Archive for 2017

  • 28 September 2017

    Chronological and Alphabetical lists of countries with FOI regimes

    Alphabetical and Chronological lists of countries with FOI regimes Alphabetical No Chronological Afghanistan 2014 1 Sweden 1766 Albania 1999 2 Finland 1951 Angola 2002 3 United States 1966 Antigua 2004 4 France 1978 Argentina 2004 5 Australia 1982 Armenia 2003 6 New Zealand 1982 Australia 1982 7 Canada 1983 Austria 1987 8 Colombia 1985 Azerbaijan […]

  • 18 July 2017

    World Bank Simplifies Process for Access Decisions

    By Toby McIntosh The World Bank Board has altered its procedures for handling requests for certain, typically older, Executive Board documents, possibly hastening their disclosure, or nondisclosure. The decision, made late last year, subtly alters the handling of requests for documents that are “eligible” for disclosure, meaning that there is no exemption that would bar […]

  • 29 June 2017

    FOI Notes: Chile, Philippines, Japan, Canada, Zimbabwe, Resource Transparency, UK, US

    Chile: A survey by the Council for Transparency finds that 73% of the citizens of the Araucanía region say the most important attribute that a public institution must have is transparency. The study also reveals that while 87% of Chileans believe that state agencies are obliged to respond to citizen requests for information, up by 7 […]

  • 28 June 2017

    India: Study Sees Regressive Court Interpretations of the RTI Act

    This summary is from a 321-page study of the orders pertaining to the Right to Information Act issued by the Supreme Court of India, various high courts and information commissions. Now published as a book, “Tilting the Balance of Power Adjudicating the RTI Act for the Oppressed and the Marginalised,” was coordinated by Amrita Johri, Anjali […]

  • 21 June 2017

    FOI Notes: UK, Canada, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, US, Open Data, MENA, Switzerland, and More

    United Kingdom: “Some major government departments have a record of frequent and persistent delays and unhelpfulness in their handling of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests,” according to a BBC article by Martin Rosenbaum. The Cabinet Office and the Home Office have the worst records. Canada: Proposed FOI amendments meet a rocky reception. The Star reports […]

  • 14 June 2017

    Spain’s Transparency Lottery

    By Helen Darbishire The author is Executive Director of Access Info Europe. The article was first published on (in Spanish). If the person reading this article had to place a bet, which information would you say it’s easier to access: the salaries of advisers to the ministers or the documents that guide Spanish Cabinet discussions at […]

  • 14 June 2017

    FOI Notes: India, Latin America, Scotland, US, Gambia, OGP, Video, Tunisia

    India: A court sentences RTI activist Nikhil Dey and four others to four months in jail in a 19-year-old case related to their effort to obtain information about local corruption, according to an article in The Citizen. The activists were assaulted by a village official, who then charged them with assault. The sentence has been […]

  • 14 June 2017

    Ghana RTI Legislation: More Unfulfilled Promises?  

    By Ugonna Ukaigwe The author works with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Africa Office. On Jan. 7 2017, RTI advocates, the media and other sympathizers of the age-long campaign for the passage of the RTI Bill observed with dismay as the 6th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana dissolved without fulfilling the many promises […]

  • 7 June 2017

    FOI Notes: Kenya, Norway, Scotland, India, Australia, EU, Samoa, Germany, Ireland, UN, OGP, US, Open Data, Algorithms, South Africa, Open Parliaments

    Kenya: Business Daily reports, “Companies in Kenya have been caught flat footed in implementing new anti-secrecy laws and are now scrambling to comply.” Norway: A report (in Norwegian and English) by the Auditor General says the country is not living up to its reputation for transparency, according to a press release (in English). “Few other […]

  • 7 June 2017

    World Bank Report Grades Malaysia Liberally on ATI

    By Toby McIntosh Despite not having an access to information law, Malaysia received a generous grade in a recent World Bank “Open Data Readiness” report. Malaysia received a “yellow” rating for its “legal and policy framework” even though a “red” score appears to be called for by the scoring guidelines for countries without an ATI […]

