Thursday, September 30, 2010

OpenDataLinks — Open Government Data Apps

http://opendatalinks.com/links/apps/?topic=Spending

Cayman 27 : Information Commissioner responds to premier’s FOI view

http://www.cayman27.com.ky/news/item/7038

Freedom-of-information law now applies to Ferries

http://www.timescolonist.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=3600200

Public's right to know goes only so far - The Vancouver Sun

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Public+right+know+goes+only/3601943/story.html?id=3601943
I can appreciate the concern that B.C.'s new information and privacy commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has for the state of freedom of information in the province, but the ...

Freedom of information: good policy, bad politics - The Chronicle Herald

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Letters/1204512.html
Who cares? When, some years back, we were forming the Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia with the aim of reducing government secrecy, a former senior provincial cabinet ...

TDA - Freedom of Information overview

http://www.tda.gov.uk/about/plans-policies-reports/policies/foi/overview.aspx

Toby Mendel (Centre for Law and Democracy and RTKCNS member) was a panelist at the Ottawa Right To Know Event (Sept 29): Push or Pull: Liberating Government Information

Panel: Push or Pull: Liberating Government Information  

Event Name: Panel: Push or Pull: Liberating Government Information

Event Start Time: 10:00am

Event End Time: 12:00pm

Organized By: Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada

Participant(s): Open to the public - Seating is limited - FREE

Location: Canadian War Museum - Barney Danson Theatre, 1 Vimy Place (Ottawa, Ontario)

Link: http://www.righttoknow.ca

Details :

Panel - Push or Pull: Liberating Government Information


Presented by the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada, with the participation of the Canadian Access and Privacy Association (CAPA) and the Canadian Association of Professional Access and Privacy Administrators (CAPAPA)


Open government is directly linked to access to information and proactive disclosure. However, it extends beyond these concepts to an entirely new way of looking at how governments provide information and how citizens participate in its dissemination. Governments are examining means to develop initiatives that will make information available in electronic formats that the public can use, re-use and add value.


The purpose of this session is to respond to questions regarding how to determine what data users are seeking, how to address the concerns and risks associated with the free flow of government information and what policy frameworks must be implemented in support of open government.


This event will be webcast at www.righttoknow.ca, courtesy of Microsoft.


Facilitator: John Weigelt, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Canada



Panelists:


Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy
Kady O'Malley, Parliamentary blogger for CBC.ca's Inside Politics blog


FULL AGENDA: http://www.righttoknow.ca/en/Calendar/events-e.asp?date=9%2F29%2F2010

Via Helen Darbyshire @ Access Info Europe: New RTI Rating Methodology Launched

 

access info logoCLD Logo 

 

 

 

 New RTI Legislation Rating Methodology Launched 

29 September 2010, Madrid/Halifax: A new tool for evaluating and comparing national right to information frameworks was launched today by Access Info Europe (Madrid, Spain) and the Centre for Law and Democracy (Halifax, Canada) as part of activities to mark the week of International Right to Know Day (28 September).

The Right to Information (RTI) Legislation Rating Methodology is a tool to assess the overall legal framework for the right to information, based on how well that framework gives effect to the right to access information held by public authorities. Full details can be found here

"This Methodology will provide a detailed comparative ranking of the world's over 80 access to information regimes," said Helen Darbishire of Access Info Europe. "This is essential for gaining a deeper understanding of the right to information and promoting compliance with common minimum standards."

Toby Mendel of the Centre for Law and Democracy added: "By breaking down the rating into seven different thematic areas, this Methodology provides a detailed assessment of specific strengths and weaknesses. This is an invaluable tool for civil society groups promoting RTI law reform."

