What’s New

  • 27 August 2015

    Indian Government Opposes Putting Parties Under RTI Act

    The Indian government has told the Supreme Court that political parties should not be covered by the Right to Information Act, as decreed by the Central Information Commission. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) submitted an affidavit saying the CIC erroneously ruled in June 2013 that political parties are public authorities under the RTI […]

  • 27 August 2015

    Pakistan Breaches Promise to Bring RTI Bill to Cabinet

    Pakistan’s government has not lived up to official promises that a right to information reform bill would be considered at the next Cabinet meeting, reports Umar Cheema in The News. The Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid told The News Aug. 22 that the draft bill would be presented in the “next’” cabinet […]

  • 27 August 2015

    FOI Notes: Open Data, Pakistan, Philippines, India, Malaysia, US, Isle of Man, Open Contracting, UK, Caribbean, Mexico

    Open Data: The Open Knowledge Foundation announces on what datasets will be including in the 2015 Global Open Data Index (GODI). The additions follow consultations and discussions on the Index forum. An invitation has been issued to make submissions to the index by Sept. 20. Pakistan: The Punjab Information Commission summons a top official of […]

  • 20 August 2015

    Philippines FOI Coalition Says Aquino, House Killing FOI Bill

    “The FOI Bill is dead,” according to its supporters in the Philippines. The pessimistic statement Aug. 20 from 19 organizations and individuals in the Right To Know, Right Now Coalition is based on their assessment that President Benigno Aquino and the House leadership have not demonstrated determination to pass the bill. Aquino and Congress “are not […]

  • 20 August 2015

    Malaysian Minister Voices Doubts About FOI Readiness

    A top Malayasian minister has questioned whether the country is ready for a freedom of information law. “I mean, why should I be giving you data if you are just going to smear it in my face? If you want to have all open data, you must be more responsible,” said by Datuk Paul Low, […]

  • 20 August 2015

    FOI Notes: Theory, Science, Open Data, Commentary, India, Pakistan, UK, US, FOI Tips

    Research: Academicians Paul ‘t Hart, Ben Worthy and Albert Meijer have developed an interpretive framework for assessing government transparency that has been accepted for publication in Administration and Society. See online version. The abstract: How can we evaluate government transparency arrangements? While the complexity and contextuality of the values at stake defy straightforward measurement, this […]

  • 20 August 2015

    Kenyan Access Bill Advances; Open Data Portal Lacks Info

    Legislation to create an access to information law was given a first reading Aug. 19 in the Kenyan National Assembly. The step forward – amendments come during the second reading – came as the Kenyan Open Data portal reported that it has only received cooperation from from only 26 departments out of about 83, according […]

  • 13 August 2015

    Court in Argentina Orders Senate to Disclose Data

    An Argentinian judge has ordered the National Senate to provide information about its budget, employees and their salaries. A group of NGO´s (Poder Ciudadano, ACIJ, ADC and Directorio Legilsativo) filed two access to public information requests in 2014 before the National Senate. They asked for the budget allocated to the Senate during the years 2011, […]

  • 13 August 2015

    FOI Notes: India, Nepal, US, Fiji, Australia, Turkey, Namibia, Nigeria, Bulgaria

    India: “Right to Information is Slowly but Surely Being Suffocated,” an article in the Wire by former information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi. He writes that “ accountability and transparency have not yet become embedded in the DNA of those with power, and this is a change that will take much longer.” Gandhi says “there are now […]

  • 12 August 2015

    ATI Bill Offered in Kenya; Next Step First Reading

    A bill on Access to Information has been submitted in the Kenyan National Assembly by Hon. Priscilla Nyokabi. The bill has been published and the next step is first reading. (For text see entry 31 in a list on Kenya’s National Assembly Bill Tracker.) Despite a constitutional provision (Article 35) guaranteeing a right to information, […]

  • 12 August 2015

    Former Aussie Minister Says Post-it Notes Used Skirt FOIA

    A former Australian minister has proposed additional protections against disclosure of documents used in the preparation of government policies. Officials now routinely avoid writing down their advice or use post-it notes to avoid having their opinions disclosed, former Immigration secretary Andrew Metcalfe told a conference, an observation he said was based on conversations with many […]

  • 12 August 2015

    Peruvian Groups Withdraw Support for OGP Action Plan

    Civil society organizations in Peru have withdrawn their support for the government’s national action plan created as part of its membership in the Open Government Partnership. A key point of the CSO’s statement says that the government has not complied with an earlier commitment to create a new National Access to Information and Transparency Authority. […]

  • 11 August 2015

    OGP Gives Australia Deadline to Draft National Action Plan

    By Toby McIntosh Australia’s lack of action as a member of the Open Government Partnership is “particularly concerning,” the OGP Steering Committee decided at a recent meeting. The Steering Committee set a new deadline for Australia “to recommit to OGP,” according to recently released minutes of the July 22-23 meeting. (See this page on the […]

  • 11 August 2015

    OGP Drafting Plan to Invite Cities to Join in Pilot Project

    The Open Government Partnership Steering Committee is moving toward the creation of a pilot program to bring 8-10 cities into the OGP. The two-year program could be rolled out in October after being further defined and given a final OK. The Steering Committee on July 22 discussed an “issues and options” paper on “Subnational Governments […]

  • 6 August 2015

    Italy House Authorizes Creation of FOI Decree

    The Italian House Aug. 4 passed a “Public Administrative” bill that grants the government authority to write a freedom of information law. The package of reforms contains general instructions for the creation of a FOI decree. FOI supporters, while pleased with the move overall, are concerned about the lack of specific direction provided. The bill […]

  • 6 August 2015

    FreedomInfo.org Building Deliberative Process Library

    Among the most controversial exemptions in freedom of information laws is one designed to protect the confidentiality of discussions within governments. These “deliberative process” exemptions, written in many ways, are often broadly interpreted. FreedomInfo.org is creating a resource page on this topic. The resource will include examples of deliberative process provisions. A beginning on this, looking […]

  • 6 August 2015

    Australian, Myanmar, Bulgaria, Scotland, UK, US, OGP, Music Transparency

    Australia: John McMillan retired July 31 as Australian Information Commissioner to take up his new role as Acting New South Wales SW Ombudsman, the information office says. “With the functions of the three commissioners that make up the Office of Australian Information Commissioner now in the hands of a single acting commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim’s ‘in folder’ […]

  • 30 July 2015

    Ghana Parliament Moving RTI Bill to Amendment Stage

    The Ghana Parliament has completed general discussion of a right to information bill and is expected to move on to the amendment stage. Over the past few weeks, speeches on the bill were given on three different days, according to a supporter of the bill closely following the debate. The observer reported that 12 people […]

  • 30 July 2015

    Draft Cyprus FOI Law Scores Poorly in Rating, Group Says

    A draft access to information law in Cyprus, if adopted, would be one of the worst in the world, according to an analysis by Access Info Europe. The group announced that its analysis of the draft text using the Right to Information Rating indicators found that Cyprus would come in at position 97 of 102 […]

  • 30 July 2015

    Book Review: UK How-To Aims to Inspire Journalists

    By Toby McIntosh Training journalists about the mechanics of using legal tools to access to information is the easy part. Motivating them is the harder. A new book by British journalist Matt Burgess does both. (Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, Routledge, 2015) While focused primarily on the Freedom of Information Act […]