• 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 (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 […]

  • 23 March 2017

    FOI Notes: Burkina Faso, The Philippines, Canada, Denmark, Kenya, Pakistan, Australia, US, Malawi, India

    Burkina Faso: The Communications Minister explains that the 2015 access law is still not effect, suggesting that changes may need to be made, according to an interview (in French) in Burkina 24. He says a constitutional review is underway because of concerns about the oversight body. The Philippines: The Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition […]

  • 16 March 2017

    FOI Notes: EU, Indonesia, Mexico, Afghanistan, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, OGP, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Denmark, India, UAE, Transparency Research, Open Data

    European Union: The European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly opens an inquiry into whether the Council of the EU allows sufficient public scrutiny of the evolving discussions on draft EU laws. She puts 14 questions to the Council on how legislative documents arising from meetings of Member State Ambassadors and deputy Ambassadors, plus the over 150 committees and […]

  • 16 March 2017

    US Sunshine Week: Research, Legislation, Editorials, and Reporting

    Sunshine Week 2017 in the United States has generated many reports, advocacy articles and journalism about the FOIA. This selection includes only a representative selection of the many articles about FOIA in the states. FOI Research: “Forecasting Freedom of Information,” the work of University of Arizona associate professor of journalism David Cuillier, a survey of 300 […]

  • 9 March 2017

    FOI Notes: Liberia, India, US, Ghana, Malaysia, OGP, Guam, Bahamas, Australia, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Oscars

    Liberia: The Liberian Legislature is violating the FOI law according to a report by the Independent Information Commission, according to an article in The News. India: Cooperative institutions are covered by the RTI Act, the Bombay high court rules. United States: The California Supreme Court in the unanimous opinion rules that when government officials conduct […]

  • 8 March 2017

    EU Commissioners Urge Stronger Role for Offices

    European national information commissioners have called for strengthening their powers and increasing their resources. “A strong right of access to information can only be fully effective if its implementation is accompanied and supported by strong information commissioners and ombudspersons as mediators between the state and citizens,” according to a joint declaration (in English) (in German) adopted at a […]

  • 2 March 2017

    South African Coalition Finds Weak Compliance With Law

    Almost half of all requests for information under the South African access to information law are refused, according to a new report by the Access to Information Network. This and other findings point out “a shocking dereliction of duties by public and private bodies to realise South Africans’ constitutional right of access to information,” according […]

  • 2 March 2017

    FOI Notes: Algeria, US, Slovakia, Tunisia, Israel, Namibia, Myanmar, Open Data

    Algeria: A top Ministry of Justice official says the ministry is drafting a bill that enshrines the right of access to information guaranteed by the Constitution, according to a Huffington Post article. United States: “Transparency And FOIA In The Age Of Trump,” articles in Quill by three experts: – Lucy Dalglish: Under Trump, A (Potentially) Bright […]

  • 23 February 2017

    FOI Notes: Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Open Data, Cyprus, Lebanon, Environmental Transparency, US, Malawi, OGP

    Tunisia: Following objections from journalism groups and other organizations, the government says it will revise controversial decrees, according to a Kapitalis news report (in French). The groups’ statement called on the government to “review decree 4030 and immediately withdraw circular n°4″. Separately, there are indications of delay in meeting the March 24 target date for […]

  • 16 February 2017

    FOI Notes: Malawi, Pakistan, Philippines, Bahamas, Nigeria, Tunisia, Zambia, India, US, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Open Data, Open Budgets, Commentary, Ghana, Bangladesh, Vanuatu, Seychelles, Open Eurovision

    Malawi: After an unexplained delay, President Peter Mutharika signs to the ATI bill passed last December, according to a Nyasa Times article, making Malawi the 22nd African nation with a FOI regime. Pakistan: A Senate Select Committee approves an RTI bill (text not immediately available), reports Dawn and The Nation. A new clause covers footage from […]

  • 9 February 2017

    FOI Notes: Vanuatu, Balkans, Tunisia, OGP, Publications, Commentary, US, Ghana, UK, India, Uruguay, Philippines, Isle of Man

    Vanuatu: The RTI Act became law Feb. 6 after it was published in the official Gazette. “Within six months from the commencement of this legislation, the Minister responsible is required to specify the Government agencies that this Act applies to,” according to an article. Balkans: The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) publishes […]

  • 2 February 2017

    Groups Seeks Court Order For Publication of FOI Law

    The Guinea law on the right of access to public information, promulgated on Nov. 24, 2010, is still not applied and has not been published in the official gazette of the Republic The Guinean Association of Independent Press Publishers (AGEPI) has asked the Supreme Court to order the General Secretariat of the Government to publish the […]

  • 2 February 2017

    FOI Notes: Pakistan, Ghana, Tunisia, India, Togo, New Zealand, Transparency Research, Canada, US, UK

    Pakistan: A Senate select committee unanimously agrees on the draft of an RTI bill, report The Nation and Online News. Pakistan: The Punjab Information Commission advises the provincial government to amend all laws and rules that disallow disclosure of information in conflict with Article 19-A of the Constitution and the right to information law, reports Dawn. […]

  • 26 January 2017

    Peruvian Groups Protest Government FOI Decree

    Peruvian transparency groups are protesting a new regulation that they called “a serious setback” to access to information. The decree creates the “national authority for transparency” as a kind of FOI ombudsman, but with few powers or independence. It is a new office within the Ministry of Justice, without the capacity to control the use […]

  • 26 January 2017

    FOI Notes: Nigeria, Malawi, UK, TI, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, US, UN

    Nigeria: A court victory for a group of requesters seeking access to documents concerning the Niger Delta Development Commission. An opinion from the court states that the right to information is a human right, awards fees to the requesters and fines the respondents. In another development, The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative unveiled two documents designed to […]