• 29 June 2016

    World Bank Forgoes Transparency, Hides Behind Policy Loophole

    By Nezir Sinani The author is Europe and Central Asia Manager at the Bank Information Center, a Washington-based nongovernmental organization. Co-authored by Margaret Federici, Campaigns Associate. This article appeared in The Huffington Post. On May 26, 2016, sixty-nine civil society organizations (CSOs) from twenty-six countries urged the World Bank to maintain transparency throughout the ongoing review of […]

  • 27 June 2016

    Sri Lanka Passes RTI Law; Campaign Began in 2004

    Sri Lanka’s Parliament on June 24 unanimously approved an amended right to information bill. Some changes, largely technical, were made to bill to accommodate the opinion of the Supreme Court. (See previous reports here and here.) One expansion will provide additional information on disappeared persons. Efforts to pass RTI legislation date back to 2004. […]

  • 23 June 2016

    Tanzanian Government Offers Modified RTI Legislation

    The Tanzanian government has produced a new right to information bill, posted on Parliament’s website (text) and offered on first reading June 23. The bill is signed by Harrison Mwakyembe, Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, and dated May 10. Activists tweeted about the new version, but there does not appear to have been news […]

  • 23 June 2016

    Regional Alliance Criticizes Move by Brazil Government

    Shifting the administration of the access to information law to a different department is a bad idea, according to a statement (in Spanish) by the Regional Alliance for Free Expression and Information. The responsibility is being moved from the Comptroller General (CGU) to the Ministry of Transparency, Surveillance and Control. The Alliance, a network of […]

  • 23 June 2016

    Report Recommends Updating EU Access Regime

    European Union policies on access to documents are “seriously outdated,” according to a new report prepared for a parliamentary committee. A series of mostly critical recommendations were made by the two law professor authors: Deirdre Curtin of the European University Institute of Florence and Päivi Leino-Sandberg of the University of Helsinki. The report was commissioned […]

  • 23 June 2016

    UK Campaign Rejects Proposed FOIA Amendment

    A Justice Committee recommendation would “seriously undermine FOI Act,” according to the Campaign for FOI. The coalition objected particularly to a proposal to abolish the main right to appeal against the Information Commissioner’s decisions. The Justice Committee report endorses a recommendation made this March by the Commission on Freedom of Information chaired by Lord Burns. The […]

  • 23 June 2016

    FOI Notes: Hungary, Canada, Jobs, Nigeria, India, US, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia

    Hungary/OGP: An OGP committee agrees with civil society complaints about Hungary, the OGP announces. The Criteria and Standards subcommittee conducted a review of the evidence presented in the letter. The subcommittee adopted a report which found the concerns expressed in the letter to be relevant to the government of Hungary’s participation in OGP and to […]

  • 16 June 2016

    FOI Notes: US FOI Success, World Bank, Braille, OGP, Open Data, Malta, US, UK, Australia, India, Canada, More

    United States: Examples of 50 recent FOIA success stories in the US have been posted by the National Security Archive, the sponsor of OGP: “Learning to Open Government: New Evidence to Inform the OGP’s Efforts to Make Change Happen,” a report by Florencia Guerzovich and Michael Moses of Global Integrity, based on the experiences […]

  • 15 June 2016

    US Adopts FOIA Reforms; Outcome Weaker Than Hoped

    By Toby McIntosh Reforms are coming to the US Freedom of Information Act. The House on June 13 approved a Senate bill to amend FOIA and President Obama will sign it, the White House said. The bill writes into law a specific presumption of openness, strengthens the FOIA ombudsman, puts a time limit on the use of the […]

  • 9 June 2016

    US Coalition Seeks Removal of Exemptions From Bill

    Pro-transparency groups in the United States have objected to provisions in a defense bill that would restrict access to information. More than 30 called for the removal of three exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the Senate National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2017 (S. 2943). “The FOIA exemptions would severely undermine […]

  • 9 June 2016

    Namibian NGO Coalition Welcomes Draft ATI Law

    The Access to Information in Namibia (Action) Coalition has praised the government’s draft access to information (ATI) law. The coalition issued a statement after the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology released for consultation and discussion both a draft ATI working document and a draft of the revised National Information Policy, The Namibian report. Read […]

  • 9 June 2016

    FOI Notes: Success Stories, Brazil, Civic Tech, Israel, Mongolia, Liberia, US, Sweden, OGP

    FOI Success: Part Two in a blog post series to highlight interesting and impactful requests that have been made through the 25 websites running with Alaveteli FOI software across the world. You can see Part One here. Four interesting stories, from Hungary’s Alaveteli site KiMitTud and the pan-European site AsktheEU. Brazil: Article 19’s Brazil office has released a new […]

  • 6 June 2016

    FOI Notes: OGP Contest, Nigeria, India, US, Peru, Pakistan, More

    OGP Contest: “Making Transparency Count” is the focus of a new OGP contest, deadline June 27. Read more here. Nigeria: “The Nigerian government has released statement declaring the total amount of cash recovered from looters of the federal treasury since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure. A statement issued by the Minister of Information, […]

  • 2 June 2016

    Namibian Government Offers Lengthy Draft RTI Legislation

    The Namibian government has proposed a draft right to information law. The long-awaited 46-page draft contains a detailed collection of reasons not to provide information and some unusual provisions. The draft will be the subject of consultations beginning June 13, according to an article in The Namibian with a few preliminary reactions to the draft. Pro-transparency […]

  • 2 June 2016

    FOI Notes: India, EU, UK, US, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Open Data

    India: A unique monument celebrating the RTI Act has been installed in the Beawar town of Rajasthan, where the RTI movement had started 20 years ago, according to articles in The Hindu (good photo of memorial), The Times of India and The Hindustan Times. Susheela Singh of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan (MKSS) said at a […]

  • 26 May 2016

    Parliament in Ghana Delays Consideration of RTI Bill

    The parliament in Ghana has postponed consideration of a Right to Information bill to allow for consultations on its content, but Deputy Attorney General Dominic Ayine said a bill will pass before July, according to Ghana News and CitiNews. Members reportedly disagreed over exemptions for the Office of the President, his Vice President, Cabinet records […]

  • 26 May 2016

    FOI Notes: India, US, Open Meetings of the Future, Malaysia, UK, Canada, More

    India: The Central Information Commission directs the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and Union home ministry to disclose the report on the basis of which Delhi assembly was dissolved in November 2014, saying the Lieutenant Governor does not enjoy immunity from disclosing such reports, according to the text of the decision and articles such as in […]

  • 19 May 2016

    Argentinian Deputies Approve Access to Information Bill

    Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies has given overwhelming approval to a law on Access to Public Information. The vote on the bill presented by Deputy Karina Banfi was 229-4, with one abstention, after five hours of debate, according to media reports (in Spanish) such as ones in La Neuva, Terra, and another, with more detail, in “We […]

  • 19 May 2016

    Italian Council Ratifies Transparency Decree

    The Italian Council of Ministers has approved a Transparency Decree providing for access to information. “The first Italian FOIA” was welcomed by Foia4Italy, a network of more than 30 civil society organizations that campaigned for the decree and logged 88,000 names on a petition for the decree. Some improvements were made in the final version, […]

  • 19 May 2016

    Parliament Renews Debate on Bill for Ghana

    Ghana’s Parliament has resumed consideration of a Right to Information bill, but disagreements surfaced quickly. “Parliament was divided over the meaning of a clause in the Right to Information (RTI) Bill, which requires a person urgently requesting for information to provide reasons,” according to Ghana Web. The article said some members argued that such a […]