• 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 […]

  • 28 December 2016

    Eight Countries Adopt FOI Regimes in 2016

    Eight countries adopted freedom of information laws or similar administrative regulations in 2016, according to’s running tally that now shows 115 national FOI regimes. The number of additions in 2016 is one shy of the previous annual record of nine additions, set in 2011. See list of FOI countries by date and alphabetically. Joining […]

  • 27 December 2016

    FOI Notes: Pakistan, Italy, UNCAC, Germany, Commentary, Transparency Research, Cambodia

    Pakistan: “Another year passes without witnessing the passage of the Right to Information (RTI) legislation. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government that promised the world’s best law on transparency has practically backed out of it,” reports Umar Cheema in The News. Italy: Dec. 23 was the first dat when a equest access to information held by […]

  • 27 December 2016

    Party Disagreements End Chances for 2016 Ghana RTI

    The right to information bill in Ghana got marooned in disagreements between the incoming and outgoing parties. The National Democratic Congress majority caucus accused the minority side, the New Patriot Party, of delaying consideration of the RTI bill by failing to provide a quorum. The minority said additional amendments were necessary, objecting that the bill […]

  • 22 December 2016

    Peruvian Groups Urge Autonomous Oversight Body

    A proposal to create an independent national body on access to information is being debated in Peru. A working group appointed by the ministry of Justice made the proposal (text in Spanish) for an executive decree to create the new institution, but it ran into opposition internally from an office in the Prime Minister’s office, the […]

  • 22 December 2016

    FOI Notes: Poland, EU, Mexico, Indonesia, UK, Nigeria, Bahamas, Spain, US, Scotland, UK, Open Budgets, Commentary

    Poland: The Chairman of the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament (Sejm) proposed to repeal provisions of the Polish Constitution that guarantee the Right to Information, writes Krzysztof Izdebski, Policy Director of ePaństwo Foundation. EU: European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly recommends that the European Commission systematically obtain consent to publish the names of public officials charged […]

  • 19 December 2016

    Malawi Parliament Passes Access to Information Bill

    Opposition members of the Malawi Parliament prevailed in a contentious session to pass an access to information bill on Dec. 16. Despite the controversy, President Peter Mutharika is expected to sign the bill. “I don’t see any problem for him to assent to him,” Minister of Information and Communication Malison Ndau was quoted as saying […]

  • 15 December 2016

    FOI Notes: US, Climate Change, India, Malawi, Open Data, UK, Bahamas, France, Success Story, Fun Quote

    United States: The Department of Justice is requesting public comment on the draft ‘‘Release to One, Release to All’’ policy, which was prepared by the Office of Information Policy. The draft policy contains exceptions to accommodate agency difficulties implement  release and offers two different options for the timing of when documents should be posted online, […]

  • 8 December 2016

    OECD Issues Report About Open Government Efforts

    The OECD has released a report about what it calls “an implementation gap” in national open government efforts, including the right to information, with findings based in part on a 2015 survey of the 35 member governments and an additional 19 countries. “This report provides a holistic, data-driven analysis of how countries are currently implementing […]

  • 8 December 2016

    FOI Notes: Research, Germany, France, India, Open Contracting, Algorithms, Cayman Islands, EU, Malawi, G20, US

    Transparency Research: A Brookings report from Vanessa Williamson and Norm Eisen, “The Impact of Open Government: Assessing the Evidence,” reviews the empirical and theoretical literature on the international impact of open government and offers recommendations for policymakers considering open government initiatives. Conclusion:  In this report, we address the question, “does open government work?” We develop a […]