The seven key elements of the reactive dimension of the right of access to information are: the Right of Access, Scope, Requesting Procedures, Exceptions and Refusals, Appeals, Sanctions and Protections, and Promotional Measures. They are weighted as follows out of a possible total of 150 points based on 61 Indicators:

 

Elements of Right to Information

Max Points

1. Right of Access

6

2. Scope

30

3. Requesting Procedures

30

4. Exceptions and Refusals

30

5. Appeals

30

6. Sanctions and Protections

8

7. Promotional Measures

16

Total score

150

 

The 61 Indicators are drawn from a wide range of international standards on the right to information, as well as comparative study of numerous right to information laws from around the world and pilot testing of the Methodology on selected laws.

An Advisory Council of renowned experts on the right to information has been advising CLD and Access Info Europe on the development of the Indicators.

 

For further information, please contact:

Helen Darbishire                           Toby Mendel

Access Info Europe                      Centre for Law and Democracy

www.access-info.org                       www.law-democracy.org

e-mail: helen@access-info.org           e-mail:toby@law-democracy.org

tel: + 34 667 685 319                   tel: +1 902 431-3688

 

 

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

City launches $50,000 app contest

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=3597873

Judy calls for wastewater details [1/2] PAUL TURENNE, Winnipeg Sun

http://m.winnipegsun.com/15518746.1

FOI unit launches Operation Fred

<b>FOI</b> unit launches Operation Fred: "It is Freedom of Information week and as part of a look at the public's right to know, the information commissioner's office released a report that reveals ...
See all stories on this topic »"

Did you know it's Right to Know Week?

http://www.royalcityrecord.com/news/know+Right+Know+Week/3596347/story.html

Secrecy at information ministry confirms need for FoI Act - PAZA

Secrecy at information ministry confirms need for FoI Act - PAZA: "... confirms the need for the enactment of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill, Press Association of Zambia (PAZA), vice-president Amos Chanda has said. ...
See all stories on this topic »"

Malaysia must enact FOI law to realise people's right to information

Malaysia must enact FOI law to realise people's right to information
Wed, 29 Sep 2010 12:29
E-mail Print

From Chuah Siew Eng, via e-mail

In conjunction with Right to Know Day on Sept 28 , the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) calls upon Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to make serious efforts toward enacting a Freedom of Information (FOI) law in keeping with his government's aim to eliminate corruption.

CIJ also urges the same of the following 67 members of Parliament who have openly expressed strong support for an FOI law in a recent survey by news site The Nut Graph.

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/fmt-english/opinion/letters/10834-malaysia-must-enact-foi-law-to-realise-peoples-right-to-information

 
 

Sent to you by Greg via Google Reader:

 
 

via Google Alerts - "foi" -"ma foi" by Free Malaysia Today on 9/28/10

CIJ also urges the same of the following 67 members of Parliament who have openly expressed strong support for an FOI law in a recent survey by news site ...
See all stories on this topic »

 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

MLA Cantelon defends government FOI policy

MLA Cantelon defends government FOI policy: "Cantelon, who chaired a special legislative committee that reviewed the act in May, says many FOI request delays result from outdated computer software.
See all stories on this topic »"

NS limits access to documents

N.S. limits access to energy documents


The Dexter government is only releasing a small number of the 57 documents it received about the province’s plan to increase the amount of green energy generated here.

On Tuesday, the province released five of the submissions containing advice about the province’s draft renewable electricity regulations but only after The Chronicle Herald filed a request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

The government sought public input on its new renewable energy strategy in May, and the public had until July 23 to submit ideas.

After being denied access to the submissions, The Chronicle Herald filed its request Aug. 25.

FULL ARTICLE: http://thechronicleherald.ca/Business/1204337.html


Journalists wanted for new FoI research by Helen Lambourne : From Holdthefrontpage.co.uk

Journalists are being invited to take part in a study to find out the impact of Freedom of Information on local government.

Researchers from University College London are evaluating how local authorities have been affected by the FoI Act, which came into force in 2005.

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/foi/100929foiresearch.shtml

Right to Know Day: FOI Shines A Torch - Isle of Wight News: Island Pulse:

http://www.islandpulse.co.uk/b2/right-to-know-day-foi-shines-a-torch/

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Officer Suspended For Deleting FOI Request Files - Connecticut News Story - WFSB Hartford

http://www.wfsb.com/news/25195336/detail.html

Group urges public to help campaign for FOI's passage | The ...