  • 1 June 2017

    FOI Notes: Metrics/Australia, Malaysia, Algorithms, Iran, US, Armenia, India, Latin America, Open Data, Tunisia, Taiwan

    Australia: Australian information commissioners and ombudsmen agree on six proposed “Metrics on Public Use of Freedom of Information Access Rights,” available for comment at The dataset for the 2015/16 metrics is scheduled to be released in December 2017. The scope of the metrics cover: Type of applicant Application rates per capita Release rates Refusal rates Timeliness Review […]

  • 25 May 2017

    Are tax rulings in The Philippines confidential?

    By Lea Roque The author is a head and principal with the Tax Advisory and Compliance division of Punongbayan & Araullo. P&A is a leading audit, tax, advisory and outsourcing services firm and is the Philippine member of Grant Thornton International Ltd. Her article appeared on the Grant Thornton website. A few weeks ago, I […]

  • 24 May 2017

    FOIAnet Offers Methodology to Rate RTI Implementation

    A subcommittee of the FOI Advocates Network (FOIAnet) Steering Committee on May 24 recommended a methodology to measure the implementation of right to information laws. The three-part system is designed to provide civil society groups with a tool for evaluating governments’ progress toward implementing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 16.10.2. That target calls on all UN member governments […]

  • 24 May 2017

    FOI Notes: Afghanistan, Mexico, OGP, India, Brazil, Zambia, Pakistan, Malaysia, US, EU, More

    Afghanistan: The Oversight Commission on Access to Information says a number of government institutions are not implementing the Access to Information Act, including the administrative office of the president, the Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC), Lower House of Parliament and the Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Service Commission. “If government creates the commission only […]

  • 24 May 2017

    Open Data Expansion Stalls, According to WWF Barometer

    “The number of global truly open datasets remains at a standstill,” according to World Wide Web Foundation researchers, who report that only seven percent of government data is fully open. The findings come in the fourth edition of the Open Data Barometer, an annual assessment which this year was enlarged to include 1,725 datasets from […]

  • 24 May 2017

    Frustrated by India’s Broken RTI Portal

    By Sanjeev Singh The author describes himself as: “Experienced IT Leader, Engineering Graduate, Blogger, Patriot, Vocal and fight for social cause.” His article first appeared in his blog and was reprinted in The Patna Daily. Reprinted here with permission. RTI was not gifted by any political party or any government in India. In fact, majority […]

  • 18 May 2017

    FOI Notes: Information Commissioners, India, Pakistan, Israel, US

    Commissioners Meeting: International information commissioners will be holding a one-day conference on Sept. 20 at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester, England. The program has not been announced. Limited space for public attendance is available. The registration form is here. The commissioners will have a closed meeting on Sept. 21. The conference email contact is The […]

  • 17 May 2017

    Two Reports Issued as Brazil FOI Turns Five Years Old

    Two reports released as the Brazilian access law turns five year old reveal both progress and challenges, particularly in states and municipalities. “Evidence shows that the glass is barely half full, if that,” concludes a working paper: “Opacity to Transparency? Evaluating Brazil’s Access to Information Law at 5 Years,” written by Gregory Michener, Evelyn Contreras and […]

  • 17 May 2017

    Bangladesh: A new breed of truth seekers

    By Shansui Bari and Ruhi Naz The writers are Chairman, and Programme Coordinator (RTI), respectively, of Research Initiatives, Bangladesh. This article first appeared in The Daily Star. There is a new breed of fans in South Asia: fans of the Right to Information (RTI) laws in our region. These are passionate, almost fanatical, RTI activists. They […]

  • 11 May 2017

    Togo Ministers Move To Implement ATI law

    The Togolese Council of Ministers has adopted on first reading a decree on the implementation of March 30, 2016, law on freedom of access to information and public documentation. “This Decree establishes and specifies the provisions to be adopted by anyone wishing to access information and public documentation, thus making it possible to overcome the […]