What’s New

  • 30 March 2017

    FOI Notes: Tunisia, US, Philippines, Research, Pakistan, Canada, Australia

    Tunisia: The organization “Al-Bawsala” criticizes the lack of preparations for the new RTI law as it officially goes into effect. United States: FOIA Exemption 5 does not shield communications between U.S. agencies and foreign government agencies, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rules in Lucaj v. FBI. Philippines: Government agencies are told to post online their FOI manuals […]

  • 23 March 2017

    FOI Notes: Burkina Faso, The Philippines, Canada, Denmark, Kenya, Pakistan, Australia, US, Malawi, India

    Burkina Faso: The Communications Minister explains that the 2015 access law is still not effect, suggesting that changes may need to be made, according to an interview (in French) in Burkina 24. He says a constitutional review is underway because of concerns about the oversight body. The Philippines: The Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition […]

  • 16 March 2017

    FOI Notes: EU, Indonesia, Mexico, Afghanistan, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, OGP, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Denmark, India, UAE, Transparency Research, Open Data

    European Union: The European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly opens an inquiry into whether the Council of the EU allows sufficient public scrutiny of the evolving discussions on draft EU laws. She puts 14 questions to the Council on how legislative documents arising from meetings of Member State Ambassadors and deputy Ambassadors, plus the over 150 committees and […]

  • 16 March 2017

    US Sunshine Week: Research, Legislation, Editorials, and Reporting

    Sunshine Week 2017 in the United States has generated many reports, advocacy articles and journalism about the FOIA. This selection includes only a representative selection of the many articles about FOIA in the states. FOI Research: “Forecasting Freedom of Information,” the work of University of Arizona associate professor of journalism David Cuillier, a survey of 300 […]

  • 9 March 2017

    FOI Notes: Liberia, India, US, Ghana, Malaysia, OGP, Guam, Bahamas, Australia, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Oscars

    Liberia: The Liberian Legislature is violating the FOI law according to a report by the Independent Information Commission, according to an article in The News. India: Cooperative institutions are covered by the RTI Act, the Bombay high court rules. United States: The California Supreme Court in the unanimous opinion rules that when government officials conduct […]

  • 8 March 2017

    EU Commissioners Urge Stronger Role for Offices

    European national information commissioners have called for strengthening their powers and increasing their resources. “A strong right of access to information can only be fully effective if its implementation is accompanied and supported by strong information commissioners and ombudspersons as mediators between the state and citizens,” according to a joint declaration (in English) (in German) adopted at a […]

  • 2 March 2017

    South African Coalition Finds Weak Compliance With Law

    Almost half of all requests for information under the South African access to information law are refused, according to a new report by the Access to Information Network. This and other findings point out “a shocking dereliction of duties by public and private bodies to realise South Africans’ constitutional right of access to information,” according […]

  • 2 March 2017

    FOI Notes: Algeria, US, Slovakia, Tunisia, Israel, Namibia, Myanmar, Open Data

    Algeria: A top Ministry of Justice official says the ministry is drafting a bill that enshrines the right of access to information guaranteed by the Constitution, according to a Huffington Post article. United States: “Transparency And FOIA In The Age Of Trump,” articles in Quill by three experts: – Lucy Dalglish: Under Trump, A (Potentially) Bright […]

  • 23 February 2017

    FOI Notes: Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Open Data, Cyprus, Lebanon, Environmental Transparency, US, Malawi, OGP

    Tunisia: Following objections from journalism groups and other organizations, the government says it will revise controversial decrees, according to a Kapitalis news report (in French). The groups’ statement called on the government to “review decree 4030 and immediately withdraw circular n°4″. Separately, there are indications of delay in meeting the March 24 target date for […]

  • 16 February 2017

    FOI Notes: Malawi, Pakistan, Philippines, Bahamas, Nigeria, Tunisia, Zambia, India, US, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Open Data, Open Budgets, Commentary, Ghana, Bangladesh, Vanuatu, Seychelles, Open Eurovision

    Malawi: After an unexplained delay, President Peter Mutharika signs to the ATI bill passed last December, according to a Nyasa Times article, making Malawi the 22nd African nation with a FOI regime. Pakistan: A Senate Select Committee approves an RTI bill (text not immediately available), reports Dawn and The Nation. A new clause covers footage from […]

