What’s New

  • 2 July 2015

    Hungary Proposes Higher Fees, Longer Response Times

    The Hungarian government has proposed a bill (in Hungarian) to hike fees for freedom of information requests and to double the length of the response period from 15 to 30 days. The new rules also would permit refusal of requests on the grounds that documents are “preparatory” or the copyright of third persons. Repeat requests could […]

  • 2 July 2015

    Ghana Parliament Begins Debate of RTI Legislation

    The Ghana Parliament on June 30 began debating right to information legislation. The bill has advanced to “second reading,” further than ever before, which will be followed by a final consideration step. The Attorney General moved for the debate on June 25. A parliamentary committee issued a report on the long-stalled bill. The report is […]

  • 2 July 2015

    FOI Notes: Funding, OGP Elections, Research, Reports, UK , US, Israel, EU, India, Canada, IMF

    Funding: “Are you involved in a process, project, initiative or practice that tries to strengthen citizens’ voice to get governments to respond and be accountable to them? Are you a ‘do-er’ who reflects on your experience and learns from your own practice and that of others? Or, are you a researcher who is curious about […]

  • 1 July 2015

    Nigerian Agency Denies Access to Official Asset Forms

    The Nigerian Code of Conduct Bureau has turned down a freedom of information request for the asset declaration forms of both President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, citing “personal privacy.” The declarations were sought by civil society organizations Stop Impunity Nigeria (SIN) and Centre for Social Justice (CENSOJ). The Bureau also argued that […]

  • 1 July 2015

    IACHR Report Urges Strong RTI Supervisory Bodies

    Edison Lanza, the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter‐American Commission on Human Rights, has called on governments to build “robust” supervisory bodies with sufficient power and resources to ensure access to information. The recommendations come in a detailed report entitled “The Right to Access to Public Information in the Americas: Specialized Supervisory and […]

  • 1 July 2015

    South Asia Advisory Group Issues RTI Recommendations

    The Transparency Advisory Group (TAG) in South Asia has recommended making private sector bodies and political parties subject to right to information laws. These were among a series of just-released recommendations decided on during the group’s sixth meeting, held in February. See detailed report on meeting and summary. The group also addressed the role of […]

  • 1 July 2015

    E-Mails Subject to Disclosure, Peru Superior Court Rules

    E-mails from public officials using official e-mail accounts and containing public information should be made public according to a decision from the Superior Court of Lima, Specialized Constitutional Court. While the ruling is specifically about the mails of former Minister of Energy and Mines Eleodoro Mayorga in the case of the New National Hydrocarbons Regulations, […]

  • 29 June 2015

    Sri Lanka Fails to Pass RTI Bill Before New Elections

    Right to information legislation promised by the new president has not passed in Sri Lanka, a victim of political differences over electoral reform that led President Maitripala Sirisena to dissolve parliament and call new elections. Passage of an RTI bill in his first 100 days in office was a campaign pledge for Sirisena, who was […]

  • 25 June 2015

    Moroccan Draft Law Criticized; Rated Better

    The Moroccan government’s latest draft freedom of information law is better than a 2104 version, according to well-known international rating, but worse than a 2013 draft. The draft has been given a score of 79 on the 150-point RTI Rating done by the Centre for Democracy and Law. This latest score is above the rating of […]

  • 25 June 2015

    Delayed Consideration Urged for Tanzanian FOI Legislation

    Media stakeholders and the ruling party have recommended that a parliamentary committee be given time to make changes to the government’s proposed access to information bill and a media bill, according to a June 23 Guardian article by Felister Peter. The Assembly, however, while resolving not to debate the contentious bill Media Services Bill, had […]

  • 25 June 2015

    New Commissioner Plans Steps to Cut India’s Backlog

    Vijai Sharma, India’s new Chief Information Commissioner, says he plans mass hearings, consolidating cases and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to reduce the backlog of 40,000 pending cases. Sharma made his comments in an interview with Nidhi Sharma of The Economic Times published June 19. “Some experimentation will have to be done,” he said, “Some new […]

  • 25 June 2015

    UK Minister Says Changes Being Considered in FOI Law

    The United Kingdom’s Justice Secretary has suggested amending the freedom of information law to let government officials “speak candidly.” His statement triggered objections from FOI supporters. No specific proposals have been tabled. Gove said during question period in Parliament June 23:  …we do need to revisit the Freedom of Information Act. It is absolutely vital that […]

  • 25 June 2015

    FOI Notes: OGP/FOI, Two New Videos, RTI Testing, Open Data

    OGP/FOI: A report prepared for the World Bank on the progress of access to information commitments within OGP national action plans. The report analyzes all 133 ATI commitments submitted by OGP participating countries since 2011 as part of their national action plans and uses implementation-related data of such commitments produced by the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) of […]

  • 25 June 2015

    Pakistan Province Exempts Assembly From RTI Act

    The legislature in the Pakistan’s province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly has exempted itself from the purview of K-P RTI Act of 2013, according to media reports. The K-P Assembly also reduced the size of the Information Commission to two from three. Another amendment provides a right to appeal commission decisions to district court. As described by journalist […]

  • 24 June 2015

    Irish Court Rejects Agency Claim of Access Exemption

    The Irish Supreme Court June 23 unanimously rejected arguments by the National Asset Management Agency that it is not a public authority subject to freedom of environmental information requests. Established in response to an unprecedented financial crisis, the agency’s scope and scale was “exceptional” and it was given “special powers,” the court said. The text […]

  • 18 June 2015

    Moroccan Government Files New Version of Access Bill

    A new draft freedom of information law for Morocco was tabled June 8 on the Parliament website (in Arabic). The bill was referred to the Committee on Justice, Legislation and Human Rights which is expected to review it and could make amendments. The development was noted in a short article (in French) in La Vie Éco, […]

  • 18 June 2015

    FOI Notes: New Group, New Reports, New Mexican Rules, New Suits, New Funding, New News

    Governance Data: A new group called Governance Data Alliance has been announced. (Also see blog post about it by Nathaniel Heller.) There is a 21-age vision statement. The introduction says: The current state of affairs is vastly insufficient when it comes to the production and usage of high-quality governance data. Producers rarely know who uses their […]

  • 17 June 2015

    New Indian CIC Chair to Fight Vexatious Requests

    The new chairman of the Central Information Commission, Vijai Sharma, has said that fighting the backlog of cases and vexatious requests is his top priority, according to an article in The Hindu. “[What we need to check] is genuine applications getting crowded out by applications which some may prescribe as vexatious or frivolous. This is […]

  • 17 June 2015

    Scotland Proposes to Cover More Entities Under FOIA

    The Scottish Government has begun a consultation on a proposal to extend the Freedom of Information Act to cover contractors operating private prisons, providers of secure accommodation for children, grant-aided schools and independent special schools opened up to more public scrutiny. Parliamentary business minister Joe Fitzpatrick was quoted as saying: “Scotland already has the most robust freedom […]

  • 17 June 2015

    Tanzanians Support Law on Access to Information

    Most Tanzanians support an access to information law, according to a June 15 press release from Twaweza. The non-governmental organization reported that 84 percent of those surveyed support passage of an access law and that 77 percent think information held by public institutions should be accessible to ordinary citizens. Such access would reduce corruption, said 80 […]