• 26 September 2016

    Pakistani Minister Pledges to Bring ATI Bill to Cabinet

    Pakistan’s Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid has promised that an access to Information bill will be presented to cabinet for approval very soon. His pledge came to reporters after a ceremony in Islamabad on Sept. 26, as reported by APP. Similar pledges of Cabinet consideration were made in July and August. He said the law ministry […]

  • 26 September 2016

    Ghana’s President Backs Passage of RTI Legislation

    Ghana’s president John Dramani Mahama Sept. 26 endorsed passage of a right to information bill in Ghana. “I believe it is something we should complete and make available…, the president said, winning applause from about 100 persons who attended a Paris conference to celebrate the first International Day for Universal Access to Information sponsored by […]

  • 22 September 2016

    OGP Celebrates Anniversary; Turkey Declared Inactive

    The Open Government Partnership celebrated its fifth anniversary in New York City Sept. 20 with messages about past accomplishments and future challenges, including a tilt toward addressing climate change. Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Pradhan listed three main points: – First, we need deeper co-creation and civic participation. – Second, we need OGP governments and CSOs […]

  • 22 September 2016

    FOI Notes: EU, Holland, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, India, US, Tanzania, Aid Transparency, Budget Transparency, Open Data, Namibia, Ghana, Ireland, Jamaica, Gambia, Transparency Research

    EU: Moldova has ratified the 2009 Convention on Access to Official Documents, brining to nine the number of other ratifications to bring it into force. Armenia is expected to ratify it soon. Holland: Open State Foundation sends an open letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and party leaders in the Dutch parliament urging creation […]

  • 15 September 2016

    FOI Notes: India, FOI Comics, Open Data/Africa, Nigeria, Australia, US

    India: The Central Information Commission compiles a “frequently asked questions” list for 70 central ministries. “The Commission is now sitting down with each ministry to brief them on how to proactively disclose information on their websites on these subjects so that fewer applicants file requests under Right to Information (RTI) Act,” reports The Economic Times. […]

  • 15 September 2016

    Argentina Approves FOI Bill; Senate Changes Rejected

    Argentina will have a freedom of information law (text) as the result of a 182-16 vote Sept. 14 in the Chamber of Deputies. The House passed its originally version, using a two-thirds majority to discard the Senate version, according to reports (in Spanish) in La Nation, Chequeado, Parliamentario, Urgente24, Clarinx, The chairman of the Committee on Constitutional […]

  • 14 September 2016

    OGP to Celebrate Fifth, Discuss Strategic Goals

    The Open Government Partnership Steering Committee faces a large agenda for its upcoming meeting in New York City on the occasion of the OGP’s fifth anniversary. The Steering Committee is slated to continue its “strategic refresh” discussions, discuss a new trust fund and review “co-creation” guidance, among other things, according to a pre-meeting packet of […]

  • 9 September 2016

    Argentina’s Senate Removes State Firms From FOI Bill

    The Argentinian Senate on Sept. 7 approved an access to information law, 44-15, but only after deleting a provision applying it to state-majority-owned companies (YPF). The change forced by a coalition of opposition parties means that the bill will be returned for reconsideration to the Chamber of Deputies, where it was approved almost unanimously. (See […]

  • 8 September 2016

    Tanzanian Assembly Backs Information Access Bill

    Tanzania’s National Assembly Sept. 8 approved an access to information bill. The Assembly on Sept. 6 opened debate on the bill, with some members calling the bill too weak and urging amendments, according to media reports. Constitution and Legal Affairs Minister Harrison Mwakyembe said he was  “surprised” at the criticisms. The bill that passed had some minor changes, […]

  • 8 September 2016

    FOI Notes: South Africa, India, Australia, Research, US, Much More

    South Africa: The National Assembly elects Pansy Tlakula as chair of the newly-formed information regulator, despite fierce objection from opposition parties, reports News24 and others. The African National Congress and the United Democratic Movement were the only parties in favor of her appointment, while the Democratic Alliance, the Economic Freedom Fighters and Inkatha Freedom Party […]

  • 7 September 2016

    UNESCO Picks Ghana Leader To Speak at ATI Day Event

    By Toby McIntosh UNESCO has picked the president of Ghana, whose nominal support for an access to information law in Ghana has yet to produce results, to give the keynote speech at the first International Day for Universal Access to Information. President John Dramani Mahama will speak on Goal 16 of the UN Sustainable Development […]

  • 2 September 2016

    NGO Complains to OGP About Israel’s Behavior

    Israel is acting in ways contrary to the principles it endorsed when becoming a member of the Open Government Partnership, according to a nongovernmental organization, the Alternative Information Center (AIC). After a month’s delay, the Open Government Partnership on Sept. 2 posted the four-page letter dated July 25. The OGP Criteria and Standards Subcommittee met […]

  • 1 September 2016

    FOI Notes: US, Argentina, Nepal, UK, Malta, Much More

    United States: Most U.S. journalists want the government to delay the public release of documents they request. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has published the results of its survey of journalists on the “release to one, release to all” policy being considered by the Obama administration. (See previous report.) More than […]

  • 1 September 2016

    Kenyan President Signs Bill Creating Access Law

    Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Aug. 31 signed an Access to Information bill into law. The final text of the bill is not yet available. The Kenyan National Assembly recently approved the Senate’s changes to the ATI bill. (See previous report.) “The new law allows the public to seek information from government, and obliges […]

  • 29 August 2016

    166 Exemptions Suggested For Philippines FOI EO

    The Philippines government has proposed 166 exemptions to its new freedom of information executive order. The 11 pages of exemptions are contained in an Aug. 22 draft of the FOI People’s Manual. (See text as pdf in Rappler article.) Separately, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Congress may not be able to pass the long-delayed FOI […]

  • 25 August 2016

    Kenyan Assembly Endorses Senate Changes to ATI Bill

    The Kenyan National Assembly has approved the Senate’s changes to an Access to Information bill, according to an article in The Nation by John Ngiruchu and an article in The Standard by Alphonce Shiundu. The bill will now be presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta for his signature. “Most of what the Senate introduced were clarifications on […]

  • 25 August 2016

    FOI Notes: National News Briefs, Transparency Research, More

    Malaysia: The response from citizens to the 2010 Penang Freedom of Information Enactment “has been positively lukewarm,” according to a top official and statistics quoted in an article by Boo Su-Lyn in the Malay Mail. Civil servants are afraid to release information, the article says. Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Prof. P. Ramasamy said there […]

  • 25 August 2016

    Fiji FOI Legislation Faulted For Being Too Restrictive

    Draft freedom of information legislation for Fiji is too restrictive, a witness recently told a parliamentary committee, the Fiji Times’ Aqela Susu reports. Bill No. 34 (text) being considered by the Parliamentary Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights “is based on the notion that the citizen is an alien who is not to be […]

  • 11 August 2016

    FOI Notes: Sierra Leone, Commentary, Olympics, Philippines, Canada, US, Cayman Islands, Japan, Panama, Research, India, Australia

    Sierra Leone: The Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) called on parliamentarians to account for the millions of dollars they are receiving annually for the development of their respective constituencies. The Sierra Leone Telegraph reports that many of the parliamentarians are not taking too kindly to being called to account. Commentary: Nathaniel Heller of […]

  • 4 August 2016

    Australia Refuses to Release Emails With UNESCO

    The government of Australia has declined to release documents concerning the removal of all references in a UN report to damage from climate change to the Great Barrier Reef and other Australian World Heritage sites. UNESCO subsequently dropped the references after Australian officials argued that mentioning the damage would harm tourism, a development disclosed in […]