What’s New

  • 26 May 2016

    Parliament in Ghana Delays Consideration of RTI Bill

    The parliament in Ghana has postponed consideration of a Right to Information bill to allow for consultations on its content, but Deputy Attorney General Dominic Ayine said a bill will pass before July, according to Ghana News and CitiNews. Members reportedly disagreed over exemptions for the Office of the President, his Vice President, Cabinet records […]

  • 26 May 2016

    FOI Notes: India, US, Open Meetings of the Future, Malaysia, UK, Canada, More

    India: The Central Information Commission directs the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and Union home ministry to disclose the report on the basis of which Delhi assembly was dissolved in November 2014, saying the Lieutenant Governor does not enjoy immunity from disclosing such reports, according to the text of the decision and articles such as in […]

  • 19 May 2016

    Argentinian Deputies Approve Access to Information Bill

    Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies has given overwhelming approval to a law on Access to Public Information. The vote on the bill presented by Deputy Karina Banfi was 229-4, with one abstention, after five hours of debate, according to media reports (in Spanish) such as ones in La Neuva, Terra, and another, with more detail, in Parliamentario.com. “We […]

  • 19 May 2016

    Italian Council Ratifies Transparency Decree

    The Italian Council of Ministers has approved a Transparency Decree providing for access to information. “The first Italian FOIA” was welcomed by Foia4Italy, a network of more than 30 civil society organizations that campaigned for the decree and logged 88,000 names on a petition for the decree. Some improvements were made in the final version, […]

  • 19 May 2016

    Parliament Renews Debate on Bill for Ghana

    Ghana’s Parliament has resumed consideration of a Right to Information bill, but disagreements surfaced quickly. “Parliament was divided over the meaning of a clause in the Right to Information (RTI) Bill, which requires a person urgently requesting for information to provide reasons,” according to Ghana Web. The article said some members argued that such a […]

  • 19 May 2016

    Philippines Court Denies Access Sought by Industry

    The constitutional guarantee to information “does not open every door to any and all information but is rather confined to public concern,” according to a 13-page decision by the Supreme Court in the case of Sereno vs Committee on Trade and Related Matters (GR No. 175210). The court denied a petition for certiorari of the […]

  • 19 May 2016

    Nepal Commission Orders Access to Government Offices

    The National Information Commission has ordered the government to provide access to Singha Durbar, the government secretariat complex, for persons seeking to exercise their rights under the Right to Information Act. The commission issued the order in response to an application filed the Chairman of the Freedom Forum Taranath Dahal and several hundred youths associated […]

  • 19 May 2016

    FOI Notes: India, Open Algorithms, US, UK, Malaysia, Canada, Pakistan, More

    India: The Central Information Commission  has ruled that  the Cabinet Secretariat cannot deny access to the items on the agenda placed before the Union Cabinet after a meeting is over. A copy of the CIC’s order along with related documents and a detailed write-up about this case are accessible on the website of the Commonwealth Human […]

  • 19 May 2016

    OGP Sets Benchmarks for Turkish Rehabilitation

    The Open Government Partnership Steering Committee has set a series of four tasks for the Turkish government to perform to avoid being designated as an “inactive” member. Despite having missed several key deadlines over several years, Turkey was given another chance. However, Turkey will be automatically designated “inactive” at the September Steering Committee meeting if it […]

  • 12 May 2016

    Elected Philippines President Plans to Issue FOI Order

    The man just elected to be president of the Philippines says he will immediately issue an executive order of freedom of information, according to reports in The Standard and The Inquirer. The presumptive president, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, said at a May 10 press conference that if Congress refuses to pass a FOI bill, […]

  • 12 May 2016

    FOI Notes: Africa, FOI Research, South Africa, Open Data, Anti-Corruption, Way More

    Africa: A World Bank blog reports, “African countries come together to address gaps in managing digital information for open government.” On April 22 and April 29,  representatives from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Sierre Leone, South Africa, and Tanzania met to discuss “an issue of mounting concern: managing records and information to support open […]

  • 11 May 2016

    Sri Lankan Court Decision on RTI Legislation Analyzed

    Analysis has continued on the Sri Lankan Supreme Court’s pronouncements on the draft right to information law, with the most detailed analysis saying the decision “held little surprises.” So wrote Kishali Pinto Jayawardene, a lawyer and human rights activist, who said: “In the main, the ruling did not pose formidable challenges to the basic integrity […]

  • 11 May 2016

    Namibian Official Promises July Introduction of ATI Bill

    Namibian  deputy minister of information Stanley Simataa has promised to propose an access to information bill in July, according to an article in The Namibian. The pledge came in a keynote address delivered on his behalf by Frans Nghitila, director of media relations in the information ministry, during the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) […]

  • 5 May 2016

    Sri Lanka Court Faults Five Minor Clauses in RTI Bill

    Sri Lanka’s highest court has declared that five minor parts of a right to information bill are unconstitutional and would need a two-thirds majority in Parliament to become law, but alterations could allow passage on a majority vote. “The amendments suggested by the SC are mostly of technical nature and do not undermine the purpose […]

  • 5 May 2016

    Canada Orders Fees Cut, Data Made More Open

    The Canadian government has ordered several immediate access to information reforms while it holds a public consultation on a broader package. The Interim Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act “delivers on key commitments to make government more open and transparent,” according to the announcement. The Directive “sends a strong message across […]

  • 5 May 2016

    Ghana President Avoids Mention of RTI Legislation

    Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama in a World Press Freedom Day speech noted that public access to information is now a international development goal, but he did not commit to passing the slow-moving right to information bill in Ghana. Meanwhile, transparency supporters urged action on the long-pending bill. One legislator, however, has predicted that the […]

  • 5 May 2016

    Zambian Minister Says Cabinet to Consider ATI Bill

    A Zambian Cabinet committee “will soon deliberate on the content of the Access to Information (ATI) Bill, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Chishimba Kambwili has said,” according to a May 3 Daily Mail report, and advocates for the bill are pushing for enactment. “The process towards the enactment of the Access to Information Bill […]

  • 5 May 2016

    FOI Notes: Research, Press Freedom Day, Regional and Country News, More

    International: A series of essays commissioned by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative and curated by Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – “short, forward-looking think pieces by leading scholars and activists on the future of the transparency and accountability movement.” International: At a World Press Freedom Day conference more than 1,000 media […]

  • 4 May 2016

    Hallelujah: Wisdom Prevails in Australia

    By Peter Timmins The author publishes the Open and Shut blog on FOI in Australia, where this article was posted May 3. From the Attorney General tonight: The Government has decided not to proceed with the new arrangements for privacy and Freedom of Information (FOI) regulation, including the proposed changes to the Office of the […]

  • 4 May 2016

    Danish Pro-Access Majority Refrains From Using Power

    By Staffan Dahllöf The author is a freelance journalist. There is now a majority in the Danish parliament for amending a much-criticised law on access to public information adopted in 2013. Yet this majority is not likely to take use of its possible power, due to different political strategies. Three of the critical parties – the […]