• 31 July 2014

    Indian State Commissioner Imposes Fines on 4 Officials

    A state information commissioner in Andhra Pradesh is pushing for officials to comply with the Right to Information Act and imposing fines. Commissioner P Vijaya Babu at a press conference July 28 said he has asked the chief secretary of Andhra Pradesh to require that officials respond to the applications, according to a report in […]

  • 31 July 2014

    FOI Notes: Africa, India, Open Data, RTBF, More

    FOI in Africa: An overview on Africa Check by Karen Mohan, a specialist in media law policy and advocacy at the Media Institute of Southern Africa. India: A long Reuters overview of RTI in India. Open Data: A lengthy article in TechPresident by Miranda Neubauer on the publication of more datasets in New York city. “But what […]

  • 31 July 2014

    El Salvadoran Court Tells Assembly to Reveal Spending

    The Constitutional Court of the Supreme Court of Justice in El Salvador has ordered the release of information about spending by legislators. The court unanimously instructed the Board of Directors from the National Assembly to release information about gifts, alcoholic beverages and works of art purchased in 2012 and the source of funds for the […]

  • 29 July 2014

    President Aquino Again Makes No Mention of FOI Bill

    Philippines President Benigno Aquino did not mention the freedom of information bill in his annual State of the National address July 28, but the House Speaker affirmed his desire to pass a bill. The Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition had tried to raise the bill’s profile in advance of the speech, gathering 38,000 signatures […]

  • 29 July 2014

    UN Committee Urges Malawi to Pass Information Access Bill

    The United Nations Human Rights Committee has recommended that Malawi adopt an access to information bill. It is one of many observations made in a document adopted at a meeting held July 22-23. The committee report says: The State should expedite the adoption of the Access to Information Bill and to ensure that its provisions […]

  • 24 July 2014

    Efforts to Amend US FOIA Law Moving Steadily Along

    Legislation to solve what many openness advocates say is a major problem with the way government officials interpret the US Freedom of Information Act seems to be progressing well, with three recent positive bits of information emerging. First, the Senate Judiciary Committee is likely to vote on proposed FOIA amendments in September, has learned. […]

  • 24 July 2014

    FOI Notes: Arabic ATI Guide, OGP in LA, OKFest, Contest, Open Data, Job Posting

    ATI Guide in Arabic: An Arabic version of the Guide on ATI, published by UNESCO in April, is available. Latin America: Winds of Change: The Progress of Open Government Policymaking in Latin America and the Caribbean, a book in English and Spanish, reviews activities in 15 countries under theOpen Government Partnership. 2014 OK Festival: A […]

  • 24 July 2014

    Ideas in Liberia Aim to Help Women Access Information

    Recommendations for addressing inequities that Liberian women face in the exercise of the right of information were developed at a July 10, 2014, meeting of 47 government representatives, traditional community leaders, and civil society representatives. A meeting was an extension of a Carter Center project that resulted in a study “Women and the Right of […]

  • 22 July 2014

    14 CSO Candidates Selected As Finalists to Join OGP SC

    Fourteen persons have been selected for the short list of candidates from civil society who still are running to become members of the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee. The OGP is keeping the list a secret, but obtained a confirmed list of the 14 finalists for the five open seats The 14 are: – […]

  • 21 July 2014

    Altered Access Language Survives in UN Goals

    Access to information language, modified on the last day of negotiations and almost deleted, was included in the long list of goals for sustainable development drafted by a United Nations Open Working Group (OWG). The final language on access is:  16.10 ensure public access to information and protect freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and […]

  • 19 July 2014

    Indian CIC Decides to Give Priority to Senior Citizens

    The Indian Central Information Commission has decided to give priority to senior citizens for the resolution of pending right to information cases. The decision made in June was recently reported by Economic Times, without many details. The CIC website does not elaborate. Cases of senior citizens — defined as those being 65 on the date […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Access to Information Line Included in UN Document

    A line on access to information so far has survived international negotiations in the United Nations Open Working Group (OWG) drafting a new set of development goals. Talks were continuing July 18, the fourth day of meetings, and were expected to continue into the night, with a possibility that the language could change, according to […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Canada Pulls Out of Election for OGP Steering Committee

    The Canadian government has withdrawn its candidacy to join the Steering Committee that runs the Open Government Partnership. The unannounced withdrawal is noted without explanation in the OGP website page about the upcoming election.  * = Canada withdrew their application for the OGP Steering Committee on July 10. A statement provided by the Treasury Board Secretariat […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Brazilian CSOs Complain to OGP Steering Committee

    Thirty-three Brazilian civil society groups have asked the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee to look into “difficulties with the Brazilian government.” A secret government committee consistently has rejected civil society proposals according to a July 10 letter. The recently issued second Brazilian national action plan does not include suggestions developed by civil society through a […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Women Seeking Information in Liberia Face Barriers

    Barriers exist that limit women’s access to information they want, according to a study done in Liberia by the Carter Center. “Structural and cultural barriers exist that impede women’s facility to exercise the fundamental right to information,” the report concludes. It states that women “want information about education, land/property ownership, and how to start and maintain […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Pakistan Committee Makes Changes in Draft RTI Bill 

    A committee of the Pakistan Senate on July 15 approved amendments to a right to information bill, according to an article in The Daily Times and one by the Pakistan Press Foundation.  The Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, chaired by Senator Kamil Ali Agha, dropped a provision that would have left authority […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Bermuda Takes Steps to Implement 2010 Law

    Bermuda’s Premier Michael Dunkley on July 4 tabled the Public Access to Information Regulations 2014 and the Public Access to Information Amendment Bill 2014, according to an article in The Royal Gazette. The implementation regulations and the proposed amendments comes four years since the July 2010 passage of the law. He said the Act will come […]

  • 18 July 2014

    New RTI Law in Maldives Goes Into Effect

    The Maldives government is taking steps to implement the new right to information law that went into effect July 12, according to an article in The Sun. The president’s spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz said information officers have been appointed at all government officers and that the president has nominated an Information Commissioner for parliament’s approval.
 President […]

  • 18 July 2014

    FOI Notes: FOI Posters, Arabic Website, Development, US, Canada, More

    FOI Posters: “Veteran and award-winning photojournalists who have taken up the challenge of grounding the FOI issue on something more basic – corruption, poverty, and the lack of basic services,” according to a blog post at the Philippines Center for Investigative Journalism.FOI advocates created a special Facebook album where any photographer, amateur or professional, can […]

  • 8 July 2014

    UK ICO Backs Privacy for Most Requester Names

    The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office recently said the names of FOI requesters should be kept private, but not always. The comment concerned the three-year practice of the Staffordshire County Council to publish requesters’ letters unredacted. For more read a blog post by Mathew Burgess and another by Jon Baines. The ICO is quoted as […]