Latest Features

  • 4 February 2016

    Access Should Be Granted to Indian`356’ Reports

    By Venkatesh Nayak The author is Programme Coordinator, Access to Information Programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. The border State of Arunachal Pradesh in the northeastern corner of India in the news again – for all the wrong reasons – again. For several weeks crisis had been brewing over the existence or the lack of majority support […]

  • 3 February 2016

    Right to Information – A catalyst for change in Bangladesh

    By Shamsul Bari and Ruhi Naz The authors are Chairman, Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) and Project Coordinator (RTI section) of RIB respectively. This article originally appeared in The Daily Star. Talking to citizen’s groups in different parts of the country recently, two things came out clearly. One, there is a slow but steady increase in […]

  • 17 January 2016

    How the Senate Should Fix the FOIA Reform Bill

    By Aaron Mackey This article was first published Jan. 15 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Mackey is the EFF Frank Stanton Legal Fellow. With the U.S. House of Representatives passing a bill this week to amend the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), EFF and a coalition of other groups are calling on members of the Senate  […]

  • 17 January 2016

    US FOIA Fee Survey Results

    By Lauren Harper This article was first published Jan. 15 in Unredacted, a sister blog from the National Security Archive. The Unredacted version includes some additional charts.  What percentage of agency FOIA costs did Congress intend agencies to recover through FOIA fees? All? Most? Half? Something else? It’s impossible to say since the Office of […]

  • 31 December 2015

    Bangladesh: Article 19 Analyzes Challenges

    The following chapter is from the 2015 Article 19 report, Asia Disclosed: A Review of the Right to Information across Asia. The original is replete with footnotes, not included here. Constitutional Framework Article 39 of the Bangladeshi Constitution guarantees the right of every citizen to freedom of speech and expression and freedom of the press, and […]

  • 31 December 2015

    Rwanda: ATI Implementation Constrained

    By Dr. Joseph Nkurunziza and Prisca Ntabaza Nkurunziza is a medical doctor and the founder and president of the board of Never Again Rwanda. Ntabaza is the programme officer for the Governance and Rights Programmme of Never Again Rwanda. This report is one of the chapters in the State of RTI in Africa Report 2015. Reprinted […]

  • 23 December 2015

    RTI in China: The Article 19 Report

    The following chapter is from the Article 19 report on the right to Information in Southeast Asia. Constitutional Framework China’s Constitution does not expressly mention the right to information but grants Chinese citizens freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration. Right to Information Act The path towards […]

  • 22 December 2015

    RTI and Progress on Anti-Corruption Efforts

    By Ayode Longe and Edetaen Ojo Longe is Programme Manager and Ojo is Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda. This report is one of the chapters in the State of RTI in Africa Report 2015. Reprinted with permission. Some, but not all,  footnotes have been converted to hot links. The Nigerian Freedom of Information (FOI) […]

  • 1 December 2015

    Right to Information, Wrongs of Implementation

    By Zahid Abdullah The author is associated with Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives and coordinator of Coalition on Right to Information. Follow him on Twitter at @XahidAbdullah This article was published Nov. 28 in The Tribune and is reprinted with permission. Other than the insertion of Article 19-A in the Constitution through the 18th Amendment, major political […]

  • 23 November 2015

    Ten Years of RTI in India: A New Breed of Activism and Citizenship

    By Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey Roy and Dey are social activists and members of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan and the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information. This article first appeared in The Hindu and is reprinted with permission. The Right to Information (RTI) Act has completed 10 years of implementation. According to […]

  • 12 November 2015

    Algeria Urged to Pass a FOI Law

    By Peter Katonene Mwesigwa The author is Legal & Research Officer for the African Freedom of Information Centre. This chapter, reprinted with permission, is part of the AFIC’s RTI in Africa Report 2015. Introduction Algeria faces deep social, economic and political challenges. Ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s was re–elected to a fourth term5 In 2014 and […]

  • 22 October 2015

    Article 19: The Right to Information in Thailand

    The following article was part of a report on the right to information in Asia published by Article 19. Reprinted with permission. The turbulent history of Thailand is reflected in the number of constitutions the country has adopted since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1932.[i] The right to information was first recognised by the […]

  • 13 October 2015

    SECRET CIA REPORT: Pinochet “Personally Ordered” Washington Car-Bombing

    Washington D.C., October 8, 2015 – The CIA concluded that there was “convincing evidence” that Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet “personally ordered his intelligence chief to carry out the murder” of exiled critic Orlando Letelier in Washington D.C., according to a SECRET memo prepared for President Ronald Reagan in 1987. “Pinochet decided to stonewall on the […]

  • 9 October 2015

    Prime Minister Abe Subverts Japan’s Public Records Act

    By Lawrence Repeta The author is a professor of law at Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan. Japan’s open government activists hailed the adoption of the national Public Records and Archives Management Act (“Public Records Act”) as a milestone in government accountability. When that law took effect on April 1, 2011, government agencies were legally required to […]

  • 30 September 2015

    RTI Activists in Ghana Face Big Challenge

    By Ugonna Ukaigwe The author is the Project Co-ordinator of the Right to Information Coalition in Ghana. Citizens’ access to Information (ATI) held by public institutions is recognised globally as a fundamental Right with very limited exceptions. However, in some countries including Ghana, this right appears to be the exception rather than the norm. Despite […]

  • 17 September 2015

    What Is Transparency?

    By Ben Worthy The author is lecturer in Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London, and runs the website OpenDataStudy, where this article first appeared. Through what media, cultural, activist and commercial forms do people learn about transparency issues? What are the dominant messages on transparency? There are a number of ways through which the […]

  • 14 September 2015

    MuckRock to let users track projects and contribute to costs

    By Joseph Lichterman The author is a staff writer at NiemanLab where article was first published under a Creative Commons license. For the past year, Beryl C.D. Lipton has been investigating the private prison system in the United States. She’s a reporter for MuckRock, a news site that covers government transparency issues and also helps its users access government documents. […]

  • 10 September 2015

    Brazil: Transparency for Some, Opacity for Most

    By Marina Iemini Atoji The author is executive manager of Abraji, the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism, and runs its training for journalists on Brazilian freedom of information law. She is also executive secretary for the Forum for Access to Public Information, a coalition of 25 entities coordinated by Abraji that successfully lobbied for Brazil’s freedom of information […]

  • 27 August 2015

    FOI and eyes wide shut: even public servants want to know

    By Suelette Dreyfuss The author is a research fellow in Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne and part of an international team looking at the impact of technology on whistleblowing about wrongdoing. She is author of the 1997 book, Underground: Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier. This is an expanded version […]

  • 20 August 2015

    FOI Advocates: Stop Re-Inventing the Wheel Today!

    By Tania Sanchez The author is the Open Government Guide Lead at the Transparency & Accountability Initiative. Over the past months, I’ve been working on updating and expanding the Open Government Guide, and it’s been a real eye opener in terms of the immense number of ways to make governments more transparent and accountable, worldwide. It’s […]