FOI Notes: Pakistan, Ghana, Tunisia, India, Togo, New Zealand, Transparency Research, Canada, US, UK

2 February 2017

Pakistan: A Senate select committee unanimously agrees on the draft of an RTI bill, report The Nation and Online News.

Pakistan: The Punjab Information Commission advises the provincial government to amend all laws and rules that disallow disclosure of information in conflict with Article 19-A of the Constitution and the right to information law, reports Dawn.

Ghana: Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia says he would like the RTI bill passed within the first 100 days of the Akufo-Addo government, according to GhanaWeb.

Tunisia: A new government circular (article in French) requiring press officers not to disclosing information without approval of a superior official draws criticism (in French) from the National Union of Tunisian Journalists.

India: The RTI Act is not living up to its potential in Assam, according to an editorial in The Sentinel.

India: “Government Open Data Use License Is Flawed,” writes Srinivas Kodali in The Wire.

Togo: The government inaugurates an information portal:

New Zealand: The government publishes request statistics. See ombudsman’s press release.

Transparency Research: A report by Lucas Amin for TI PHP which looks at how datasets on pharmaceutical procurements and the construction of health centers obtained under FOIA in Honduras and Nigeria respectively revealed poor value for money and paved the way for public policy reform.

Canada: The Nova Scotia government will now post all completed non-personal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP) requests on the province’s website. See list of other province’s policies in article (registration required) by two attorneys.

Canada: Edmonton council members vote for a new sunset clause for private reports, meaning that reports that include sensitive business information or details about negotiations with senior or regional partners could become automatically public once those details are no longer considered sensitive. The reports will be added to a public, searchable repository, The Edmonton Journal reports.

United States: “How does FOIA fit under the Trump administration?” is the headline for an article in Federal Computer Week by Chase Gunter.

United States: What makes a good FOIA request? We studied 33,000 to find out,” report Nicholas Dias, Rashida Kamal and Laurent Bastien, students at the Columbia Journalism School.

United States: Most Massachusetts government agencies have not yet designates resource access officers, whose job to facilitate public record requests, coordinate responses, and prepare and disseminate guidelines for records requests, the Pioneer Institute finds.

United Kingdom: The University and College Union names the UK’s least transparent universities.

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