Latest Features

  • 18 March 2015

    Proposed Changes to Mexican FOIA Law Still Worrying

    By David Mora The author works for Article 19 in Mexico. On Feb. 19, Ana Cristina Ruelas of Article 19 wrote here on the contradiction of Mexico holding Open Government Partnership’s lead chair while the Mexican President pressed the Senate for regressive regulations in the General Transparency Law currently on discussion. In that entry, we […]

  • 12 March 2015

    Department of State Email Preservation Rate Hovers under 0.000061%

    By Lauren Harper and Nate Jones This column appeared March 11 in Unredacted, a blog from the National Security Archive, the publisher of Harper and Jones are Archive staff members. Today’s Department of State Office of Inspector General report has some scary numbers on the number of emails the Department actually preserves. Hillary Clinton […]

  • 11 March 2015

    Government is Open in Rhetoric and Secret in Reality

    By Umar Cheema The author is an investigative reporter for the Pakistani newspaper The News, where this article first appeared March 10. ISLAMABAD: The PML-N government is determined to promote transparency in rhetoric but has been found building walls of secrecy in reality. The Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights has denied the citizens’ […]

  • 5 March 2015

    The Hillary Emails; and a Suggested Fix

    By Lauren Harper and Nate Jones The National Security Archive and other groups recently proposed an amendment to the House FOIA Reform bill that would allow all FOIA processors access to all electronic records systems for the processing of FOIA requests. This fix would have gone a long way in allowing  State Department FOIA processors and […]

  • 5 March 2015

    Sri Lanka’s RTI Bill – Misconceptions and Recommendations

    By Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena and Venkatesh Nayak This article appeared Feb. 28 in The Sri Lanka Guardian. Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena is a Colombo based civil liberties advocate, the editorial (legal) consultant/columnist for the Sunday Times and a legal consultant for the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS) Sri Lanka media law initiative based at the University of London, […]

  • 5 March 2015

    The Perils and Paradoxes of FOI in Canada

    By Ken Rubin The author is an Ottawa-based investigative researcher and citizens’ advocate. This article first appeared in J-Source, March 3. This article is a condensed and edited version of “Tales from the front line: Canada’s FOI Warrior”, Rubin’s chapter in FOI 10 Years On: Freedom Fighting or Lazy Journalism?, just published by Abramis in […]

  • 5 March 2015

    The Power of a Question in El Salvador

    By Max Heywood This article first appeared March 2 on the Transparency International blog. Heywood is Programme Coordinator in the Americas Department of Transparency International. Read this in Spanish here. Transparency laws mean nothing if they are not applied, and it sometimes takes brave citizens and active civil society organisations to make sure that they are. […]

  • 26 February 2015

    Cambodia Needs to Prioritise Access to Information Law

    By Chak Sopheap The author is the executive director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights. This article first appeared Feb. 18 in the Phnom Penh Post Over the past few weeks, the government has repeatedly asserted its intention to introduce a state secrets law in Cambodia. In a country that has not yet adopted […]

  • 26 February 2015

    Mexico’s Transparency Bill: Is There Too Much at Stake?

    By Joel Salas Suárez The author is a commissioner of the autonomous Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI) in Mexico. This article first appeared in the blog of the Open Government Partnership. (Spanish version) Mexico´s upper chamber is currently discussing the Transparency and Access to Information bill, following a Constitutional amendment […]

  • 19 February 2015

    Mexico: OGP Leader Faking Transparency

    By Ana Cristina Ruelas  The author is the Right to Information Program Officer at ARTICLE 19, México and Central America Mexico became the lead chairman of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) on 2014, although we are far from openness. The government’s rhetoric is all about transparency and co-creation but in their offices they are pushing us […]

  • 18 February 2015

    South Africa: Not So Transparent After All

    By Candice Bailey The author is a journalist with Corruption Watch. This article first appeared Feb. 16 in The Star. Reprinted with permission. Johannesburg – When the Gauteng High Court granted civil society campaigners Right2Know access to a list of the country’s national key points, the award was lauded as a victory in the battle for […]

  • 17 February 2015

    RTI and Ghana’s Commitment to the OGP

    By Ugonna Ukaigwe The author leads the RTI Coalition in Ghana. The article, reprinted with permission, first appeared Feb. 16 on the website of Peace FM. In September 2011, Ghana joined some 46 other countries around the world to sign unto the Open Government Partnership (OGP), an initiative that seeks to secure concrete commitments from governments […]

  • 11 February 2015

    Implementing RTI More Comprehensively

    By Muhammad Zamir The writer is a former Chief Information Commissioner and Ambassador. He is an analyst specializing in foreign affairs, right to information and good governance.
This commentary was published in the Financial Express. Enacted by the Government of Bangladesh in the first session of the 9th Parliament, the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2009 […]

  • 9 February 2015

    Sudanese Journalists Wary of New FOI Law

    By Lori Baitarian The author is an intern in the Committee for the Protection of Journalists’ Middle East and North Africa Program and holds a BA in political studies from the American University of Beirut. The article first appeared in the CPJ blog and is reprinted with permission. The Sudanese government has boasted that its […]

  • 5 February 2015

    Analysis of and Prospects for New House and Senate FOIA Bills

    By Nate Jones This article first appeared in Unredacted, a blog of the National Security Archive, where Jones is the FOIA Coordinator. The Archive also publishes On Feb. 5, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the Senate bill discussed in this report. The demise of FOIA reform bills in the last Congress is analyzed in […]

  • 5 February 2015

    Debate intelligently: more openness, less secrecy

    By Eduardo Bertoni The author is Director of the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE) at the University of Palermo. Also in Spanish. This week started in the Honorable Senate of Argentina the debate on the reform of the Law 25,520 , known as the “Law of National Intelligence” […]

  • 7 January 2015

    RTI Case Studies From Pakistan

     A report by the Asia Foundation on right to know laws in three Southeast Asian countries. (See report.) The report includes an annex with case studies about the use of the laws. Reprinted below is the section on Pakistan Prime Minister’s Overseas Trips Under the Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002, RTI activist Saleem Iqbal […]

  • 7 January 2015

    Case Studies in Use of the RTI law in Nepal

     A report by the Asia Foundation on right to know laws in three Southeast Asian countries. (See report.) The report includes an annex with case studies about the use of the laws. Reprinted below is the section on Nepal. Information in the Public Interest The International Criminal Court (ICC) adjudicates cases of genocide, crimes […]

  • 7 January 2015

    Using the RTI Law in Bangladesh

    A report by the Asia Foundation on right to know laws in three Southeast Asian countries. (See report.) The report includes an annex with case studies about the use of the laws. Reprinted below is the section on Bangladesh. Applying RTI in the Shrimp Sector Social Activities for the Environment (SAFE), a Bangladesh NGO, […]

  • 1 January 2015

    2014: A Year of Attempts to Strangle the RTI

    By Vinita Deshmukh The author is a prize-winning journalist, a consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. The article was published Dec. 31 in Moneylife. Strapline: Political parties defying summons by CIC, a headless information commission and much more meant a low year for this otherwise strong […]