Archive for 2012

  • 31 December 2012

    Philippines FOI Bill Called Priority, But Time Short

    Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, Jr., has said that the freedom of information bill will be one of the priority bills when the Philippines House of Representatives  on Jan. 21 convenes for what will only be an nine-day session. But Belmonte told reporters that mustering a quorum will be a challenge, according to news reports including […]

  • 31 December 2012

    Publishing Names of Gun Owners Triggers U.S. Debate

    The publication by a New York newspaper of the names and addresses of handgun owners, although public information, has generated a substantial controversy. The Journal News published an interactive map to make it easy for readers to find some gun owners in New York’s Rockland and Westchester counties, outside of New York City. The paper […]

  • 31 December 2012

    FOI Notes: Open Data, Fighting Corruption, Brazil, Canada, Russia

    Open Data/New York: The New York state Committee on Open Government makes transparency and accountability recommendations, proposing to obligate agencies to make their information available in open data format, either by legislation or by an order of the governor.  The committee recommends the state “push” information through proactive disclosure by releasing material that is the […]

  • 31 December 2012

    Malaysian State of Selangor Inaugurates FOI Law Jan. 1

    The freedom of information law in the Malaysian state of Selangor will come into force Jan. 1. The bill was passed in April of 2011 and is the first state FOI law. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) “It’s a very exciting challenge for the state government,” executive councillor Elizabeth Wong told The Selangor Times.  Reporter Gan Pei […]

  • 31 December 2012

    Punjab FOI Bill Proposed, Critic Voices Reservations

    The government of Punjab has prepared freedom of information legislation, according to media reports, but one early reaction suggests that much information would be exempted from disclosure. The “bureaucracy” of the Pakistani province has finalized the draft, according to a Dec. 21 article in The Dawn. “The draft was finalised during a meeting of the administrative secretaries […]

  • 24 December 2012

    Zambian FOI Bill to Be Offered in 2013, Minister Says

    A key Zambian minister has promised that a freedom of information bill will be presented to Parliament in the first quarter of 2013, according to a newspaper report. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Kennedy Sakeni, made the comment during a trip to see the Northern Province Permanent Secretary, Hlobotha Nkunika, in Kasama, the Lusaka […]

  • 21 December 2012

    Mexican Senate Advances Amendments to FOI Law

    The Mexican Senate on Dec. 20 unanimously approved amendments to the freedom of information law, increasing the powers of the FOI oversight body. Under the legislation, supported by new president Enrique Peña Nieto, the Federal Institute of Access to Information (IFAI) would gain new autonomy, with its decisions made binding. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)  This […]

  • 21 December 2012

    Philippines FOI Bill Absent in Final Days of House Session

    The freedom of information bill was not presented on the floor of the Philippines House during the closing days of the 2012 session, leaving another step to be taken in nine days available for possible action early next year. Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada in a text message to reporters, said that the bill is “back […]

  • 21 December 2012

    OGP to Recruit Two More Senior IRM Advisors

    The Open Government Partnership will pick two more senior advisors to help guide the Independent Review Mechanism by which national action plans will be evaluated, according to recently published minutes of an OGP Steering Committee meeting held Dec. 4 in London. The OGP will seek nominations from Asia and Latin America. The two additional senior […]

  • 21 December 2012

    FOI Notes: Measuring Transparency, Calls for Papers, Reports, More

    Measuring Transparency: “What is Government Transparency?: New Measures and Relevance for Quality of Government,”  by Monika Bauhr and Marcia Grimes of The Quality of Government Institute, Department of Political Science,  University of Gothenburg. The abstract says: As policymakers and researchers focus increasing attention on the importance of government transparency for accountability and good governance more […]

  • 21 December 2012

    Campaign for FOI Objects to UK Government Proposals

    The Campaign for Freedom of Information in the United Kingdom Dec. 18 issued a statement objecting that government plans to amend the Freedom of Information Act “would make it harder for requesters to obtain answers to new, complex or contentious FOI requests.” As explained by the Campaign: The government is proposing to make it easier […]

  • 20 December 2012

    New Zealand Viewed Joining OGP as Resource Drain

    Joining the Open Government Partnership was viewed as a low priority and a potential drain on resources in a memo prepared in February 2012 within the New Zealand government. New Zealand has not joined the OGP. This prompted Andrew Ecclestone, a researcher and consultant on freedom of information, to request documents relevant to the government’s deliberations […]

  • 17 December 2012

    Philippine House to Delay Work FOI Bill Until 2013

    By Toby McIntosh The Philippines House won’t take up a freedom of information bill until next year, when there will be only a two-week window for a vote. Senate action is completed now, but the bill’s biggest hurdle historically has been in the House. The House plans to returns Jan. 21, 2013, but the session will […]

  • 17 December 2012

    Kenyan Minister Looks to Compel Publication of Data

    The minister responsible for Kenya’s open data portal says government agencies are failing to supply necessary data, according to a report by in The Sunday Nation. “Information and Communications permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo told the Sunday Nation that the ministry was getting frustrated because of the low amount of data supplied by organizations,” according to […]

  • 17 December 2012

    FOI Notes: Webinar on Redress Mechanisms, Jobs

    Webinar: A webinar on “Grievance Redress Mechanisms” will be held on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 at 8:00 – 9:00 AM EST (13:00 – 14:00 GMT / 18:30-19:30 IST). The webinar is co-sponsored by Global Integrity and the World Bank Institute. Register here. Jobs:  The Web Foundation has several open positions for jobs that can be […]

  • 17 December 2012

    Canadian Commissioner Extends Period for Comment

    The Information Commissioner of Canada has extended the deadline for comments on modernizing the almost 30-year-old Access to Information Act. The “open dialogue” will now run until Jan. 31, 2013.  About a dozen submissions have been made since the effort was begun Sept. 28 by commissioner Suzanne Legault. She plans to provide recommendations to Parliament […]

  • 14 December 2012

    Indian Commission Rules Attorney General Exempt

    India’s Central Information Commission has ruled that the Office of the Attorney is not a public authority under Right to Information Act. The CIC order of Dec. 10 said the Attorney General’s position is unique because “he is standalone counsel of the Government of India.” “He renders legal advice to the Government of India which […]

  • 14 December 2012

    Peru Decree Restricts National Security Information

    The government of Peru Dec. 7 classified all information related to national security and defense as a state secret, also setting 15 years in prison as the punishment for violators. A report by Silvia Hiquera  on the blog of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas (Spanish and Portuguese) says the Institute for Press […]

  • 14 December 2012

    Fewer Information Requests Made in China, Report Says

    The number of citizen requests for information in China has dropped because of impediments facing requesters, according to a new Peking University report. The government is releasing more information, according to the report, but key information about the budget, spending and collection of administrative fees is still missing. The report is described in a Dec. […]

  • 14 December 2012

    FOI Legislation Delayed in Barbados, AG Says

    The Attorney General of Barbados,?Adriel Brathwaite, has said that freedom of information legislation will be delayed, according to a report in the Stabroek News. He said the government still supports the legislation. A draft “ is presently with the Chief Parliamentary Counsel’s office and is one of the things that we would dearly love to […]