• 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 […]

  • 17 June 2015

    Cooperation Urged by FOI, Open Data, Privacy Camps

    Advocates of open data, right to information and privacy agreed on a need for more cooperation during a recent exchange of messages by leading figures in all three communities. The mutual interest in more “cohesion” developed in the course of a wide-ranging online conversation that followed the publication June 10, 2015, of an article in […]

  • 11 June 2015

    Gibraltar Proposes Law on Freedom of Information

    Gibraltar’s government has proposed freedom of information legislation, according to a June 8 press release. The bill would establish procedures and policies for accessing information. In February, the government announced the start of a consultations based on a Command Paper. The proposed law would cover public authorities including bodies that exercise “functions of a public […]

  • 11 June 2015

    FOI Notes: Tasmania, Open Data, Public-Private Partnerships, Research, Employment, Porn

    Tasmania: RTI requests will be published within 48 hours after being made, the government said, according to “Of course the overwhelming number of RTI requests are made by MPs, people in the media, so we consider it appropriate for that information to be available to all Tasmanians,” Premier Will Hodgman is quoted as saying. […]

  • 9 June 2015

    Indian Government Names Singh as CIC Chairman

    The Modi government June 8 appointed Information Commissioner Vijai Singh as the Chief Information Commissioner, ending a nine-month leadership vacancy at the Central Information Commission. The appointments to CIC are for five years or until the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. Sharma, a who has been serving as an information commissioner since 2012, […]

  • 8 June 2015

    Access to Information Among Topics at Academic Meeting

    About one-third of the papers presented at the 4th Global Conference on Transparency Research, held June 4-6 in Lugano, Switzerland, are about access to information laws, seen from many viewpoints. has risked simplification in very briefly summarizing some of the papers, daring to enter a world of academic language including such phrases as “legislative […]

  • 8 June 2015

    Indonesian Regions Score Poorly in Transparency Study

    Transparency is poor among among regional governmental in Indonesia, according to a study by R. Alam Surya Putra, Senior Program Officer the Asia Foundation. Researchers sought access to government documents of relevance to land and forest governance issues “which should be available to the public under the Indonesia Freedom of Information Act. “ The report […]

  • 4 June 2015

    Iran Implements 2009 Law on Access to Information

    Iran in late 2014 issued regulations to implement a little-known 2009 law on access to information, has confirmed. Unofficial English translations are being prepared of both the Law on the Publication and Free Access to Information (from Iran’s Parliament website) and the regulations as approved Nov. 22, 2014, by the Council of Ministers. The […]