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Nigeria: Freedom of Information Bill Passes Both Houses of Parliament

(May 31, 2011) News outlets are reporting that both houses of Nigeria's Parliament have adopted the harmonized version of the Freedom of Information Bill (hereinafter FOI). The House of Representatives initially adopted its version of the FOI on February 24, 2011, and a different version of the FOI was adopted by the Senate on March […]

Nigeria: House of Representatives Approves Freedom of Information Bill

(Mar. 1, 2011) On February 24, 2011, the 360-member lower house of Nigeria's National Assembly adopted the Freedom of Information Bill which seeks to provide a right of access to records kept by public institutions and private institutions carrying out public functions. (Nigeria's Lower House Passes Right of Information Bill, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (Feb. 25, […]

Australia: Freedom of Information Reforms Come into Force

(Nov. 17, 2010) Changes to Australia's freedom of information (FOI) laws came into effect on November 1, 2010. (Press Release, Hon. Brendan O'Connor, New Era of Freedom of Information Starts Today (Nov. 1, 2010), http://www.ministerhomeaffairs.gov.au/www/ministers/oconnor.nsf/Page/MediaReleases_2010_FourthQuarter_1November2010-Neweraoffreedomofinformationstartstoday.)The reforms are contained in the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 and the Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Act 2010, both […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Issues Judgment on Journalists’ Access to Documents during Pending Cases

(Oct. 13, 2010) Under European Union legislation, access to documents issued by the EU institutions, the European Commission, the Parliament, and the Council, is a basic right of EU citizens. While the European Parliament has urged that access to documents issued by all bodies of the EU be included in that right, the European Court […]

Spain: Bill on Transparency and Access to Public Information

(Aug. 20, 2010) By August 20, 2010, Spain's government is expected to have approved the final Bill on Transparency and Access to Public Information (Anteproyecto de Ley de Transparencia y Acceso de los Ciudadanos a la Información Pública). If approved by the country's Congress, the law will become effective in 2011 and would recognize for […]

Liberia: House of Representatives Passes Freedom of Information Act

(July 29, 2010) On July 22, 2010, the Liberian House of Representatives passed the Freedom of Information Bill which, if enacted into law, will give members of the press corps and the general public unfettered access to public records. (Freedom of Information Bill Passed, THE ANALYST (July 23, 2010), http://allafrica.com/stories/201007250009.html.) The bill must be sent […]

Indonesia: Law on Public Information in Force

(Apr. 30, 2010) On April 30, 2010, Indonesia's Law on Freedom of Information will come into effect; it was adopted in 2008. Under its provisions, public institutions, including government ministries, state agencies, and legislative and judicial institutions, are obligated to respond to information requests from members of the public. (Erwida Maulia, Public Information Law to […]

United States: President Obama Signs Executive Order Streamlining Declassification of Government Information

(Jan. 25, 2010) On December 29, 2009, President Barack Obama issued an executive order intended to allow researchers to gain access more quickly to formerly classified national security information. Executive Order 13,526, “Classified National Security Information,” makes several changes to make information that should no longer be classified more readily available. These include: 1) Establishing […]

Philippines: Freedom of Information Act Approved by Senate

(Dec. 17, 2009) On December 14, 2009, the Senate of the Philippines approved a Freedom of Information Act designed to allow access to key public documents, including those related to projects where corruption has been an issue. The Act, found in Senate Bill No. 3308, requires government agencies to allow public review and copying of […]

United States: Arizona Supreme Court Holds Metadata Can Be Subject to Public Records Requests

(Nov. 17, 2009) The Supreme Court of Arizona has held that metadata – “information describing the history, tracking, or management of an electronic document” – can be subject to disclosure under the state's public records laws. A police officer filing an employment discrimination complaint made a public records request under the Arizona public records law […]