What’s New

  • 24 July 2014

    Efforts to Amend US FOIA Law Moving Steadily Along

    Legislation to solve what many openness advocates say is a major problem with the way government officials interpret the US Freedom of Information Act seems to be progressing well, with three recent positive bits of information emerging. First, the Senate Judiciary Committee is likely to vote on proposed FOIA amendments in September, FreedomInfo.org has learned. […]

  • 24 July 2014

    FOI Notes: Arabic ATI Guide, OGP in LA, OKFest, Contest, Open Data, Job Posting

    ATI Guide in Arabic: An Arabic version of the Guide on ATI, published by UNESCO in April, is available. Latin America: Winds of Change: The Progress of Open Government Policymaking in Latin America and the Caribbean, a book in English and Spanish, reviews activities in 15 countries under theOpen Government Partnership. 2014 OK Festival: A […]

  • 24 July 2014

    Ideas in Liberia Aim to Help Women Access Information

    Recommendations for addressing inequities that Liberian women face in the exercise of the right of information were developed at a July 10, 2014, meeting of 47 government representatives, traditional community leaders, and civil society representatives. A meeting was an extension of a Carter Center project that resulted in a study “Women and the Right of […]

  • 22 July 2014

    14 CSO Candidates Selected As Finalists to Join OGP SC

    Fourteen persons have been selected for the short list of candidates from civil society who still are running to become members of the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee. The OGP is keeping the list a secret, but FreedomInfo.org obtained a confirmed list of the 14 finalists for the five open seats The 14 are: – […]

  • 21 July 2014

    Altered Access Language Survives in UN Goals

    Access to information language, modified on the last day of negotiations and almost deleted, was included in the long list of goals for sustainable development drafted by a United Nations Open Working Group (OWG). The final language on access is:  16.10 ensure public access to information and protect freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and […]

  • 19 July 2014

    Indian CIC Decides to Give Priority to Senior Citizens

    The Indian Central Information Commission has decided to give priority to senior citizens for the resolution of pending right to information cases. The decision made in June was recently reported by Economic Times, without many details. The CIC website does not elaborate. Cases of senior citizens — defined as those being 65 on the date […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Access to Information Line Included in UN Document

    A line on access to information so far has survived international negotiations in the United Nations Open Working Group (OWG) drafting a new set of development goals. Talks were continuing July 18, the fourth day of meetings, and were expected to continue into the night, with a possibility that the language could change, according to […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Canada Pulls Out of Election for OGP Steering Committee

    The Canadian government has withdrawn its candidacy to join the Steering Committee that runs the Open Government Partnership. The unannounced withdrawal is noted without explanation in the OGP website page about the upcoming election.  * = Canada withdrew their application for the OGP Steering Committee on July 10. A statement provided by the Treasury Board Secretariat […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Brazilian CSOs Complain to OGP Steering Committee

    Thirty-three Brazilian civil society groups have asked the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee to look into “difficulties with the Brazilian government.” A secret government committee consistently has rejected civil society proposals according to a July 10 letter. The recently issued second Brazilian national action plan does not include suggestions developed by civil society through a […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Women Seeking Information in Liberia Face Barriers

    Barriers exist that limit women’s access to information they want, according to a study done in Liberia by the Carter Center. “Structural and cultural barriers exist that impede women’s facility to exercise the fundamental right to information,” the report concludes. It states that women “want information about education, land/property ownership, and how to start and maintain […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Pakistan Committee Makes Changes in Draft RTI Bill 

    A committee of the Pakistan Senate on July 15 approved amendments to a right to information bill, according to an article in The Daily Times and one by the Pakistan Press Foundation.  The Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, chaired by Senator Kamil Ali Agha, dropped a provision that would have left authority […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Bermuda Takes Steps to Implement 2010 Law

    Bermuda’s Premier Michael Dunkley on July 4 tabled the Public Access to Information Regulations 2014 and the Public Access to Information Amendment Bill 2014, according to an article in The Royal Gazette. The implementation regulations and the proposed amendments comes four years since the July 2010 passage of the law. He said the Act will come […]

  • 18 July 2014

    New RTI Law in Maldives Goes Into Effect

    The Maldives government is taking steps to implement the new right to information law that went into effect July 12, according to an article in The Sun. The president’s spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz said information officers have been appointed at all government officers and that the president has nominated an Information Commissioner for parliament’s approval.
 President […]

  • 18 July 2014

    FOI Notes: FOI Posters, Arabic Website, Development, US, Canada, More

    FOI Posters: “Veteran and award-winning photojournalists who have taken up the challenge of grounding the FOI issue on something more basic – corruption, poverty, and the lack of basic services,” according to a blog post at the Philippines Center for Investigative Journalism.FOI advocates created a special Facebook album where any photographer, amateur or professional, can […]

  • 8 July 2014

    UK ICO Backs Privacy for Most Requester Names

    The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office recently said the names of FOI requesters should be kept private, but not always. The comment concerned the three-year practice of the Staffordshire County Council to publish requesters’ letters unredacted. For more read a blog post by Mathew Burgess and another by Jon Baines. The ICO is quoted as […]

  • 8 July 2014

    Ghana Officials Reportedly Doubt Support for RTI BIll

    Top parliamentarians in Ghana are being quoted as questioning the degree of public support for a right to information law but also as promising passage in 2016. The comments emerged in a July 8 news report that was based on accounts of pro-RTI activists who met with Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho; the […]

  • 8 July 2014

    FOI Notes: Australia, Pakistan, UK, US, Open Data

    Australia: The government has made FOI statistics available in a machine-readable format, according to a report in Computer World. Pakistan: “The State of Right to Information in Pakistan” by the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) recommends steps to implement the new RTI laws in the states of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. In a nationwide […]

  • 8 July 2014

    Groups Suggest Changes to Draft RTI Law for Cyprus

    The government in Cyprus has produced as draft access to information law, but it needs improvement according to activists. Access Info Europe, the civil society organization Politeia and other groups in Cyprus recently made recommendations to strengthen the draft law. The comments were presented at a recent public consultation. The draft law (in Greek) does […]

  • 7 July 2014

    Study Details Weaknesses in Indian RTI Implementation

    Tens of thousands of right to information appeals are pending in India, according to a comprehensive study published by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. More than 66,000 appeals and complaints cases were pending in the only six information commissions where data was available. The Central Information Commission had a total of 21,946 appeals and complaints […]

  • 7 July 2014

    Five Governments Seeking to Join OGP Leadership

    Eleven governments are competing for eight spots on the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership — six incumbents and five governments seeking a seat for the first time. The voting among the 64 member governments began July 1 and ends July 30, with results to be announced Aug. 4. Looking to win election on […]