Latest Features

  • 19 January 2017

    A Missed Opportunity for RTI in Ghana

    By Ugonna Ukaigwe The author is a lawyer and a Project Consultant who consults for international, regional and national NGOs. She currently coordinates the work of the Right to Information Coalition, Ghana. The age-long Right to Information (RTI) Bill which has been described by many as the oldest Bill in Parliament suffered a major defeat […]

  • 12 January 2017

    How to Move Forward in the Access to Information Movement

    By María Paula Ángel The author is assistant researcher on issues related to transparency and privacy at dejusticia.org. This article, minus photos, first appeared Jan. 1o on the dejusticia.org Global Rights Blog. In Dejusticia we have been working on the promotion of the right to public information for a long time now. As a human […]

  • 12 January 2017

    Access in Georgia – IDFI Reports

    The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information has issued a report about access to information in Georgia in 2016. The report includes information about IDFI strategic litigation and an analysis of trends of access to information in 2010-2016. Below is the IDFI summary. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) has been monitoring […]

  • 5 January 2017

    Guyana: Transparency, Accountability and Access to Information

    The following article, by Transparency International Guyana, was published Dec. 30, 2016, in The Stabroek News. Another News article describes TIG’s views and reports on the budget of the Guyana information commissioner. The News says the commissioner, retired judge Charles Ramson, receives $37 million a year, has no staff or office, and has yet to prepare an annual […]

  • 21 December 2016

    Leave no trace? How to combat off the record government

    By Nuala Haughey The author is a policy analyst with the TASC – Think-tank for Action on Social Change, based in Ireland. The article is reprinted with permission. When we think of government record keeping it often conjures up images of dusty archives stuffed with crumbling paper documents. While historical archives are a rich part […]

  • 20 December 2016

    IFLA Statement on Public Legal Information

    The International Federation of Library Associations Governing Board on Dec. 13 approved  a statement calling on governments to ensure that there is free and equal access to public legal information (including third party standards where these are referenced), that governments design and implement effective preservation strategies, and that they incorporate technology-based authentication tools so that […]

  • 24 November 2016

    Access to Information Sliding in Europe, Reform Needed

    By Andreas Pavlov The author works for Access Info Europe. His article first appeared Nov. 17 in Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, a publication produced within the project European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, co-funded by the European Commission. The project’s page Long established and widely recognized, the right to access to information is severely curtailed […]

  • 3 November 2016

    Evolving Dimensions of the Bangladesh RTI Act

    By Muhammad Zamir The author, a former Ambassador and Chief Information Commissioner, is an analyst specializing in foreign affairs, right to information, and good governance. This article first appeared Oct. 30 in The Dhaka Tribune. Some have raised questions as to whether the RTI process is working. The answer is yes and no. The evolving […]

  • 3 November 2016

    Pakistan: A Tale of Two Bills

    By Zahid Abdullah The writer is program manager for the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives. This article is from the CPDI blog and was published Oct. 31 in Dawn,. Although citizens are constitutionally guaranteed access to information held by the government in matters of public importance, it seems that the centre, in cahoots with […]

  • 3 November 2016

    Bangladesh RTI is a Paper Law

    By M. S. Siddiqui The following article appeared Oct. 31 in Asian Age. The author is an author and former business executive. Efforts to ensure citizens access to public information can be traced back to 1766, with the Swedish parliament enacting the first legislation seeking freedom of information. However, recognition of the right to information as […]

  • 25 October 2016

    The Role of Guarantor Bodies in Latin America

    Below is the “Conclusions” chapter of a 78-page report prepared by the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Edison Lanza. The report is titled “Specialized Supervisory Bodies For The Right To Access To Public Information.” English version. Spanish version. In this report, the Office of […]

  • 13 October 2016

    How Access to Information Aids the Work of Parliament

    By Ugonna Ukaigwe The author is a project consultant who consults for international, regional and national NGOs. She currently coordinates the work of the Right to Information Coalition, Ghana. The Coalition on Oct. 11 picketed Parliament as the House resumed from recess with the RTI bill on its docket and an estimated four weeks to […]

  • 29 September 2016

    Open Data and FOI: Complementary or Competitors?

    By Michael Cañares The author is Regional Research Manager at the Open Data Lab Jakarta This article was first posted Sept. 28 on the Web Foundation blog. The first paragraph is the Web Foundation introduction. Can open data improve people’s access to information? Michael Cañares, Regional Research Manager at the Open Data Lab Jakarta looks at […]

  • 29 September 2016

    When Openwashing Is Over: Protecting Right to Know

    By Zara Rahman This article first appeared in The Engine Room, where Rahman works (bio) and is reprinted with permission. The open government and open data movement has steadily grown over the last few years. We are seeing governments once disinterested in publishing open data, race to do so. Open data conferences are now filled with […]

  • 8 September 2016

    Exempting Emails? Suggestion Bashed in US

    A column by a US journalist questioning whether emails should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act triggered an outpouring of rebuttals. “Treating email as public by default rather than private like phone calls does not serve the public interest,” wrote Matthew Yglesias in Vox, prompting numerous, mostly critical responses. One detailed reply came from […]

  • 1 September 2016

    Much Variation Seen in FOI Request Volumes in 11 Countries

    By Vincent Mabillard The author is a Research Assistant at the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration, University of Lausanne Lausanne, Switzerland. This is an excerpt from a longer paper (pdf) that also provides an overview on the adoption of  FOI laws, discusses their different characteristics and suggests possible ways to address FOI in a comparative […]

  • 25 August 2016

    CHRI Analysis of the New Sri Lanka RTI Law

    The following summary of the new Sri Lankan RTI law was prepared by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. On 04 August, 2016, the Hon’ble Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka certified their RTI Bill as having been “duly passed by Parliament”. With this certification, the RTI Bill has become law in Sri Lanka. Unlike many […]

  • 25 August 2016

    Progress Seen in Draft Tanzanian FOI Bill

    By Deus Kibamba The author is trained in political science and international law. His column first appeared Aug. 24 in The Citizen. The government issued a new draft FOI bill in June. (See Freedominfo.org report.) In less than two weeks, the Right to Information Bill will be presented in Parliament for its second reading and passing by […]

  • 14 August 2016

    Broken Promises in Ghana

    The following statement was issued by the RTI Coalition, Ghana, in early August 2016. (Subsequently the members of the Coalition sent a letter to the president urging passage of the RTI bill.) When a father promises to do something for a child, the child relies hugely on that promise and expects that the adult will deliver […]

  • 28 July 2016

    Romanian Report on ATI Progress

    The following is the text of a report by the Ministry for Public Consultation and Civil Dialogue in Romania. Created in November 2015 as a leading central body responsible for improving the usage, the legal framework and the practices in the areas of access to information, public consultation and civil participation, Ministry for Public Consultation […]