Latest Features

  • 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 […]

  • 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

    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 […]

  • 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

    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 […]

  • 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

    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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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: 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 […]

  • 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

    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

    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 […]

  • 16 March 2017

    Access to public information in Erdoğan’s Turkey

    By Gülseren Adaklı (Originally published by Bianet, media partner in 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 to […]

  • 2 February 2017

    The Indian RTI Act Is Scarcely Misused

    By Shailesh Gandhi The author is a former member of the Central Information Commission. This article was first published Jan. 27 in Scroll. As an information commissioner who dealt with over 20,000 cases under the Right to Information Act, I had the opportunity of interacting with a large number of information seekers and public information […]

  • 2 February 2017

    RTI in Uganda: Unclogging The Bottlenecks

    By Loyce Kyogabirwe The author works with Isis-WICCE, a feminist organization whose mandate is to strengthen women’s leadership and potential in post conflict settings. The article first appeared on the website of the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA). The right to information (RTI) is essential for the functioning of […]