• 20 October 2016

    Ghana AG Reintroduces RTI Bill Including Amendments

    In a move that may improve the chances for passage of a right to information bill in Ghana, Attorney General Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong has introduced a bill that includes all the proposed amendments. The large number of pending amendments had been cited as one reason for Parliament’s slow progress on the bill. along with doubts […]

  • 20 October 2016

    FOI Notes: UN Report, Transparency Research, Many Country Reports

    Freedom of Expression: “There is no question that governments worldwide are wielding the tools of censorship,” warns the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, in a new report. One section is titled “Undermining the right to information.” It says: National security is also used to justify excluding information […]

  • 13 October 2016

    FOI Notes: Zambia, Nigeria, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Denmark, Open Data, Privacy, Transparency Research, Contest, US

    Zambia: The Civil Society Coalition on Access to Information Law urges speeding up the process of enacting an access to information law despite the failed referendum on the Bill of Rights, reports The Lusaka Times. Nigeria: Right to Know Nigeria reports widespread non-compliance with the 2011 FOIA, issuing a report stating that “ministries, departments and […]

  • 5 October 2016

    FOI Community Invited to Comment on SDG 16.10

    The freedom of information community has been asked to weigh in on how to measure the implementation of FOI laws. The answers will inform decision on what benchmarks will be used to determine whether countries are making progress toward achieving the access to information provision in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The process for soliciting […]

  • 5 October 2016

    FOI Notes: US, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Pakistan

    United States: The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has launched a beta of the FOIA Wiki, a collaborative and evolving digital resource on the federal Freedom of Information Act. “The FOIA Wiki is part legal guide, part community space for sharing information that aims to serve as a central hub on all manner […]

  • 29 September 2016

    FOI Notes: New Reports, Country News, 27 Items

    Latin America: The Regional Alliance for Free Expression and Information issues a comprehensive report, Sabar Mas VIII, (in Spanish) on the progress, challenges and opportunities concerning access to information across Latin America. Southern Africa: IFEX releases a report with national evaluations prepared by MISA Chapters in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Each […]

  • 28 September 2016

    Success Stories Worldwide From FOI/RTK/ATI Requests

    By Toby McIntosh All around the world, very real benefits result when legal tools are used to obtain government information. Because there are so many frustrations for those who seek information, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the positive benefits. FOI reform advocates need to document and celebrate the victories. has assembled dozens of recent success stories. Please […]

  • 28 September 2016

    Mexican Law Rates at Top According to New RTI Ratings

    The amendments to Mexico’s freedom of information law have made it the best access law in the world, according to the RTI Rating, a comparative assessment of national legal frameworks for the right to information done by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) and Access Info Europe. The changes gave Mexico 136 points out […]

  • 27 September 2016

    FOI Notes: Latin America, Sweden/Finland, India, Venezuela, Australia, Scotland, India, Malaysia, Tunisia, Israel

    Venezuela: A report by Espacio Publico describes a series of requests for information to state agencies and encourages more requests. Transparency Venezuela holds events on access to information. Venezuela, along with Bolivia, are the only countries in the continent that does not have legislation regulating the right to access information held by the state.. “Join […]

  • 26 September 2016

    Pakistani Minister Pledges to Bring ATI Bill to Cabinet

    Pakistan’s Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid has promised yet again that an access to Information bill will be presented to cabinet for approval very soon. His pledge came to reporters after a ceremony in Islamabad on Sept. 26, as reported by APP. Similar pledges of Cabinet consideration were made in July and August. He said the […]

  • 26 September 2016

    Ghana’s President Backs Passage of RTI Legislation

    Ghana’s president John Dramani Mahama Sept. 26 reiterated his support for passage of a right to information bill pending on Parliament, but added, “I don’t know where it is.” “I believe it is something we should complete and make available so that people can have a legal basis for demanding information if there is reluctance […]

  • 22 September 2016

    OGP Celebrates Anniversary; Turkey Declared Inactive

    The Open Government Partnership celebrated its fifth anniversary in New York City Sept. 20 with messages about past accomplishments and future challenges, including a tilt toward addressing climate change. Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Pradhan listed three main points: – First, we need deeper co-creation and civic participation. – Second, we need OGP governments and CSOs […]

  • 22 September 2016

    FOI Notes: EU, Holland, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, India, US, Tanzania, Aid Transparency, Budget Transparency, Open Data, Namibia, Ghana, Ireland, Jamaica, Gambia, Transparency Research

    EU: Moldova has ratified the 2009 Convention on Access to Official Documents, brining to nine the number of other ratifications to bring it into force. Armenia is expected to ratify it soon. Holland: Open State Foundation sends an open letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and party leaders in the Dutch parliament urging creation […]

  • 15 September 2016

    FOI Notes: India, FOI Comics, Open Data/Africa, Nigeria, Australia, US

    India: The Central Information Commission compiles a “frequently asked questions” list for 70 central ministries. “The Commission is now sitting down with each ministry to brief them on how to proactively disclose information on their websites on these subjects so that fewer applicants file requests under Right to Information (RTI) Act,” reports The Economic Times. […]

  • 15 September 2016

    Argentina Approves FOI Bill; Senate Changes Rejected

    Argentina will have a freedom of information law (text) as the result of a 182-16 vote Sept. 14 in the Chamber of Deputies. The House passed its originally version, using a two-thirds majority to discard the Senate version, according to reports (in Spanish) in La Nation, Chequeado, Parliamentario, Urgente24, Clarinx, The chairman of the Committee on Constitutional […]

  • 14 September 2016

    OGP to Celebrate Fifth, Discuss Strategic Goals

    The Open Government Partnership Steering Committee faces a large agenda for its upcoming meeting in New York City on the occasion of the OGP’s fifth anniversary. The Steering Committee is slated to continue its “strategic refresh” discussions, discuss a new trust fund and review “co-creation” guidance, among other things, according to a pre-meeting packet of […]

  • 9 September 2016

    Argentina’s Senate Removes State Firms From FOI Bill

    The Argentinian Senate on Sept. 7 approved an access to information law, 44-15, but only after deleting a provision applying it to state-majority-owned companies (YPF). The change forced by a coalition of opposition parties means that the bill will be returned for reconsideration to the Chamber of Deputies, where it was approved almost unanimously. (See […]

  • 8 September 2016

    Tanzanian Assembly Backs Information Access Bill

    Tanzania’s National Assembly Sept. 8 approved an access to information bill. The Assembly on Sept. 6 opened debate on the bill, with some members calling the bill too weak and urging amendments, according to media reports. Constitution and Legal Affairs Minister Harrison Mwakyembe said he was  “surprised” at the criticisms. The bill that passed had some minor changes, […]

  • 8 September 2016

    FOI Notes: South Africa, India, Australia, Research, US, Much More

    South Africa: The National Assembly elects Pansy Tlakula as chair of the newly-formed information regulator, despite fierce objection from opposition parties, reports News24 and others. The African National Congress and the United Democratic Movement were the only parties in favor of her appointment, while the Democratic Alliance, the Economic Freedom Fighters and Inkatha Freedom Party […]

  • 7 September 2016

    UNESCO Picks Ghana Leader To Speak at ATI Day Event

    By Toby McIntosh UNESCO has picked the president of Ghana, whose nominal support for an access to information law in Ghana has yet to produce results, to give the keynote speech at the first International Day for Universal Access to Information. President John Dramani Mahama will speak on Goal 16 of the UN Sustainable Development […]