News

  • 16 October 2014

    Report Paints Bleak Picture of Indian RTI Law at 10th Year

    A comprehensive and scathing report on the Indian Right to Information documents extensive weaknesses in the system and makes major recommendations for reform. The 150-page examination provides a detailed picture of dysfunction, including “huge” backlogs, an ineffectual appeals process, lack of compliance with orders and penalty awards, and weak records management. The research provides many […]

  • 16 October 2014

    UN Panel Told That Angola Needs Better Implementation

    Angola is not doing enough to implement its right to information law, according to a statement made by the Africa Freedom of Information Centre to a United Nations body. The statement was made by Gilbert Sendugwa, AFIC’s Coordinator & Head of Secretariat, at an Oct. 7 meeting under the auspices of the Human Rights Council. […]

  • 16 October 2014

    FOI Notes: Nordics, World Bank Webcasts, Open Data

    Nordic Transparency: Access to Information in the Nordic Countries, a comparison of the laws of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland and international rules by Oluf Jørgensen (Nordicom, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg 2014, 40 pages.) “This publication explains and compares the legal rules determining public access to documents and data in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, […]

  • 15 October 2014

    Ireland Amendments Extend Reach of FOI Law

    Revisions to the freedom of information law signed Oct. 14 by the Irish president will bring more public bodies under the Irish FOI umbrella. The new legislation, known as the Freedom of Information Act, 2014, will apply to: An Garda Síochána, the Irish police force. Public financial bodies, including NAMA, the National Asset Management Agency […]

  • 14 October 2014

    Argentina’s Supreme Court Backs RTI for Legislator

    The Supreme Court of Justice from Argentina on Oct. 14 issued two decisions supporting the right of access to information. In both cases the defendant, the national government, said that the plaintiff, a national congressman, was not entitled to ask for public information, because he had require it as a legislator. The Court, however, said […]

  • 14 October 2014

    OGP Working Groups Seek to Clarify Their Missions

    The five working groups of the Open Government Partnership are seeking clarification on their roles in order “to facilitate and amplify their efforts,” according to the minutes of two meetings released Oct. 14. The topic was one of many policy and procedure topics addressed at an OGP Steering Committee session held Sept. 24 in New […]

  • 9 October 2014

    Reports Finds Few Donors Meeting Transparency Goals

    Many international aid organizations are “dragging their feet” in meeting commitments to make their finances more transparent, according to a report released Oct. 8. The Aid Transparency Index 2014 report evaluates how well countries and other international aid donors are doing in fulfilling transparency commitments made at the 2011 Busan development summit. “This is a […]

  • 9 October 2014

    FOI Notes: OGP Research Call, Resource Transparency, Open Data, UK, US, Brazil

    Open Government Partnership: The Transparency and Accountability Initiative is seeking research proposals on: when and how are pro-reform actors able to leverage OGP – its processes, spaces and resources – to pursue improved government responsiveness and accountability? Due date is Oct. 27. Resource Transparency: The Resource Governance Index finds that only 11 of the countries—less than […]

  • 7 October 2014

    Slovenian Court Invalidates Part of Transparency Law

    The Constitutional Court of Slovenia has suspended part of a recently passed law mandating that state-owned banks release data on all bad loans on their books. The court did not suspend a requirement that banks publish information about bad loans transferred to the so-called Bad Bank, the new public sector Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC) […]

  • 2 October 2014

    Africa’s Progress on RTI Assessed in Two Reports

    Two key groups advocating for right to information laws in Africa have issued detailed reports, both calling for intensified efforts to continue progress and taking a close look at national situations. The Africa Freedom of Information Centre Sept. 29 launched its first State of the Right to Information in Africa Report. The report is on […]

  • 1 October 2014

    Criticisms Mount Against South African Government

    The Right2Know Campaign in South Africa Sept 28 called on President Zuma to refuse to sign the controversial “secrecy bill” that has been on his desk for 316 days and questioned the government’s leadership role in the Open Government Partnership. The Right2Know Campaign also urged Parliament to revoke the apartheid-era 1982 Protection of Information Act and to write a new classification […]

  • 1 October 2014

    Article 19 Criticizes Draft Moroccan RTI Legislation

    The new Moroccan Draft Law No 31.13 on the Right of Access to Information “fails to adequately recognise the right to information and threatens free expression,” according to Article 19. “The new draft is significantly weaker than previous versions,” said the British freedom of expression group, which had reviewed the previous two drafts of the bill. […]

  • 1 October 2014

    Two Pakistani Provinces Resisting New RTI Laws

    The bureaucracies in the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) are offering “stiff resistance” to the new right to information laws, according to the Centre for Peace and Development Initiative (CPDI). Information was withheld in over 87 per cent of the requests, the group said. CPDI sent in 924 information requests to the governments […]

  • 1 October 2014

    FOI Notes: Commentary, UN Agenda, E-Access, Kenya, Wood Carving

    Commentary: The Centre for Law and Democracy addresses the passage of the 100th RTI law. Among other observations: One hundred RTI laws is a momentous achievement but, amidst the celebrations, we must bear in mind that this represents only about half of the world’s countries. In other words, the average RTI law still lacks nearly […]

  • 1 October 2014

    Indian Court Reverses Ruling on Requester Justifications

    The Madras High Court in India has reversed its ruling that justifications must be supplied for requests, saying that it had overlooked a contrary provision in the law. The Sept. 23 reversal deleted two paragraphs from its Sept. 17 ruling. (See previous Freedominfo.org report.) The court said:         2. In the said […]

  • 30 September 2014

    Progress, But Still Problems, Says Serbian Commissioner

    This article, published Sept. 30, is reprinted with permission from infoserbia.com. BELGRADE – Serbia has made certain progress in the area of freedom of access to information of public importance, but the fact that the office of the commissioner for information of public importance and personal data protection continues to receive a large number of […]

  • 25 September 2014

    OGP Celebrates Anniversary, OKs Civic Space Policy

    The Open Government Partnership Sept. 24 celebrated its third anniversary with speeches from world leaders and civil society representatives praising the now 65-nation effort. US President Barrack Obama, Mexican President Peña Nieto and 9 other heads of state attended, along with over 30 ministers and more than 300 civil society leaders from around the world, […]

  • 25 September 2014

    Tanzanian President Pledges FOI Law in February 2015

    The president of Tanaania, Jakaya Kikwete, said Sept. 24 that a freedom of information bill would be approved in February, 2015. His commitment came at a meeting in New York commemorating the third anniversary of the Open Government Partnership (video link). In October 2013 at the OGP summit in London, he had pledged to pass a […]

  • 25 September 2014

    Indian Court in Madras Says Requests Must By Justified

    The Madras High Court in India has ruled that applicants must give reasons for seeking information under the right to information act. The judgment was delivered by Justices N Paul Vasanthakumar and K Ravichandrababu while hearing a challenge to the Central Information Commission direction to the High Court to provide certain information, according to news articles […]

  • 25 September 2014

    Malawi Government Delays Action on FOI Legislation

    A freedom of information law for Malawi has been delayed. Minister of Information and Civic Education Kondwani Nankhumwa recently said that action will not be taken during the current session of Parliament. The bill remains under review by the Ministry of Justice, he said, according to a news report in the Malawi Nyasa Times. “We […]