News

  • 29 June 2017

    FOI Notes: Chile, Philippines, Japan, Canada, Zimbabwe, Resource Transparency, UK, US

    Chile: A survey by the Council for Transparency finds that 73% of the citizens of the Araucanía region say the most important attribute that a public institution must have is transparency. The study also reveals that while 87% of Chileans believe that state agencies are obliged to respond to citizen requests for information, up by 7 […]

  • 21 June 2017

    FOI Notes: UK, Canada, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, US, Open Data, MENA, Switzerland, and More

    United Kingdom: “Some major government departments have a record of frequent and persistent delays and unhelpfulness in their handling of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests,” according to a BBC article by Martin Rosenbaum. The Cabinet Office and the Home Office have the worst records. Canada: Proposed FOI amendments meet a rocky reception. The Star reports […]

  • 14 June 2017

    FOI Notes: India, Latin America, Scotland, US, Gambia, OGP, Video, Tunisia

    India: A court sentences RTI activist Nikhil Dey and four others to four months in jail in a 19-year-old case related to their effort to obtain information about local corruption, according to an article in The Citizen. The activists were assaulted by a village official, who then charged them with assault. The sentence has been […]

  • 7 June 2017

    FOI Notes: Kenya, Norway, Scotland, India, Australia, EU, Samoa, Germany, Ireland, UN, OGP, US, Open Data, Algorithms, South Africa, Open Parliaments

    Kenya: Business Daily reports, “Companies in Kenya have been caught flat footed in implementing new anti-secrecy laws and are now scrambling to comply.” Norway: A report (in Norwegian and English) by the Auditor General says the country is not living up to its reputation for transparency, according to a press release (in English). “Few other […]

  • 1 June 2017

    FOI Notes: Metrics/Australia, Malaysia, Algorithms, Iran, US, Armenia, India, Latin America, Open Data, Tunisia, Taiwan

    Australia: Australian information commissioners and ombudsmen agree on six proposed “Metrics on Public Use of Freedom of Information Access Rights,” available for comment at http://ipc.nsw.gov.au/open-government. The dataset for the 2015/16 metrics is scheduled to be released in December 2017. The scope of the metrics cover: Type of applicant Application rates per capita Release rates Refusal rates Timeliness Review […]

  • 24 May 2017

    FOIAnet Offers Methodology to Rate RTI Implementation

    A subcommittee of the FOI Advocates Network (FOIAnet) Steering Committee on May 24 recommended a methodology to measure the implementation of right to information laws. The three-part system is designed to provide civil society groups with a tool for evaluating governments’ progress toward implementing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 16.10.2. That target calls on all UN member governments […]

  • 24 May 2017

    FOI Notes: Afghanistan, Mexico, OGP, India, Brazil, Zambia, Pakistan, Malaysia, US, EU, More

    Afghanistan: The Oversight Commission on Access to Information says a number of government institutions are not implementing the Access to Information Act, including the administrative office of the president, the Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC), Lower House of Parliament and the Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Service Commission. “If government creates the commission only […]

  • 24 May 2017

    Open Data Expansion Stalls, According to WWF Barometer

    “The number of global truly open datasets remains at a standstill,” according to World Wide Web Foundation researchers, who report that only seven percent of government data is fully open. The findings come in the fourth edition of the Open Data Barometer, an annual assessment which this year was enlarged to include 1,725 datasets from […]

  • 18 May 2017

    FOI Notes: Information Commissioners, India, Pakistan, Israel, US

    Commissioners Meeting: International information commissioners will be holding a one-day conference on Sept. 20 at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester, England. The program has not been announced. Limited space for public attendance is available. The registration form is here. The commissioners will have a closed meeting on Sept. 21. The conference email contact is icicmanchester2017@ico.ico.org.uk. The […]

  • 17 May 2017

    Two Reports Issued as Brazil FOI Turns Five Years Old

    Two reports released as the Brazilian access law turns five year old reveal both progress and challenges, particularly in states and municipalities. “Evidence shows that the glass is barely half full, if that,” concludes a working paper: “Opacity to Transparency? Evaluating Brazil’s Access to Information Law at 5 Years,” written by Gregory Michener, Evelyn Contreras and […]

