What’s New

  • 31 December 2010

    Critics Score Proposed New Rules for Indian RTI Act

    Critics are weighing in against proposed amendments to the rules for the Information Right to Information Act that among other things would set a 250 word limit for each request and to raise fees. These and other proposals have draw fire from many RTI activists and recently from the Working Group on Transparency, Accountability and […]

  • 31 December 2010

    Researcher Identifies Concerns With New Indonesian Law

    A variety of concerns about the new Indonesian freedom of information law have been identified by Andrew Thornley, a specialist on democracy and governance with the Research Triangle Institute who has been researching the Indonesian experience. “… [W]orries center on the fact that while this may well be one of many sound laws and policies?, […]

  • 31 December 2010

    Andean Group Evaluating Freedom of Information

    The Andean Group of Freedom of Information (GALI) has begun a project to evaluate national legislation on freedom of expression and access to information.   GALI plans to identify the strengths and weaknesses freedom of expression of laws in each of the five countries — Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela — in order to identify […]

  • 30 December 2010

    Cambodia Opposition Party Proposes FOI Legislation

    The opposition party in Cambodia has proposed freedom of information legislation, but is pessimistic about its chances, according to an article from the Phnom Penh Post. The Sam Rainsy Party Dec. 23 sent a draft FOI law to the National Assembly for consideration. SRP lawmaker Son Chhay said the law would require officials to make […]

  • 24 December 2010

    Cayman Islands AG Declines to Charge Reporter

    The Attorney General of the Cayman Islands has decided not prosecute a reporter who wrote an article saying that a legislative committee planned to discuss the freedom of information law in private. AG Samuel Bulgin Bulgin issued a statement  Dec. 20 saying he would not be moving ahead with a prosecution against The Caymanian Compass […]

  • 24 December 2010

    FOI NOTES: Studies, Reports, Resources

    Arab Countries: A study by two University of Arizona journalism professors indicates that Arab countries are not quite ready to embrace government transparency, according to a study published in the recent issue of Government Information Quarterly.  Jeannine Relly and David Cuillier examined 12 political, cultural and economic factors that have been associated with countries that […]

  • 22 December 2010

    WikiLeaks Controversy Prompts Statement From UN, OAS Rapporteurs

    Two leading international voices for freedom of information have issued a joint statement (In English and Spanish) reminding “states and other relevant actors to keep in mind” various international principles concerning the right of access to information. The unusual statement was made Dec. 21 “in light of ongoing developments related to the release of diplomatic […]

  • 21 December 2010

    Behavior Check Proposal Withdrawn in France

    A proposed amendment to France’s security and access to information laws which would have required background behavior checks on users of government information has been withdrawn, according to two groups following the legislation. Access Info Europe and Regards Citoyens said in a press release Dec. 20 that the proposed amendment “was significantly changed” in the […]

  • 17 December 2010

    Spat Over Royal Family, FOI Reported in UK Newspaper

    The Liberal Democratic party in the United Kingdom, which made improving the freedom of information law a condition of participation in the government with the Conservative Party, is upset over proposals to limit the law’s coverage of the royal family, according to a report in the Daily Mail. The newspaper reports that after lobbying from […]

  • 17 December 2010

    Report Examines Access to Chinese Environmental Data

    China has improved access to some environmental information, but much data on pollution and on the activities is still hard to obtain, according to a new report. ARTICLE 19 and the Centre for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims (CLAPV) at the China University of Political Science and Law launched a new report Dec. 16 entitled […]

  • 17 December 2010

    EU Ombudsman Discounts National Interest Objections

    The European Ombudsman Dec. 15 said the European Commission should release documents originating in a member country notwithstanding objections to disclosure from that country’s authorities. But while the Commission acquiesced in this specific case, the larger policy issue remains. And the Ombudsman announced his intention to investigate further. The decision by Ombudsman P. Nikiforos Diamandouros […]

  • 17 December 2010

    Bulgarian Court Orders Release of Minutes of Meeting

    A Bulgarian court Nov. 11 compelled the release of minutes of a meeting between President Georgi Parvanov and  former Russian President Vladimir Putin held in January 2008. The complaint was brought by the journalist Lachezar Lisicov with the help of Access to Information Programme (AIP). “The minutes were of a huge public interest as crucial […]

  • 17 December 2010

    Closed Meeting on FOI Sparks Caymanian Controversy

    Cayman Island legislators have retaliated against a newspaper that drew attention to plans for a closed door meeting on freedom of Information and wrote an editorial cautioning against weakening the law. The Caymanian Compass and publisher Brian Uzzell is refusing to apologise for the article by reporter Brent Fuller, or the editorial published Dec. 8. […]

  • 15 December 2010

    Court Orders Brazil to Open Files in Human Rights Case

    By Peter Kornbluh and Erin Maskell On Dec. 14, 2010, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights handed down a long-awaited decision in the case of Gomes Lund and others (Guerrilha do Araguaia) vs. Brazil. A landmark decision, this  119-page ruling forces the Brazilian government to publicly accept responsibility for grave human rights violations committed during […]

  • 10 December 2010

    Nigerian Senate President Says No 2010 Action on FOI

    The Senate President of Nigeria, David Mark, has ruled out action this year on freedom of information legislation.   Speaking to the Nigerian Union of Journalists, who gave him an award as the Most Outstanding Speaker of the Decade, Mark linked passage of the bill with the creation of a board to oversee the activities […]

  • 10 December 2010

    Ghana Media Commission Urges Passage of Access Bill

    Ghana’s National Media Commission has called for approval of the Right to Information Bill, the Broadcasting Bill and the Defamation Bill. “Of these, it has been the Right to Information Bill that has received, and for good reasons too, the greatest publicity,” the commission noted, saying that “it is taking far too long to pass […]

  • 8 December 2010

    Awareness of Kyrgyzstan Access Law Low, Study Finds

    Kyrgyzstan’s population does not demand information from public officials and many weakness exist in the implementation of the access law, according to a recent report. The findings and a  series of recommendations are contained in a four-country study sponsored by the Open Society Institute in which requestors sought information, with mixed success. “The main problem […]

  • 8 December 2010

    Georgia Access Regime Needs Fixing, OSI says

    A variety of legislative and administrative recommendations to remedy perceived weaknesses in Georgia’s access to information practices are made in a new report by the Open Society Institute. The recommendations are an outgroeth of a four-country study in which requestors sought information, with mixed success. The section on Georgia says the public institutions were not delivering […]

  • 8 December 2010

    Improvements Suggested for Azerbaijan Access Law

    Ideas for amending the Azerbaijan access to information law, for improving administration of the law and for enhancing proactive public access to information are among the recommendations contained in a new report. Prepared by the Open Society Institute and its affiliates, the report covers four countries in the region.  The recommendations are based on the […]

  • 8 December 2010

    Ukrainian Access Law Needs Reform, OSI Report Says

    Ukraine’s access to information regime needs strengthening in a variety of ways, according to a report by the Open Society Institute. A series of recommendations are contained in a four-country study in which requestors sought information, with mixed success. Efforts are under way to revise the Ukranian law and parliament may deal with the topic […]