What’s New

  • 28 April 2017

    Proactive Publication: Time for a Rethink?

    By Rosemary Agnew The following message was posted by Agnew on here final day as Scottish Information Commissioner. She summarizes her final report, on proactive publication. Today is a significant day for me, as it marks both my last working day as Scottish Information Commissioner, and the laying of my special report to Parliament. This is my last […]

  • 27 April 2017

    FOI Notes: UK, Cambodia, Ukraine, Lebanon, India, US, Budget Transparency

    United Kingdom: “Government has become more secretive, campaigners have warned, as figures show a surge in the number of freedom of information requests being refused by Whitehall departments,” reports The Times of London. “In the last quarter of 2016, 41 per cent of responses to freedom of information requests involved information being “fully withheld”, an […]

  • 20 April 2017

    Major Donors Outline Strategy on Transparency

    The Transparency & Accountability Initiative has unveiled a new strategy emphasizing the use of data for accountability, tax governance and civic space. As a “donor collaborative” formed in 2010, TAI brings together major donors working in the transparency, accountability and participation area. TAI members were major backers of the Open Government Partnership. The new strategy is […]

  • 20 April 2017

    FOI Notes: Africa, India, US, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Scotland, Bahamas, Nepal

    Africa: A map of “access to information and openness” in Africa, done by Global Integrity. Also a related map, on “transparency and accountability,” a wider measure. Links to scores included. India: Anjali Bhardwaj and Amrita Johri write that the proposed amendments to the RTI rules “not only make approaching the information commission more cumbersome and legalistic but […]

  • 13 April 2017

    Feedback from the Pan-Africa Conference on FOIA

    By Toerien van Wyk The author is FOIP Coordinator, Acting Directorate, of The South African History Archive (SAHA), which published this article. Reprinted with permission. SAHA is “an independent human rights archive dedicated to documenting, supporting and promoting greater awareness of past and contemporary struggles for justice through archival practices and outreach, and the utilisation […]

  • 13 April 2017

    FOI Notes: Italy, India, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Philippines, OGP, Nigeria, Pakistan, US

    Italy: The new law on administrative transparency has not generated the expected results, according to report described in R.it (in Italian). Of 800 applications sent by 56 volunteers, seven out of ten received no reply within the 30 days provided for by law, according to study by Diritto di Sapere (Right to Know). See official data on the […]

  • 6 April 2017

    FOI Notes: Mexico, Armenia, Bulgaria, Canada, Ghana, OGP, Bahamas, US, Mauritania, India, The Cayman Islands, The Philippines

    Mexico: Public awareness about access to government information is falling, writes (in Spanish) Francisco Abundis, founder and director of Parametry. Only one in 10 people believes that information from the federal government is transparent and easily accessible. Armenia: Some state bodies are failing to implement the FOI law, according to a report by the Freedom […]

  • 6 April 2017

    Kenya: Courts and the Potency of FOIA

    By James Wanjeri The author is a lawyer and formerly interned with Katiba Institute. This article first appeared April 1, 2016 in The Star. The story this week begins with access to information. It ends as a clear example of why access to information is important—namely because it can produce transparency that can go a […]

  • 6 April 2017

    India Offers New RTI Rules; Critics Oppose Death Clause

    Proposed revisions to the 2012 rules governing India’s Right to Information Act are drawing criticisms mixed with some praise. One provision under attack would mandate terminate requests in case of death of an applicant. Also raising eyebrows are provisions that would increase procedural hurdles for appeals and a clause that would prescribe fees for providing […]

  • 6 April 2017

    India: New Draft RTI Rules Analyzed

    By Venkatesh Nayak The author is Programme Coordinator, Access to Information Programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, New Delhi. The New RTI draft rules are inspired by a largely citizen-unfriendly and overtly bureaucratic approach. The dangerous inclusion of an amendment that seeks to allow the withdrawal and abatement of appeals on either a written request or the […]

  • 30 March 2017

    FOI Notes: Tunisia, US, Philippines, Research, Pakistan, Canada, Australia

    Tunisia: The organization “Al-Bawsala” criticizes the lack of preparations for the new RTI law as it officially goes into effect. United States: FOIA Exemption 5 does not shield communications between U.S. agencies and foreign government agencies, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rules in Lucaj v. FBI. Philippines: Government agencies are told to post online their FOI manuals […]

  • 23 March 2017

    RTI Trends in India for 2015-16

    A preliminary analysis prepared by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. The Central Information Commission in India has published the Annual Report for 2015-16 regarding the implementation of The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act). This Annual Report (AR) may be accessed on its website. 1) During the reporting year 2015-16 9.76 lakh RTI applications were said to have been received by […]

  • 23 March 2017

    FOI Notes: Burkina Faso, The Philippines, Canada, Denmark, Kenya, Pakistan, Australia, US, Malawi, India

    Burkina Faso: The Communications Minister explains that the 2015 access law is still not effect, suggesting that changes may need to be made, according to an interview (in French) in Burkina 24. He says a constitutional review is underway because of concerns about the oversight body. The Philippines: The Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition […]

  • 23 March 2017

    Protecting Forests With Freedom of Information Laws

    By Jessica Webb, Carole Excell and Rachael Petersen  This article was posted March 22, 2017 on a new World Resources Institute blog. Every year the world loses 13 million hectares (32 million acres) of forests, an area about the size of Greece. A critical way to stem this forest loss is to make concessions data about commercial activities […]

  • 23 March 2017

    Eight Years of RTI in Jammu & Kashmir

    By Er Irfan Banka The author is chairman of the RTI foundation. This article appeared first in Kashmir Life. On March 20, 2017, the Jammu & Kashmir Right to Information Act 2009 completes its eighth year of enactment. 20th of March 2017 is hence being celebrated as RTI Day by the stakeholders of RTI particularly the RTI […]

  • 16 March 2017

    FOI Notes: EU, Indonesia, Mexico, Afghanistan, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, OGP, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Denmark, India, UAE, Transparency Research, Open Data

    European Union: The European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly opens an inquiry into whether the Council of the EU allows sufficient public scrutiny of the evolving discussions on draft EU laws. She puts 14 questions to the Council on how legislative documents arising from meetings of Member State Ambassadors and deputy Ambassadors, plus the over 150 committees and […]

  • 16 March 2017

    US Sunshine Week: Research, Legislation, Editorials, and Reporting

    Sunshine Week 2017 in the United States has generated many reports, advocacy articles and journalism about the FOIA. This selection includes only a representative selection of the many articles about FOIA in the states. FOI Research: “Forecasting Freedom of Information,” the work of University of Arizona associate professor of journalism David Cuillier, a survey of 300 […]

  • 16 March 2017

    Forecasting Freedom of Information in the US

    Two excerpts from a report by David Cuillier of the University of Arizona School of Journalism. Based in part on a survey, the report was commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Cuiller also wrote an op-ed about the study. Below are the instruction and the conclusions sections.  INTRODUCTION People must have […]

  • 16 March 2017

    The risks of transparency in times of rising populism

    By Helen Darbishire The author is Executive Director of Access Info Europe where this article was first published. It’s not often that your own colleagues working on democracy issues actually question the wisdom of pressing for greater transparency, but this has happened to me a few times lately. Most recently, I’ve been asked about the […]

  • 16 March 2017

    Accessing information in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    By Ljupko Mišeljić Originally published by Media Centar Sarajevo, media partner of the ECPMF project. This publication has been produced within the project European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, co-funded by the European Commission. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso and its partners and can in no way be taken […]