Posts Tagged ‘commissioners/ombudsmen’

  • 19 November 2014

    Private Bodies Carrying Out Public Functions

    The following is a chapter from the third “International Survey of Information Commissioners,” conducted by the Centre for Freedom of Information, University of Dundee, Scotland. Responses were provided by 53 commissioners or ombudsman in 33 countries. (See FreedomInfo.org report.) In the last survey we noted that “increasingly a number of public functions and services, such […]

  • 17 November 2014

    Info Commissioners See Need to Cover More Bodies

    Almost two-thirds of information commissioners around the world (63%) think more private bodies in their countries should be covered by the national freedom of information law. The results are reported in the third “International Survey of Information Commissioners,” conducted by the Centre for Freedom of Information, University of Dundee, Scotland. Responses were provided by 53 […]

  • 12 November 2014

    Asia Foundation Report Finds Many Implementation Issues

    Awareness of right to know laws in three Southeast Asian countries is very low and public officials report many obstacles to implementing the RTI laws, according to a new report by the Asia Foundation. The study was done in partnership with civil society organizations in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan, and with the foundation’s country office […]

  • 12 November 2014

    Indian CIC Schedules Hearing On Nov. 21 for Political Parties

    The Indian Central Information Commission has scheduled a Nov. 21 hearing on non-compliance by six political parties withy a June 3, 2013, order bringing them under the purview of Right to Information Act. The commission has asked the parties to appear before it and produce all relevant documents. One such order was issued Feb. 7. […]

  • 6 November 2014

    ECB Releases Letter at Urging of EU Ombudsman

    The Governing Council of the European Central Bank Nov. 6 decided to publish a letter written four years by former ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet to then Irish Finance minister Brian Lenihan. The announcement said the release of the document “honoured” a request in March by the European Ombudsman that the ECB reconsider its previous refusal […]

  • 30 October 2014

    Indian Order Sparks Debate on Disclosing Requester Info

    The recent decision by the Indian government to post online the replies to right to information requests is generating debate over whether requester names should be disclosed. The instruction from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in an Oct. 21 memorandum did not directly address the disclosure of names issue, but those familiar with […]

  • 16 October 2014

    Report Paints Bleak Picture of Indian RTI Law at 10th Year

    A comprehensive and scathing report on the Indian Right to Information documents extensive weaknesses in the system and makes major recommendations for reform. The 150-page examination provides a detailed picture of dysfunction, including “huge” backlogs, an ineffectual appeals process, lack of compliance with orders and penalty awards, and weak records management. The research provides many […]

  • 9 October 2014

    The Pre-Election State of FOI in the UK

    By Paul Gibbons The author writes the FOIMan website where this article was published Oct. 8. It seems like only yesterday that I coined the hashtag #saveFOI when, provoked by the launch of the government’s post-legislative scrutiny, it seemed that everybody and their uncle wanted to pile in with their FOI horror stories. And a […]

  • 9 October 2014

    Is alleged misconduct by a public official deserving of privacy protection?

    By Peter Timmins The author writes the Australian website Open and Shut, where this article was published Oct. 6. A companion article Oct. 7 says that when it comes to the the performance of normal governmental functions, sensitivity about disclosing names of officials “should usually take a back seat  to transparency, responsibility and accountability. I’d […]

  • 30 September 2014

    Progress, But Still Problems, Says Serbian Commissioner

    This article, published Sept. 30, is reprinted with permission from infoserbia.com. BELGRADE – Serbia has made certain progress in the area of freedom of access to information of public importance, but the fact that the office of the commissioner for information of public importance and personal data protection continues to receive a large number of […]

  • 22 September 2014

    Two New Commissioners Appointed in Bangladesh

    An academic and a retired public servant have been named as members of the Bangladesh Information Commission. Nepal Chandra Sarkar, who served as the first secretary to the Commission when it was formed in 2009, but was elsewhere in government recently was one appointee. The other is Khurshida Begum Syed, a professor of government and […]

  • 16 September 2014

    New India Government Disappoints on Transparency

    By Anjali Bhardwaj and Amrita Johri The writers are social activists working on issues of transparency and accountability in governance. This commentary first appeared Sept. 12 in Indian Express. Achhe din, meaning good days, are coming was the slogan of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2014 Indian general election, coined by BJP’s Prime Ministerial […]

  • 4 September 2014

    Indian Group Asks Modi to Appoint Chief Commissioner

    The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI) has called for an end to the delay in appointing a new chief information commissioner. The new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has postponed a decision “ostensibly because of the deadlock over leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha,” a letter to Modi notes, going […]

  • 28 August 2014

    How to Appoint a New Indian Chief Information Commissioner

    By Shailesh Gandhi The author served as a Central Information Commissioner in India from Sept. 18, 2008, to July 6, 2012. This commentary appeared Aug. 27 in RTI India.  A Committee comprising PM and the Leader of Opposition, recommends CICs names. Since, at present there is no Leader of Opposition, a recently-retired CIC has not […]

  • 21 August 2014

    Bangladesh Needs Transparency in Picking New Commissioners

    By Suchismita Goswami The author is Project Officer, Access to Information Programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. This article appeared The Daily Star Aug. 21. Two out of three posts at the Bangladesh Information Commission are lying vacant for the past month. The government knew they were falling vacant when information commissioners Sadeka Halim and MA […]

  • 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

    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 […]

  • 7 August 2014

    Australian Commissioner Exempts Incoming Government Briefs

    By Peter Timmins The following article appeared Aug. 4 in Open and Shut, Timmins’ blog about FOI in Australia. The decisions by Australian Information Commissioner Professor McMillan in Parnell &  Dreyfus, and Crowe on the exempt status of incoming government briefs (IGB) under the Freedom of Information Act will please those in government who argue […]

  • 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 […]