  • 11 May 2017

    Togo Ministers Move To Implement ATI law

    The Togolese Council of Ministers has adopted on first reading a decree on the implementation of March 30, 2016, law on freedom of access to information and public documentation. “This Decree establishes and specifies the provisions to be adopted by anyone wishing to access information and public documentation, thus making it possible to overcome the […]

  • 11 May 2017

    FOI Notes: Malaysia, UK, Nigeria, Zambia, Georgia, Canada, US, Mexico, Open Data

    Malaysia: A three-judge panel rejects a parliamentarian’s request for information based on the Constitution, according to an article in Free Malaysia Today. The court in its decision notes the lack of a national FOI law. United Kingdom: The Campaign for Freedom of Information warns that proposed reforms to the Official Secrets Act would put it […]

  • 4 May 2017

    FOI Notes: India, Central America, Spain, Zambia, Algeria, Ghana, US, Open Data

    India: A petition is being circulated to oppose “regressive changes” proposed RTI rules that “allow for withdrawal of appeals based on a written communication by the appellant  and closure of proceedings upon death of the appellant.” Separately, statistics indicate that the Central Information Commission has returned nearly half the applications it has received this year for […]

  • 27 April 2017

    FOI Notes: UK, Cambodia, Ukraine, Lebanon, India, US, Budget Transparency

    United Kingdom: “Government has become more secretive, campaigners have warned, as figures show a surge in the number of freedom of information requests being refused by Whitehall departments,” reports The Times of London. “In the last quarter of 2016, 41 per cent of responses to freedom of information requests involved information being “fully withheld”, an […]

  • 20 April 2017

    Major Donors Outline Strategy on Transparency

    The Transparency & Accountability Initiative has unveiled a new strategy emphasizing the use of data for accountability, tax governance and civic space. As a “donor collaborative” formed in 2010, TAI brings together major donors working in the transparency, accountability and participation area. TAI members were major backers of the Open Government Partnership. The new strategy is […]

  • 20 April 2017

    FOI Notes: Africa, India, US, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Scotland, Bahamas, Nepal

    Africa: A map of “access to information and openness” in Africa, done by Global Integrity. Also a related map, on “transparency and accountability,” a wider measure. Links to scores included. India: Anjali Bhardwaj and Amrita Johri write that the proposed amendments to the RTI rules “not only make approaching the information commission more cumbersome and legalistic but […]

  • 13 April 2017

    FOI Notes: Italy, India, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Philippines, OGP, Nigeria, Pakistan, US

    Italy: The new law on administrative transparency has not generated the expected results, according to report described in R.it (in Italian). Of 800 applications sent by 56 volunteers, seven out of ten received no reply within the 30 days provided for by law, according to study by Diritto di Sapere (Right to Know). See official data on the […]

  • 6 April 2017

    FOI Notes: Mexico, Armenia, Bulgaria, Canada, Ghana, OGP, Bahamas, US, Mauritania, India, The Cayman Islands, The Philippines

    Mexico: Public awareness about access to government information is falling, writes (in Spanish) Francisco Abundis, founder and director of Parametry. Only one in 10 people believes that information from the federal government is transparent and easily accessible. Armenia: Some state bodies are failing to implement the FOI law, according to a report by the Freedom […]

  • 6 April 2017

    India Offers New RTI Rules; Critics Oppose Death Clause

    Proposed revisions to the 2012 rules governing India’s Right to Information Act are drawing criticisms mixed with some praise. One provision under attack would mandate terminate requests in case of death of an applicant. Also raising eyebrows are provisions that would increase procedural hurdles for appeals and a clause that would prescribe fees for providing […]

  • 30 March 2017

    FOI Notes: Tunisia, US, Philippines, Research, Pakistan, Canada, Australia

    Tunisia: The organization “Al-Bawsala” criticizes the lack of preparations for the new RTI law as it officially goes into effect. United States: FOIA Exemption 5 does not shield communications between U.S. agencies and foreign government agencies, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rules in Lucaj v. FBI. Philippines: Government agencies are told to post online their FOI manuals […]