What’s New

  • 14 April 2009

    World Bank Releases Extremely Useful Reports on Access to Information Implementation

    Over the past few months, the World Bank has recently published a series of extremely useful reports by experts on access to information laws. Using comparative case studies, together these reports provide an overview of the whole life cycle of access to information (ATI) legislation, from adoption to implementation and enforcement. One report examines the role of civil society groups in the formulation and adoption of access to information laws in Bulgaria, India, Mexico, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Another examines the institutional and logistical nuts-and-bolts of implementation, using Mexico as a case study, while the third report looks at models of enforcement in several countries: South Africa, Mexico, Scotland, India, and Hungary.

  • 10 April 2009

    Moldova: Acces-info Center Releases Evaluation of Access to Public Information

    Chisinau, Moldova — Experts found that, although the Moldovan government improved somewhat in communicating with the public, the passing of the State Secrets Law and other deficiencies diminish the positive impact of the governments reforms, according to Acces-Info Center’s Fourth Quarter 2008 evaluation of access to official public information. According to its press release, the […]

  • 7 April 2009

    Brazil Pledges to Pass Right to Information Bill

    Lula Government Drafting New Law with High-Level Support; Civil Society/Media Coalition Campaigns for Access to Information International Seminar April 1-2 Opens Public Debate on Proposed Law; First Draft Lacks Independent Agency for Implementation and Appeals Brasilia, Brazil — The Lula government in Brazil last week publicly committed to pass a right-to-information law this year, thus […]

  • 7 April 2009

    Cairo Declaration Embodies Fundamental Consensus on the Access to Information in the Arab World

    Cairo, Egypt — In January, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), the National Council of Human Rights, and the Center of Media Freedom in the Middle East and North Africa organized a regional conference in Cairo for the Arab Freedom of Information Network. Representatives from six countries (Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Palestine, Mauritania, and Yemen) […]

  • 7 April 2009

    Jordanian Civil Society Group Organizes Freedom of Information Training

    Amman, Jordan — In February, the Al Urdun Al Jadid Research Center (UJRC), in conjunction with IREX, held a series of 2-day training workshops. In 2007 Jordan became the first Arab country to pass an access to information law, but public use of the law is still in the early stages of development. 27 journalists […]

  • 27 March 2009

    Chileans Prepare for New FOI Law: An Interview with Juan Pablo Olmedo

    By Peter Kornbluh Special thanks to Marianna Enamoneta, Emilene Martinez-Morales, Carly Ackerman, Joshua Frens-String and Yessica Esquivel Alonso On April 20th, Chile will become the most recent country to have a functioning Freedom of Information Act—and potentially establish a leading model for new access to information laws around the world. The new “Law of Transparency […]

  • 20 March 2009

    Documents in Action: FOI Success Stories in Mexico

    By Emilene Martinez-Morales Mexico City, Mexico – Mexico’s civil society have maximized the potential of its Federal Access to Information Law to affect policies in local communities, advocate for citizens’ rights, and expose corruption at the highest levels of state. Openness advocates have utilized two key institutional features of Mexico’s access-to-information system. The electronic system […]

  • 20 March 2009

    Active Duty Chief of Police Arrested for 25-Year Old Political Disappearance of Labor Activist

    Historic Police Archives Key to Prosecution of Former War Crimes Guatemala City, Guatemala — March 5, 2009: A long-awaited break in one of Guatemalas most notorious human rights crimes, Hctor Roderico Ramrez Ros, a Guatemalan police officer, has been arrested in connection with the abduction and disappearance of labor activist Edgar Fernando Garca 25 years […]

  • 24 February 2009

    US Documents Released Through Freedom of Information Act Requests Introduced as Evidence in Spanish Court Hearing Guatemala Genocide Case

    Related Material from Guatemalan Military Archives Could Be Released Soon Madrid, Spain — Official documents from American and Guatemalan government files were presented as evidence last week in Spains National Courtthe Audiencia Nacionaland turned over to Judge Santiago Pedraz. However, the Guatemalan documentary record remains largely inaccessible, despite rulings by the Guatemalan court and even […]

  • 24 February 2009

    UK Justice Minister Jack Straw Vetoes the Release of Pre-Iraq Cabinet Minutes

    First Use of Veto Provision in UK’s 2000 FOI Law Sets Dangerous Precedent London, United Kingdom – Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw today used his veto power to block the release of minutes from two controversial cabinet meetings in March 2003, when the British government signed off on joining the Bush administration’s invasion […]

  • 13 February 2009

    Guatemala Looks to Mexican Model for Access Implementation

    By Jesse Franzblau Mexico City, Mexico – On January 30, 2009, in a testament to Mexicos frontrunner role in the global transparency movement, Guatemalas Vice President Rafael Espada led an official delegation to lay the groundwork for future collaboration with officials from the Instituto Federal de Accesso a la Informacin Pblica (IFAI), the forward-thinking governmental […]

  • 5 February 2009

    New Regulations Require Israeli Government to Disclose Environmental Information

    Jerusalem, Israel – On February 2, 2009, the Interior and Environmental Protection Committee of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, approved new regulations that would compel Israeli public authorities to make environmental information available to the public. Even though environmental information was specifically mentioned in Article 9 of Israels 1998 Freedom of Information Law, further implemented […]

  • 2 February 2009

    Revelations from Prime Minister Aso on Wartime POW Labor Demonstrate Need for National Archive in Japan

    Controversy Highlights Issues of Historical Memory in Japan By Lawrence Repeta [Editor’s note: This article has been reprinted with permission of the author and first appeared in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.] Prime Minister Aso Taro’s admission that his family company employed prisoner-of-war labor during the final months of World War II may one day […]

  • 27 January 2009

    Russian Government Heeds Civil Society’s Call for Access to Information Law

    Moscow, Russia — On January 21, 2009, the same day that US President Barack Obama took decisive steps for transparency and accountability in the US government, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, the State Duma, passed the Bill on Ensuring Access to Information about Activities of State Organs and Organs of Local Administration. The […]

  • 23 January 2009

    Day One: President Obama Pledges to Open Government – International Openness Advocates Applaud US Reforms

    Washington, DC – On Day One of his administration, President Barack Obama took authoritative steps to “create an unprecedented level of openness” in the US government through an executive order and two presidential memoranda. International openness advocates, including more than 60 organizations and individuals in at least 30 countries, have issued a statement welcoming the […]