release of framework agreements (with a few caveats), officials replying to a request said those caveats mean that disclosure will not occur until after the agreement is […]

  • 9 August 2005

    Pakistan Newspaper Reports on Nonpublic World Bank Document

    A newspaper in Pakistan has written about a nonpublic World Bank report evaluating ten years of World Bank activities in Pakistan and shedding light on the process of preparing such major evaluations. The evaluation report is generally unfavorable to the World Bank, according to the Business Recorder, which wrote about the conclusions in a July […]

  • 21 July 2005

    EIB Announces Second Round for Transparency Policy Review

    The European Investment Bank has committed to writing a second draft proposal on disclosure policy-expanding and extending its process for consultation and review after the first draft, and the process, came under criticism. According to a July 21 announcement, "the Bank feels it appropriate to launch a second round of consultation on the basis of […]

  • 23 June 2005

    Documents Released Under Public Information Disclosure Law Show Government Designated Tombs of Ancient Emperors Based on Questionable Evidence

    Noboru Toike, a professor and expert on Imperial tombs, used Japan’s public information disclosure law to obtain academic studies conducted by the Imperial Household Agency regarding the discovery of at least 10 ancient tombs that the government has claimed hold the remains of emperors from the 5th through 13th centuries. The documents support the belief […]

  • 1 June 2005

    Sen. Lugar Stresses Transparency in MDB Replenishment Legislation

    The Republican chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar (R-Ind), has made transparency reforms the central focus of legislation that also would authorize U.S. contributions to five multilateral development banks. Lugar’s bill contains instructions to the U.S. representatives at the five institutions, including the World Bank, and tells them to support several […]

  • 24 May 2005

    Latest Analysis of India’s New Right to Information Law

    "Good, Bad, and Ugly (maybe)" says Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative UPDATE – 25 JUNE 2005 CHRI Conference Report Effective Implementation: Preparing to Operationalise the Right to Information Act, 2005 After a number of false starts and even one Act which was on the books but never came into force, it is with much excitement that […]

  • 9 May 2005

    Article 19 Reports on Freedom of Information in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia

    A report from London-based NGO Article 19 on freedom of information legislation and its impact on the news media in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, finds that problems with implementation, state secrets legislation, and a Soviet-style predilection for excessive secrecy have created “the environment for arbitrary refusals, manipulation of information, and, in extreme cases, even release […]

  • 9 May 2005

    REPORT: Article 19 on Freedom of Information in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia

    A report from London-based NGO Article 19 on freedom of information legislation and its impact on the news media in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, finds that problems with implementation, state secrets legislation, and a Soviet-style predilection for excessive secrecy have created "the environment for arbitrary refusals, manipulation of information, and, in extreme cases, even release […]

  • 15 April 2005

    Teaching Institute or Dance Bar? Putting Local Freedom of Information Legislation to Use in Argentina

    By Martha Farmelo Martha Farmelo is Co-Coordinator of the Access to Information Program at the Buenos Aires-based Association for Civil Rights ( I’ve never slept particularly well the first night in a new home, what with the excitement of the move and all the strange, new sounds. Little did I expect the sounds of the […]

  • 7 April 2005

    FOIA Law Discloses British Farm Subsidies

    For the first time the British Freedom of Information Act forced the disclosure of the amounts and recipients of UK farm subsidies on March 22, revealing over £1,000,000 in payments to the British royal family. A request filed with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) by the Guardian newspaper produced a pair of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, […]