Archive for 2016

  • 28 December 2016

    Eight Countries Adopt FOI Regimes in 2016

    Eight countries adopted freedom of information laws or similar administrative regulations in 2016, according to’s running tally that now shows 115 national FOI regimes. The number of additions in 2016 is one shy of the previous annual record of nine additions, set in 2011. See list of FOI countries by date and alphabetically. Joining […]

  • 27 December 2016

    FOI Notes: Pakistan, Italy, UNCAC, Germany, Commentary, Transparency Research, Cambodia

    Pakistan: “Another year passes without witnessing the passage of the Right to Information (RTI) legislation. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government that promised the world’s best law on transparency has practically backed out of it,” reports Umar Cheema in The News. Italy: Dec. 23 was the first dat when a equest access to information held by […]

  • 27 December 2016

    Party Disagreements End Chances for 2016 Ghana RTI

    The right to information bill in Ghana got marooned in disagreements between the incoming and outgoing parties. The National Democratic Congress majority caucus accused the minority side, the New Patriot Party, of delaying consideration of the RTI bill by failing to provide a quorum. The minority said additional amendments were necessary, objecting that the bill […]

  • 22 December 2016

    Peruvian Groups Urge Autonomous Oversight Body

    A proposal to create an independent national body on access to information is being debated in Peru. A working group appointed by the ministry of Justice made the proposal (text in Spanish) for an executive decree to create the new institution, but it ran into opposition internally from an office in the Prime Minister’s office, the […]

  • 22 December 2016

    FOI Notes: Poland, EU, Mexico, Indonesia, UK, Nigeria, Bahamas, Spain, US, Scotland, UK, Open Budgets, Commentary

    Poland: The Chairman of the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament (Sejm) proposed to repeal provisions of the Polish Constitution that guarantee the Right to Information, writes Krzysztof Izdebski, Policy Director of ePaństwo Foundation. EU: European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly recommends that the European Commission systematically obtain consent to publish the names of public officials charged […]

  • 21 December 2016

    Leave no trace? How to combat off the record government

    By Nuala Haughey The author is a policy analyst with the TASC – Think-tank for Action on Social Change, based in Ireland. The article is reprinted with permission. When we think of government record keeping it often conjures up images of dusty archives stuffed with crumbling paper documents. While historical archives are a rich part […]

  • 21 December 2016

    58 Organizations Urge UNESCO To Consult on Public Disclosure Policy

    58 organizations concerned about transparency have urged UNESCO to hold consultations on developing a disclosure policy and to release a draft policy. UNESCO has been working on a policy for some months, but planned to adopt it as a pilot plan and to re-evaluate it at a later time, according to agency sources. (See […]

  • 20 December 2016

    IFLA Statement on Public Legal Information

    The International Federation of Library Associations Governing Board on Dec. 13 approved  a statement calling on governments to ensure that there is free and equal access to public legal information (including third party standards where these are referenced), that governments design and implement effective preservation strategies, and that they incorporate technology-based authentication tools so that […]

  • 19 December 2016

    Malawi Parliament Passes Access to Information Bill

    Opposition members of the Malawi Parliament prevailed in a contentious session to pass an access to information bill on Dec. 16. Despite the controversy, President Peter Mutharika is expected to sign the bill. (The bill was signed into law Feb. 10, 2017, and promulgated Feb. 16, 2017. See signed Access to Information Act.) “I don’t […]

  • 15 December 2016

    FOI Notes: US, Climate Change, India, Malawi, Open Data, UK, Bahamas, France, Success Story, Fun Quote

    United States: The Department of Justice is requesting public comment on the draft ‘‘Release to One, Release to All’’ policy, which was prepared by the Office of Information Policy. The draft policy contains exceptions to accommodate agency difficulties implement  release and offers two different options for the timing of when documents should be posted online, […]

  • 15 December 2016

    World Bank Assesses Access As Part of Open Data Studies

    By Toby McIntosh The World Bank evaluates national access to information (ATI) regimes as one of many factors to indicate whether governments are prepared for an open data initiative, according to a review. The scoring system for ATI is generous, but some of the assessments are quite critical. ATI is just one of many […]

  • 8 December 2016

    OECD Issues Report About Open Government Efforts

    The OECD has released a report about what it calls “an implementation gap” in national open government efforts, including the right to information, with findings based in part on a 2015 survey of the 35 member governments and an additional 19 countries. “This report provides a holistic, data-driven analysis of how countries are currently implementing […]

  • 8 December 2016

    FOI Notes: Research, Germany, France, India, Open Contracting, Algorithms, Cayman Islands, EU, Malawi, G20, US

    Transparency Research: A Brookings report from Vanessa Williamson and Norm Eisen, “The Impact of Open Government: Assessing the Evidence,” reviews the empirical and theoretical literature on the international impact of open government and offers recommendations for policymakers considering open government initiatives. Conclusion:  In this report, we address the question, “does open government work?” We develop a […]

  • 6 December 2016

    AIIB Disclosure Policy Called Deficient by Two Groups

    The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) “is lagging behind other international financial institutions when it comes to information disclosure,” according to an analysis by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) and the Bank Information Center (BIC). The jointly prepared comments on the AIIB’s Public Information Interim Policy were sent in preparation for the first […]

  • 6 December 2016

    ADB Announces Review of Public Communications Policy

    The Asian Development Bank is reviewing its Public Communications Policy (PCP). The PCP, which governs ADB’s disclosure of information and transparency practices, was approved by ADB’s Board of Directors in October 2011 and became effective on April 2, 2012. “ADB is particularly interested in hearing feedback from civil society to improve information sharing,” according to […]

  • 6 December 2016

    Seven Nations to Join OGP; Hungary Quits Under Duress

    As the Open Government Partnership convened for a summit meeting in Paris Dec. 7-9 seven countries announced plans to join – Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Germany, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Pakistan and Portugal – while one member resigned, Hungary. Hungary was probably on its way to being declared an “inactive” member anyway for missing OGP deadlines. Based on […]

  • 1 December 2016

    Limited Progress Toward Measuring SDG 16.10.2

    By Toby McIntosh Measuring the implementation of access to information laws is among the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, but how to accomplish this task remains very much a work in progress. The uncertainties include not only how such a measurement system will be developed and what it will look like, but also whether countries […]

  • 1 December 2016

    FOI Notes: Environmental Transparency, Philippines, Canada, Trinidad, Bhutan, US, Nigeria, Research

    Environmental Transparency: The Regional Alliance for Free Expression and Information submitted comments on the chapter on access to environmental information under the fifth round of the negotiating committee of Principle 10, held in Cepal between Nov. 22 and 25 in Santiago de Chile. Access the document here . Philippines: Implementation of the executive order on […]

  • 30 November 2016

    Vanuatu Parliament Passes RTI Bill Unanimously

    Vanuatu’s Parliament on Nov. 24 unanimously passed a right to information bill tabled by Prime Minister Charlot Salwai,according to a report by the Pacific Island News Association. Vanuatu becomes the 114th nation with a freedom of information regime, according to the tally. The article said the Minister for Land and Member of Parliament for […]

  • 24 November 2016

    Access to Information Sliding in Europe, Reform Needed

    By Andreas Pavlov The author works for Access Info Europe. His article first appeared Nov. 17 in Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, a publication produced within the project European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, co-funded by the European Commission. The project’s page Long established and widely recognized, the right to access to information is severely curtailed […]