What’s New

  • 10 November 2016

    FOI Notes: Philippines, India, UK, China, Open Data, Commentary, Much More

    Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order on Freedom of Information will be effective as of Nov. 25, Rappler reports. India: Multiple media reports from the two-day RTI Convention. The central information commission (CIC) introduces an e-court software which would help in speedy disposal of appeals and complaints. The system offers online filing of appeals, complaints […]

  • 4 November 2016

    Ghana Parliament Ends Without RTI Legislation

    By Toby McIntosh Ghana’s parliament has failed to pass a right to information bill despite years of promises by the president and government leaders. Parliament rose on Nov. 3 without completing action on the RTI bill even though the legislation had advanced procedurally and was awaiting the third and final reading. The Coalition on RTI […]

  • 3 November 2016

    RTI Bill in Ghana Advances; But Last-Minute Issues Arise

    A right to information bill passed on second reading Oct. 27 by the Ghana parliament, bringing it closer than ever to passage. But as FreedomInfo.org publishes at 1:00 p.m. EST Nov. 3, the bill still faced difficulties getting final approval on the last day of the session. “The opposition raised unnecessary issues with some clauses […]

  • 3 November 2016

    FOI Notes: 1766 History, Country News, Commentary

    FOI History: The Forsskal website announces a new translation, by Ian Giles and Peter Graves, of the 1766 Swedish/Finish royal ordinance “Regarding the Freedom of Writing and of the Press.” The key provision: Furthermore, the printing of all judgments and decisions, resolutions, rescripts, instructions, constitutions, rules and privileges will be permissible, with more of the […]

  • 3 November 2016

    Evolving Dimensions of the Bangladesh RTI Act

    By Muhammad Zamir The author, a former Ambassador and Chief Information Commissioner, is an analyst specializing in foreign affairs, right to information, and good governance. This article first appeared Oct. 30 in The Dhaka Tribune. Some have raised questions as to whether the RTI process is working. The answer is yes and no. The evolving […]

  • 3 November 2016

    Pakistan: A Tale of Two Bills

    By Zahid Abdullah The writer is program manager for the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives. This article is from the CPDI blog and was published Oct. 31 in Dawn,. Although citizens are constitutionally guaranteed access to information held by the government in matters of public importance, it seems that the centre, in cahoots with […]

  • 3 November 2016

    Bangladesh RTI is a Paper Law

    By M. S. Siddiqui The following article appeared Oct. 31 in Asian Age. The author is an author and former business executive. Efforts to ensure citizens access to public information can be traced back to 1766, with the Swedish parliament enacting the first legislation seeking freedom of information. However, recognition of the right to information as […]

  • 27 October 2016

    FOI Notes: Open Washing, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Seychelles, Lagos, Philippines, India, US, Nepal, Jamaica, New Zealand

    Open Washing: A Web Foundation blog post on open washing and an inconclusive working group discussion on what to do about it. One paragraph: We discussed the importance of enforcing legal frameworks, beyond having existing ones in place. It is about the right to data, the right to information, and ultimately, the right to know […]

  • 25 October 2016

    The Role of Guarantor Bodies in Latin America

    Below is the “Conclusions” chapter of a 78-page report prepared by the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Edison Lanza. The report is titled “Specialized Supervisory Bodies For The Right To Access To Public Information.” English version. Spanish version. In this report, the Office of […]

  • 20 October 2016

    Ghana AG Reintroduces RTI Bill Including Amendments

    In a move that may improve the chances for passage of a right to information bill in Ghana, Attorney General Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong has introduced a bill that includes all the proposed amendments. The large number of pending amendments had been cited as one reason for Parliament’s slow progress on the bill. along with doubts […]

  • 20 October 2016

    FOI Notes: UN Report, Transparency Research, Many Country Reports

    Freedom of Expression: “There is no question that governments worldwide are wielding the tools of censorship,” warns the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, in a new report. One section is titled “Undermining the right to information.” It says: National security is also used to justify excluding information […]

  • 13 October 2016

    FOI Notes: Zambia, Nigeria, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Denmark, Open Data, Privacy, Transparency Research, Contest, US

    Zambia: The Civil Society Coalition on Access to Information Law urges speeding up the process of enacting an access to information law despite the failed referendum on the Bill of Rights, reports The Lusaka Times. Nigeria: Right to Know Nigeria reports widespread non-compliance with the 2011 FOIA, issuing a report stating that “ministries, departments and […]

  • 13 October 2016

    How Access to Information Aids the Work of Parliament

    By Ugonna Ukaigwe The author is a project consultant who consults for international, regional and national NGOs. She currently coordinates the work of the Right to Information Coalition, Ghana. The Coalition on Oct. 11 picketed Parliament as the House resumed from recess with the RTI bill on its docket and an estimated four weeks to […]

  • 5 October 2016

    FOI Community Invited to Comment on SDG 16.10

    The freedom of information community has been asked to weigh in on how to measure the implementation of FOI laws. The answers will inform decision on what benchmarks will be used to determine whether countries are making progress toward achieving the access to information provision in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The process for soliciting […]

  • 5 October 2016

    FOI Notes: US, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Pakistan

    United States: The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has launched a beta of the FOIA Wiki, a collaborative and evolving digital resource on the federal Freedom of Information Act. “The FOIA Wiki is part legal guide, part community space for sharing information that aims to serve as a central hub on all manner […]

  • 29 September 2016

    FOI Notes: New Reports, Country News, 27 Items

    Latin America: The Regional Alliance for Free Expression and Information issues a comprehensive report, Sabar Mas VIII, (in Spanish) on the progress, challenges and opportunities concerning access to information across Latin America. Southern Africa: IFEX releases a report with national evaluations prepared by MISA Chapters in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Each […]

  • 29 September 2016

    Open Data and FOI: Complementary or Competitors?

    By Michael Cañares The author is Regional Research Manager at the Open Data Lab Jakarta This article was first posted Sept. 28 on the Web Foundation blog. The first paragraph is the Web Foundation introduction. Can open data improve people’s access to information? Michael Cañares, Regional Research Manager at the Open Data Lab Jakarta looks at […]

  • 29 September 2016

    When Openwashing Is Over: Protecting Right to Know

    By Zara Rahman This article first appeared in The Engine Room, where Rahman works (bio) and is reprinted with permission. The open government and open data movement has steadily grown over the last few years. We are seeing governments once disinterested in publishing open data, race to do so. Open data conferences are now filled with […]

  • 28 September 2016

    Success Stories Worldwide From FOI/RTK/ATI Requests

    By Toby McIntosh All around the world, very real benefits result when legal tools are used to obtain government information. Because there are so many frustrations for those who seek information, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the positive benefits. FOI reform advocates need to document and celebrate the victories. FreedomInfo.org has assembled dozens of recent success stories. Please […]

  • 28 September 2016

    Mexican Law Rates at Top According to New RTI Ratings

    The amendments to Mexico’s freedom of information law have made it the best access law in the world, according to the RTI Rating, a comparative assessment of national legal frameworks for the right to information done by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) and Access Info Europe. The changes gave Mexico 136 points out […]