• 18 August 2014

    OGP Releases 11 Letters of Caution to Members

    The Open Government Partnership has made public 11 letters informing member governments they were not in compliance with their OGP commitments. The letters, sent in April but only now released, point out a variety of issues No National Action Plan published within 4 months of due date: Mongolia, Trinidad and Tobago No self-assessment report published […]

  • 15 August 2014

    IFAI Creates Committees on Six Different Topics

    Mexico’s Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI) has established six working committees, each headed by a commissioner. In a meeting with the heads of the Liaison Units from the agencies and entities from the Public Federal Administration, the commissioners of IFAI presented the Working Committees created to address the new responsibilities and powers […]

  • 14 August 2014

    Two FOI Bills Emerge in Kenya, One from AG

    Several right to information bills are being worked on in Kenya, including one recently announced by Attorney General Githu Muigai. Muigai now has cleared the publication of that bill, according to an article in The Star. “If enacted by the National Assembly and the Senate, it will bestow the Commission on Administrative Justice its oversight […]

  • 14 August 2014

    Compromise Bill Developed in Pakistan, Wins Praise

    A compromise right to information bill for Pakistan has emerged from discussions among the political parties and is being praised by RTI campaigners. The draft “Right to Information Act, 2014,” was described Aug. 8 by Waseem Abbasi in an article in The News. Abbasi quoted sources as saying the bill has the support of the […]

  • 14 August 2014

    Scottish Commissioner Draws Attention to Tardy Responses

    Almost a quarter of all the valid appeals sent to the Scottish Information Commissioner concern untimely responses. Rosemary Agnew, Scottish Information Commissioner, included this information in an Aug. 7 report to the Scottish Parliament. “When authorities don’t respond to requests they are effectively denying an individual’s rights, she said. “This is not only stressful and […]

  • 14 August 2014

    Indian CIC Backs Disclosure of Whistleblower Complaints

    India’s Central Information Commission (CIC) has supported the release of information about whistleblowers’ allegations, The decision came in a case in which Venkatesh Nayak of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative asked the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for details of complaints against government servants received under the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers (PIDPI) Resolution, also […]

  • 14 August 2014

    FOI Notes: Research, Facebook, Environmental Transparency, More

    Environmental Transparency: The July issue of the European Environmental Law Observatory covers information about the application of the Aarhus Convention on access to information, participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters; provides updates on judgments of the Court of Justice and the General Court; and highlights questions raised in recent doctrinal contributions, […]

  • 7 August 2014

    Moroccan Cabinet Adopts Substandard ATI Bill

    By Saad Filali Meknassi The author is an ATI advocate from Morocco. In Morocco, the Cabinet approved on July 31, 2014, the bill 31-13 on the right of access to information. This quick move has surprised observers and civil society organizations advocating and monitoring ATI implementation. The Moroccan network for ATI – REMDI – and two […]

  • 7 August 2014

    IFAI Orders Disclosures by Mexican Oil Company

    Mexico’s Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI) has ordered Pemex Exploration and Production to disclose information on major contracts. PEP should provide information on four large contracts with the company Seadrill for exploratory oil drilling, IFAI determined. Commissioner Joel Salas Suarez said the oil company gave incomplete and contradictory answers, denying […]

  • 7 August 2014

    Indian Water Resources Body Denies Access to Material

    The Water Resources Department in the Indian state of Kerala has ordered that documents and information related to inter-state water issues not be disclosed under the Right to Information Act, according to an article in the Deccan Chronicle and another in the Hindu. A July 22 departmental order cites Section 8 of the RTI Act. […]

  • 7 August 2014

    FOI Notes: Russia, Africa, Open Data, OGP, US, Germany, India, More

    Russia: Russia’s Federal Migration Service is seeking to deport the American wife of Ivan Y. Pavlov, the founder of the Institute for Freedom of Information Development, the New York Times reported. His wife, Jennifer Gaspar, has lived in Russia for a decade, working for a variety of nongovernmental organizations, including groups focused on human rights […]

  • 6 August 2014

    OGP Announces New Steering Committee Members

    Five new civil society organization representatives and three new governments have been selected to serve on the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee. A selection process determined the new CSO members to the 22 member Steering Committee. The committee, slightly enlarged now, is evenly divided between CSO and government members. The chosen CSO representatives are: – […]

  • 6 August 2014

    Bhutan Refuses to Disclose Official Travel Expenses

    In Bhutan, where a right to information bill stalled earlier this year, the government is refusing to provide information about official travel expenses, writes a member of parliament, Sangay Khandu. Khandu chronicles his efforts to obtain the information beginning in January. He reports on the many excuses used: The Government refused to share any information by […]

  • 6 August 2014

    UN Committee Criticizes Japanese Secrecy Law

    As the Japanese government takes steps to implement its Secrecy Law, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has voiced its reservations about the controversial law. The committee said in a July 23 report covering many topics that it “is concerned that the recently adopted Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets contains a vague […]

  • 5 August 2014

    Icelandic Group Proposes Drone-Free Country

    A nongovernmental organization in Iceland has proposed that the country be a drone-free zone. The International Modern Media Institute said Aug. 2 that plans by the policy to use drones by the police would lead to violations of personal privacy. The plans for police use of drones were reported by the financial newspaper Viðskiptablaðið. The […]

  • 5 August 2014

    New System Evaluates Four Countries’ Online Disclosures

    The adequacy of online information disclosure in four countries has been tested with a new methodology that the researchers hope can be refined for wider use. The study covers four countries – Russia, the United States, Georgia and Belarus. It examines whether their official websites provide information in 47 specific categories and rates the adequacy […]

  • 5 August 2014

    Philippines Panel Resumes Writing House FOI Legislation

    A Technical Working Group of the Philippines House has resumed working on freedom of information legislation with its chairman providing an upbeat assessment. Rep. Jorge Almonte, who chairs the Public Information Committee, said the “future of the FOI is not bleak.” “The passage of the monumental legislation is just around the corner,” Almonte said as […]

  • 4 August 2014

    UK Ruling Supports Choice Regarding Form of Disclosure

    A British Court of Appeal has ruled that a requester should be given a reply in a requested, useable Excel software and not in a pdf format, that can’t be manipulated. The Buckinghamshire County Council had resisted giving information about the 11+ school entry “in Excel format” to requester Nick Innes. It provided 184 pages […]

  • 4 August 2014

    OGIS Begins Posting its Final Response Letters

    By Nate Jones   This article is reprinted from the blog Unredacted, edited by Jones. Unredacted, like, is published by the National Security Archive. The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), the federal FOIA ombuds office that provides assistance in FOIA disputes, has begun posting its final response letters to FOIA problems it has mediated.  To date, OGIS has […]

  • 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 […]