FOI Notes: Olympics, India, US, Drones, Open Data, More

9 April 2015

Sports: The International Olympic Committee announces plans to disclose the compensation of its top officials.

India: The Department of Personnel and Training has invited views/suggestions from citizens on the draft guidelines regarding elements that a RTI reply should essentially contain, RTI India reports.

United States: “The expanding reach of the Freedom of Information Act has introduced a new dynamic at federal agencies, and it is driving the need for IT professionals in the public sector to understand and conduct electronic discovery for records being requested by individuals and private parties under FOIA reports Tim Klinger on Federal Computer Week.

RTI History/India: Activists of the right to information movement came to Beawar, a small town in Rajasthan, to remember their first protest 19 years ago, reports Daily O and NDTV.

India:Dying for information: Right to information and whistleblower protection in India,” by Suchi Pande. The author says there needs to bea greater focus on how right to information laws are used and increasing awareness of reprisals against users.”

India: An attack on an RTI activist is described in DNA.

United States: The Justice Department capsulizes a recent discussion on “FOIA Customer service.”

Privacy: Domestic Drones and Privacy: A Primer, a report by the US Congressional Research Service.

India: “The RTI machinery all over India seems to be crumbling. Half the state information commissions, the final appellate authorities for handling cases under the Right to Information Act in states, are subsisting two or fewer commissioners as state governments refuse to fill vacant positions,” reports The Economic Times.

United States: The Associated Press reports on high charges for FOIA requestors

Ireland: FOI restrictions on refugee issues are being rushed through, reports Brendan Howlin of The Irish Times.

Open Data: Becky Hogge writes about “a new project, commissioned by the Omidyar Network, to examine the impact open data has had to date.”

Open Data: 3 Ways Branded Mobile Apps Help Cities,” by Lisa Abeyta, Founder and CEO of APPCityLife, Inc.

Open Data:3 bills that could make 2015 a landmark year for open data in California, described by Sunlight Foundation’s Emily Shaw.

Open Data: A World Bank blog post about open data efforts in Burkino Faso.

United States: Jason Leopold joined Vice’s On The Line to discuss how he leverages the FOIA to reveal government secrets.

Australia: The Treasurer minister “personally approved a decision to shield companies sending billions of dollars offshore as part of apparent tax-dodging strategies from being named,” reports Heath Aston of the Brisbane Times

Open Budgets: A slideshow preview of research on open budget data by Jonathan Gray of Open Knowledge.

Advocacy: A series of articles sponsored by Open Democracy on the topic of “Internationalizing human rights organizations – why, how, and at what cost?”

Journalism and FOIA: A report on a symposium at the University of Florida.

United States/Employment: OpenTheGovernment.org is seeking a policy associate.

Transparency Research:An Analysis of Right to Information Laws of Pakistan and India,” by Ashraf Ali, Muhammad Saleem and Muhammad Shoib of Abdul Wali Khan University, Journal of Applied Environmental and Biological Sciences, 5(4)121-127, 2015

Abstract:

The first decade of 21st century have a special significance in the legislative history of Pakistan and India. It’s a decade which is known for the dawn of freedom of information laws in both countries. In 2002 Pakistan became the first country in sub-continent which adopted freedom of information laws. Thanks to judicial activism which laid the foundation stone of “Right to Information Act 2005” in India. A deep analysis of different features of the law of information prevailing in Pakistan and India is the scope of this paper. There are tough challenges ahead but how to overcome these challenges will be explore through this study. This paper would also focus on highlighting the long term social, economic and political impacts of RTI laws in Pakistan and India.

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