FOI Notes: Chinese Cities; FOI for the Media?, Grants

17 September 2010

FOI Request for Rupert Murdoch? British Member of Parliament Dennis MacShane on Sept. 7 suggested that the UK FOIA should be extended to cover not just public authorities but also private media organizations and  bodies which receive state funding, according to the International Forum for Responsible Media blog.

China: Economics and Transparency   Three political science professors have looked into what factors encourage transparency by Chinese cities.  Their paper generates two key results. The abstract states: “First, the financial strength of a city’s government is a crucial determinant of transparency. Establishing the institutions to collect, organize, and disseminate information is costly and remains a low priority for cash-strapped local governments. Secondly, the legacies of the planned economy still have a major influence over what municipal governments are willing or (politically) able to do. Cities whose economies are relatively dependent on a single industrial firm tend to resist implementing transparency requirements when compared to those dealing with a less concentrated industrial base.” The paper “Transparent Authoritarianism?: An Analysis of Political and Economic Barriers to Greater Government Transparency in China” was done by Peter L. Lorentzen, University of California, Berkeley; Pierre F. Landry,  Department of Political Science, Yale University; and John K. Yasuda, University of California, Berkeley.

Partnership for Transparency:  A few projects related to right-to-know laws are among the efforts funded by the grant-giving Partnership for Transparency, which just issued its 2009 annual report.

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