FOI Notes: Russia, India, France, UK, EU, FOI Tips, Open Data, World Bank

30 December 2013

Russia: The Freedom of Information Foundation reports on the monitoring of official websites in large municipalities makes proposals for improvements. Also, a nice review of transparency disappointments in Russia in 2013 by (in Russian) by Asya Suvorova.

India: Maharashtra will soon become the first state to allow online RTI requests, according to an article in DNA India.

India: An article in MoneyLife by Vinita Deshmukh begins:

Bhiwandi-based RTI activist Abrar Shaikh was killed last week for seeking information on illegal constructions. As usual the killers are yet to be caught. This prompted other RTI activists to successfully steer campaign to put documents in public domain on information sought by the slain whistleblower.

Pakistan: A review of the new RTI laws in two provinces  appears in The New, written by Zahid Abdullah and Yasir Cheema.

France: Etalab, the Prime Minister’s task force for Open Government Data, unveiled on Dec. 18 the new version of the platform.

United Kingdom: “How to tell if the FOI response you have received is bullshit,” a series or articles begun on the FOI Kid Blog by Bilal Ghafoor, a  government FOI “practitioner.”

United Kingdom:Ten top tips on making responsible and effective FOI requests” from the FOI Man Blog, by Paul Gibbons. The list (abbreviated to headlines):

1.  Count to ten before clicking ‘Send’

2. Do your research

3. Take care when making ‘round robin’ requests

4. Try an informal approach first if possible

5. Be specific

6. Don’t be greedy

7. Be polite

8. Be patient

9. Read the response carefully, and if necessary, use the Appeal process

10. Use the information you receive responsibly

Open Data: Year in review blog post by the Open Knowledge Foundation.

European Union: British Member of Parliament Graham Watson uses EU access regulation 1049/2001 to get a European Commission letter to Spanish authorities concerning the conclusions of an EC investigation into excessive checks at the border between Spain and Gibraltar. Both Spanish and Commission authorities had refused to release it.

World Bank: World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says the fight against corruption will become a major responsibility of a new good governance department, according to a Reuters story.

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