• 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 […]

  • 4 August 2016

    FOI Notes: Pakistan, Honduras, Open Data, Budget Transparency, EU, US, Philippines

    Pakistan: The federal ombudsman directs the Pakistan Cricket Board to share details of inquiries conducted against the players involved in match-fixing and betting since 1996. Civil society activist Zahid Abdullah requested the information under the Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002, according to an article in The News. Honduras: The Regional Alliance for Free Expression and Information […]

  • 3 August 2016

    OGP Begins Refresh Exercise; Revision of Co-creation Guide

    The Open Government Partnership is beginning a “refresh” exercise that includes a reexamination of its guidelines for “co-creation” of national action plans. The refresh initiative was described in a letter to civil society leader by Alejandro González Arreola, Executive Director of GESOC and the Civil Society Lead Chair of the OGP Steering Committee. “As we approach […]

  • 28 July 2016

    Ghana RTI Coalition Asks President to Push Bill

    The Right to Information Coalition issued a statement July 27 challenging President John Dramani Mahama to fulfill his campaign promise to pass the Right to Information Bill this year. The RTI bill is languishing in Parliament without presidential encouragement, the Coalition said, elaborating: The Coalition would like to draw the attention of the public to the […]

  • 28 July 2016

    FOI Notes: OGP, US, Bulgaria, India, Spain, Open Data, Slovakia, Open Budgets, Board Game

    OGP: See proposals for sessions at the OGP December summit in Paris, including many on access to information. OGP: “The inconvenient truth about the Open Government Partnership,” by Mukelani Dimba, Executive Director of the Open Democracy Advice Centre and incoming civil society chairperson of the Open Government Partnership, describes how OGP member states Kenya, Nigeria and South […]

  • 25 July 2016

    President of the Philippines Issues FOIA Executive Order

    The new president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has signed a freedom of information executive order. The six-page order signed July 23 outlines policies and procedures for accessing public information, accomplishing much of what the Congress has been unable to do by legislation. (See image of text here.) Read articles in The Rappler and The […]

  • 21 July 2016

    Moroccan Lower House OKs Access to Information Bill

    The lower house in Morocco has approved an access to information bill. The July 20 action is revealed on the website and Facebook page of the Cente Marocain Pour le Droit d’access a l’information (CEMDI). The legislative process now requires that the bill be submitted to the upper house, but under the Constitution, in case […]

  • 21 July 2016

    Kenyan Senate Approves Access to Information Bill

    The Senate has passed an access to information bill. The bill now goes back to the National Assembly for consideration of changes made and expected approval, according to an article in The Nation by John Ngirachu. “Among the amendments by the Senate is a provision to have information held by a public entity or private […]

  • 21 July 2016

    FOI Notes: Liberia, SDGs, India, US, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Open Data, More

    Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has created an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Women’s Access to Information, led by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Ministry of Information, “to develop appropriate policy framework and reforms that address any constraints and guarantees women’s access to information,” according to her statement. SDGs: A letter from […]

  • 20 July 2016

    Doubt Raised on Prospects for Ghanian RTI Legislation 

    Ghana’s parliament “does not appear eager to pass” a right to information bill, according to reporting by Nana Poku in News Ghana. The article quotes George Loh, a member of Parliament for North Dayi and ranking member of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee: Let me say it here and now, that some members of […]

  • 14 July 2016

    SDG16 Coalition Announces Database on Measurement

    A coalition of international nongovernmental organizations has recommended that the Sustainable Development Goal on access to information be measured initially based on one component – whether a country has an access to information (ATI) law. Comprehensive international data isn’t available on the other key component of the SDG ATI target –“implementation” of ATI laws, according to […]

  • 14 July 2016

    Albanian Institutions Fail NGO’s Transparency Test

    Albania’s public institutions met their obligations to give public information on request in only 42 per cent of the cases, according to a study by the nongovernmental organization Mjaft, as described in a Balkan Insight article. “We sent out 230 requests for information, 80 for central institutions, 137 for local ones and 13 for justice […]

  • 14 July 2016

    Malaysian NGO Objects to Penang FOI Restrictions

    The Sinar Project has written about its campaign to show that FOI implementation in Penang does not comply with international guidelines. The nongovernmental organization describes “arbitrary provisions” that restrict sharing of public documents. The article says: Penang FOI Enactment doesn’t comply to international definitions due to multiple exceptions that restrict access to information such as minutes […]

  • 14 July 2016

    FOI Notes: India, Corporate Transparency, Turkey, EU, US, Open Data, Open Science, More

    India: “A new movement demanding an Accountability Bill has emerged from Rajasthan, where activist Nikhil Dey of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, along with Suchna Evam Rozgar Abhiyan, is on a ‘Jawab Do’ campaign,” according to an article in The Times of India. Corporate Transparency: India has the most transparent companies while Chinese firms are the most opaque, according […]

  • 13 July 2016

    Study Says Bangladeshi Women Inhibited From Accessing Information

    Women in Bangladesh do not seek government information as often as men, according to community leaders and experts interviewed for a study conducted by Manusher Jonno Foundation and the Carter Center’s Global Access to Information Program. The report, “Women and the Right of Access to Information in Bangladesh,” is based primarily on interviews 128 community […]

  • 7 July 2016

    Ghana RTI Coalition Warns Parliament About Slow Pace

    The Coalition on the Right To Information in Ghana has voiced strong concern that Parliament is not prioritizing passage of a right to information bill despite assurances by the Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho. The Coalition in a statement said “with the current pace at which the consideration process is going, the Bill may […]

  • 7 July 2016

    Indian Government Orders More Proactive Disclosure

    Frequently requested information must be disclosed to the public and “transparency audits” should be conducted by advisory committees, according to a new order from India’s Department of Personnel and Training. The order does not dictate the mode of disclosure, by another section of the order says departments may set up “Information and Facilitation Centres” (IFCs) […]

  • 7 July 2016

    FOI Notes: Morocco, Iraq, United States, India, Canada, Scotland, Mexico, More

    Morocco: The Morrocan Center for the RTI (Cemdi) (Facebook) holds a July 4 a press conference about the draft FOI bill (in French). Abderrahim​ Foukahi, president of the CEMDI addresses wavering on the issue (three drafts since 2013) and delays (for example, six months between the receipt of the bill in Parliament and the beginning […]

  • 1 July 2016

    Obama Signs FOIA Bill; Defends Transparency Record

    President Barrack Obama on June 30 signed into law a package of Freedom of Information Act reforms, using the occasion to release a detailed defense of his FOI record. The amendments (S. 337, committee report) write into law a specific presumption of openness, strengthen the FOIA ombudsman, put a time limit on the use of the deliberative process exemption and […]