News

  • 28 August 2014

    Mozambique Close to Passing Access to Information Law

    Mozambique’s parliament on Aug. 21 gave unanimous approval on first reading to an access to information law, but the action may have come too late in this session to become law. The bill could come up in an “extraordinary sitting” of the Assembly to be held before the general elections scheduled for Oct. 15, with […]

  • 28 August 2014

    FOI Notes: Commentary, Reports, Media Use of FOI, OGP, China, US, Satire

    Making All Voices Count: A description of future plans by Making All Voices Count includes, “We will not run another global open call for proposals, but we will retain the Global Innovation Competition. In place of the open call we will be adopting a locally led, bottom up approach, led by a Country Programmes unit.” […]

  • 24 August 2014

    Paraguayan Senate Passes House-Amended ATI Bill

    The Paraguayan Senate Aug. 21 approved the Access to Information Act, accepting amendments proposed by the House. A presidential signature is expected in the coming days, at which point Paraguay will be the 100th nation with a freedom of information law. The House passed a bill May 28, amending a Senate-passed bill. The House altered […]

  • 21 August 2014

    Wacky FOI Requests? Really? Sinister Motive? Possibly

    Media outlets worldwide recently ran a story about the “top 10” wacky FOI requests in the United Kingdom – including requests about dragon attacks and preparations for astroid attacks. Subsequently, however, the motives of the list-maker have been critically examined and the seeming oddness of the requests has been called into question. The motive? The […]

  • 21 August 2014

    Article 19 Criticizes Draft Mozambique Legislation

    A draft right to information bill in Mozambique is disappointingly weak, according to a critique by Article 19 issued Aug. 15. The London-based free expression group said: Despite some positive provisions towards securing the right to information, the draft law in its current form largely fails to adequately enforce the constitutionally enshrined right to information. […]

  • 21 August 2014

    FOI Notes: Reports, Commentary, Employment, UN, Mexico, More

    OGP: Alberto Abella creates a countries’ ranking based on their ambition in their OGP plans and their accomplishments. Latin America: As part of its series of occasional e-books, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas just launched “Transparency and Accountability: Journalism and access to public information in Latin America and the Caribbean.” This e-book […]

  • 21 August 2014

    Several Proposals in UK Would Change Procedures

    The senior president of tribunals in the United Kingdom, Sir Jeremy Sullivan, has proposed that in some situations a judge alone could handle information rights cases. Now, two lay people experienced in information law generally sit alongside a judge, according to a summary on a website run by a law firm, Pinset Mason. “It does […]

  • 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 […]