What’s New

  • 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 eldiario.es (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 […]

  • 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 http://ipc.nsw.gov.au/open-government. 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 icicmanchester2017@ico.ico.org.uk. 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 […]

  • 11 May 2017

    Access Info Europe Urges More EU Transparency

    On Europe Day, Access Info Europe is calling on the European Union to commit to and implement essential transparency and open government reforms to reverse the growing sense among European citizens that they are distanced from Brussels and that decisions are taken behind closed doors with little or no accountability. Access Info’s mapping, carried out with our […]

  • 11 May 2017

    FOI Notes: Malaysia, UK, Nigeria, Zambia, Georgia, Canada, US, Mexico, Open Data

    Malaysia: A three-judge panel rejects a parliamentarian’s request for information based on the Constitution, according to an article in Free Malaysia Today. The court in its decision notes the lack of a national FOI law. United Kingdom: The Campaign for Freedom of Information warns that proposed reforms to the Official Secrets Act would put it […]

  • 4 May 2017

    FOI Notes: India, Central America, Spain, Zambia, Algeria, Ghana, US, Open Data

    India: A petition is being circulated to oppose “regressive changes” proposed RTI rules that “allow for withdrawal of appeals based on a written communication by the appellant  and closure of proceedings upon death of the appellant.” Separately, statistics indicate that the Central Information Commission has returned nearly half the applications it has received this year for […]