Archive for 2015

  • 31 December 2015

    Danish Officials Utilizing Controversial New Exemption

    The Danish government is actively using an exception created in 2013 to prevent the release of some documents that are part of the deliberative process, according to an article (in Danish) published in Information, written by Ulrik Dahlin and Sebastian Gjerding. The controversial Section 24 has been invoked 360 times by 17 ministries from the […]

  • 31 December 2015

    Bangladesh: Article 19 Analyzes Challenges

    The following chapter is from the 2015 Article 19 report, Asia Disclosed: A Review of the Right to Information across Asia. The original is replete with footnotes, not included here. Constitutional Framework Article 39 of the Bangladeshi Constitution guarantees the right of every citizen to freedom of speech and expression and freedom of the press, and […]

  • 31 December 2015

    Rwanda: ATI Implementation Constrained

    By Dr. Joseph Nkurunziza and Prisca Ntabaza Nkurunziza is a medical doctor and the founder and president of the board of Never Again Rwanda. Ntabaza is the programme officer for the Governance and Rights Programmme of Never Again Rwanda. This report is one of the chapters in the State of RTI in Africa Report 2015. Reprinted […]

  • 30 December 2015

    Macri Government Begins Work on Argentinian FOI Bill

    The new government of President Mauricio Macri has opened consultations on a draft freedom of information law, meeting with representatives of nongovernmental organizations, according to a report in La Nacion. National parliamentarians, representatives of non-governmental organizations and officials from various areas of the executive branch recently met for a disucssion on developing a consensus bill […]

  • 30 December 2015

    FOI Notes: Mexico, US, UK, India, Open Data, EU, Virgin Islands, Nepal, OGP

    WPFD 2016: The website for the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day 2016 now includes a Concept Note  about the themes the 2016 event: freedom of information and sustainable development. The Concept Note includes “Points to Ponder” such as: “How to mainstream SDG Goal 16, Target 10 – public access and fundamental freedoms – within development policies and budgetary planning?” The […]

  • 23 December 2015

    RTI in China: The Article 19 Report

    The following chapter is from the Article 19 report on the right to Information in Southeast Asia. Constitutional Framework China’s Constitution does not expressly mention the right to information but grants Chinese citizens freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration. Right to Information Act The path towards […]

  • 22 December 2015

    RTI and Progress on Anti-Corruption Efforts

    By Ayode Longe and Edetaen Ojo Longe is Programme Manager and Ojo is Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda. This report is one of the chapters in the State of RTI in Africa Report 2015. Reprinted with permission. Some, but not all,  footnotes have been converted to hot links. The Nigerian Freedom of Information (FOI) […]

  • 22 December 2015

    FOI Notes: India, Funding, PPPs, Australia, US, UK, OGP, UNIDO, Open Contracting, Big Data

    India: An analysis of the recent ruling of the Supreme Court concerning the Reserve Bank of India says the decision mandating disclosures “is likely to have implications on other regulators overseeing capital markets and insurance as well. The LiveMint story was written by Shreeja Sen and Remya Nair. Also see column on the ruling by Madabhushi Sridhar […]

  • 22 December 2015

    Former Defense Official Picked to Lead Indian Information Commission

    Former Indian Defense Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur is the government’s choice to be the next Chief Information Commissioner. Mathur’s selection is a departure from the convention of appointing the most senior Information Commissioner (IC) as the chief commissioner, noted news reports such as one in The Indian Express. It is the first time anyone besides […]

  • 18 December 2015

    Ghanian Group Seeks Access to Documents Power Deal

    A Ghanaian group is relying on the constitutional guarantee of right to information in its pursuit of documents about a controversial energy deal. The lawsuit by the CitizenGhana Movement against Power Minister Kwabena Donkor and others follows revelations made by a Norwegian newspaper. In the absence of a national freedom of information law, two leading […]

  • 17 December 2015

    Indian Court Orders Disclosure by Reserve Bank

    The Indian Supreme Court has ruled that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) must disclose inspection reports on banks, regulatory actions and lists of loan defaulters, among other things, even if it embarrasses individual banks. The court says RBI cannot deny information on defaulters and irregularities on grounds of “economic interest, commercial confidence, and fiduciary […]

  • 17 December 2015

    INAI Challenges State Law in Court as Unconstitutional

    Mexico’s Information Commission has gone to court to challenge as unconstitutional the freedom of information law in the State of Queretaro. The National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI) voted to bring a case before the Supreme Court of Justice challenging the law issued in early November, The state […]

  • 17 December 2015

    OGP Picks Sanjay Pradhan, Bank Official, as Director

    The Open Government Partnership has announced that Sanjay Pradhan, a long-time World Bank official with an expertise in governance issues, has been selected to head the organization starting in late March. As executive director of the 69-naton OGP, Pradhan will lead the OGP Support Unit and report to the Steering Committee of 11 government and […]

  • 17 December 2015

    Slovenian Parliament Defeats Plan to Raise Request Costs

    The Slovenian Parliament has rejected a proposed amendment that would have allowed public officials to charge for their time in answering freedom of information requests. The vote was a victory in a longstanding effort to resist government efforts to insinuate labor charges into the cost structure. The amendment was opposed by the Slovenian information commissioner and […]

  • 17 December 2015

    FOI Notes: Pakistan, COP21, Open Data, Aarhus, India, New York, Tanzania, UK, Isle of Man, Jersey

    Pakistan: Dawn reporter Salman Yousafzai examines in detail the slow delivery of documents and other problems facing journalists and other requesters trying to use the Right to Information Act Act, passed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in October 2013. COP21: The lack of transparency at the climate change talks is examined in a CounterPunch article by […]

  • 16 December 2015

    Bulgarian Assembly Amends Access to Information Act

    The Bulgarian National Assembly Nov. 26 adopted amendments to the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) to enhance proactive disclosure, encourage electronic requests, and facilitate re-use of information. The amendments introduce an extended list of 17 categories of information subject to proactive online publication replacing the current four (Art. 15), according to Alexander Kashumov, Head […]

  • 16 December 2015

    RTI Activists Request Appointment of CIC Chief

    Indian right to information activists have written Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi urging him to fill the now vacant post of the Chief of the Central Information Commission. The latest Chief Information Commissioner, Vijai Sharma, retired on Dec. 2 after a six month tenure. “This is the second time this year that the post of […]

  • 16 December 2015

    World Bank Appeals Panel Backs Bank Secrecy Decision

    By Toby McIntosh The three-member outside review panel has upheld the World Bank’s refusal to disclose documents about a controversial procurement in Serbia. (See decision.) Gordana Andric of The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network requested documents about a review that Bank conducted into Serbia’s procurement process of a controversial Bank-funded project to pump water out of […]

  • 15 December 2015

    Colombia Study Scores Implementation of Law

    A new study in Colombia has rated government compliance with the new access to information law. Performance measured 39.7 points on a scale of 100, according to the index (in Spanish) created by Project Antonio Nariño. The 2015 Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Index assesses four main dimensions, one which is access to […]

  • 15 December 2015

    Sri Lankan Cabinet OKs Draft Right to Information Bill

    The Sri Lankan Cabinet on Dec. 2 approved a draft right to information bill that is expected to be introduced in Parliament in January. The draft text was the subject of a critical preliminary analysis by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), which listed 32 reservations about the bill. The Centre for Law and Democracy also […]