  • 9 February 2017

    FOI Notes: Vanuatu, Balkans, Tunisia, OGP, Publications, Commentary, US, Ghana, UK, India, Uruguay, Philippines, Isle of Man

    Vanuatu: The RTI Act became law Feb. 6 after it was published in the official Gazette. “Within six months from the commencement of this legislation, the Minister responsible is required to specify the Government agencies that this Act applies to,” according to an article. Balkans: The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) publishes […]

  • 2 February 2017

    Groups Seeks Court Order For Publication of FOI Law

    The Guinea law on the right of access to public information, promulgated on Nov. 24, 2010, is still not applied and has not been published in the official gazette of the Republic The Guinean Association of Independent Press Publishers (AGEPI) has asked the Supreme Court to order the General Secretariat of the Government to publish the […]

  • 2 February 2017

    FOI Notes: Pakistan, Ghana, Tunisia, India, Togo, New Zealand, Transparency Research, Canada, US, UK

    Pakistan: A Senate select committee unanimously agrees on the draft of an RTI bill, report The Nation and Online News. Pakistan: The Punjab Information Commission advises the provincial government to amend all laws and rules that disallow disclosure of information in conflict with Article 19-A of the Constitution and the right to information law, reports Dawn. […]

  • 26 January 2017

    Peruvian Groups Protest Government FOI Decree

    Peruvian transparency groups are protesting a new regulation that they called “a serious setback” to access to information. The decree creates the “national authority for transparency” as a kind of FOI ombudsman, but with few powers or independence. It is a new office within the Ministry of Justice, without the capacity to control the use […]

  • 26 January 2017

    FOI Notes: Nigeria, Malawi, UK, TI, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, US, UN

    Nigeria: A court victory for a group of requesters seeking access to documents concerning the Niger Delta Development Commission. An opinion from the court states that the right to information is a human right, awards fees to the requesters and fines the respondents. In another development, The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative unveiled two documents designed to […]

  • 24 January 2017

    Lebanese Parliament Passes Access to Information Law

    Lebanon’s legislature has passed a right to access to information bill. Ghassan Moukheiber, a leading sponsor of the bill, praised it as an “important step” in the fight against corruption and a way to restore confidence between citizens and the state. Efforts to pass a law date back almost a decade. Lebanon will be the […]

  • 19 January 2017

    FOI Notes: India, Peru, Pakistan, Ireland, Bangladesh, EITI, Afghanistan, Mexico, US, UK, Indonesia

    India: A report by RaaG and SNS on the adjudicators of the RTI Act in India — the Supreme Court, High Courts and Information Commissions. Peru: Controversy concerning the creation of the National Authority for Transparency and Access to Public Information. Pakistan: “The Senate Standing Committee on the Right to Information Act-2016 (RTI-2016) deferred the […]

  • 12 January 2017

    FOI Notes: Record-Keeping, Chile, Sri Lanka, Denmark, Commentary, Transparency Research, Algorithms, Open Data, Nepal, US, OGP, India, UK

    Record-Keeping: Leave no trace? How to combat off the record government,” an article by Nuala Haughey describes a workshop on the topic of record-keeping for good governance at the 2016 Open Government Partnership summit. Chile: The subject of access to information and political parties is addressed in a comprehensive report (in Spanish), “Apertura y Acceso […]

  • 5 January 2017

    Four Global FOI Challenges For 2017, Including SDG 16

    By Toby McIntosh Freedom of information activists will face at least four challenges in 2017 that will test their ability to act in a globally organized way. Eight new FOI regimes were created in 2016, for a total of 115, demonstrating continuing success at the national level.  The tougher, but less visible, national task is implementing […]

  • 5 January 2017

    FOI Notes: Philippines, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, US, Ireland, Canada, Ghana, India, Research

    Philippines: The Office of Presidential Communications is tasked with supervising the implementation of freedom of information in all state agencies, according to an Inquirer article. Brazil: Article 19 launches the second edition of its Practical Guide to Access to Information Act (in Portuguese), a primer that provides guidance on how to use the Brazilian law […]