Group urges public to help campaign for FOI's passage | The ...: "The Access to Information Network (ATIN) and the Right to Know, Right Now Coalition yesterday urged Cebuanos to help push for the passage into law of the ...
www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=615199...107"

Reflecting on the consequences of open public data

Reflecting on the consequences of open public data: "

The front slide of this deck from David Kaplan suggests it looks at “Public Service Information in France – and more” – and the ‘and more’ is certainly well added.


If you’ve any interest in the implications of open data policy I thoroughly recommend taking a look through David’s slides, which unpack some the potential trajectories and scenarios for how open data might develop.


Lots to reflect on…




"

Groups call for FOI draft policy approval

Groups call for FOI draft policy approval: "A COALITION of 19 local and international organisations yesterday called on the government to sign off on a draft freedom of information policy as part of a ...
See all stories on this topic »"

City Manager stonewalls on access to information request

City Manager stonewalls on access to information request: "

Last year fellow blogger Frances Bula once commented on the work of CityCaucus.com by suggesting that city hall watchers didn't always need to place an FOI ...
See all stories on this topic »

CityCaucus.com - Canada's Urban Affairs Source
"

Exercising our right to know - The Vancouver Sun

Exercising our right to know - The Vancouver Sun: "Across Canada, all levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) are proclaiming Right to Know Week as a way to celebrate freedom of information and ..."

UK Freedom of Information Blog: FOI Act shines a torch on public ...

UK Freedom of Information Blog: FOI Act shines a torch on public ...: "FOI Act shines a torch on public services, says Information Commissioner. ICO Press release 28 September 2010 “Freedom of Information has a key role to play in helping to deliver greater transparency and accountability. ...
UK Freedom of Information Blog - http://foia.blogspot.com/"

FOI legislation has 'paid for itself', claims information commissioner

FOI legislation has 'paid for itself', claims information commissioner

Freedom of Information legislation has "paid for itself" by reducing unnecessary public spending, the UK's Information Commissioner says in a message to mark International Right to Know Day.

In a statement released by the Information Commissioner's Office, Christopher Graham praises the role of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in ensuring "greater transparency and accountability" from public bodies.

"Freedom of Information shines a torch into the dark corners of public service, identifying wasted money and duplication of effort. Freedom of Information must have paid for itself many times over in the beneficial impact it has had on reducing unnecessary spending – and that contribution can only increase in the years ahead," he says.

"Organisations, whether public or private, need to invest in information rights - whether it's Freedom of Information, good records management, or data protection. Where organisations fall down on their information rights obligations they do so at the cost of destroying citizen and consumer trust."

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.journalism.co.uk/2/articles/540753.php

[foianet] Rappaport Center Poll: Mass. Residents Think State Government Lacks Transparency

For Immediate Release ­ Sept. 27, 2010
For more information, please contact:
Greg Gatlin at 617/573-8428; 617/435-3634; ggatlin@suffolk.edu or
Mariellen Norris at 617/573-8450; 617/592-5637; mnorris@suffolk.edu

Rappaport Center Poll: Mass. Residents Think State Government Lacks
Transparency

http://www.suffolk.edu/43869.html

BOSTON - Massachusetts residents believe strongly in open government but
view state government as secretive, according to a new poll released by the
Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law
School.

Seventy percent of registered voters believe that public access to
government records is critical to the functioning of good government,
according to the poll.  But 57 percent of voters view Massachusetts' state
government as somewhat or very secretive.  By contrast, the majority of
respondents view local government as somewhat or very open.

The poll was conducted by the Suffolk University Political Research Center
and taken as background for a symposium on Massachusetts' public records
law, to be held Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Rappaport
Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School.  The
conference will examine problems in the operation of the 1973 law, which is
intended to provide public access to government documents.  The meeting is
co-sponsored by the ACLU of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts City
Solicitors and Town Counsel Association.

The symposium is timed to fall on International Right to Know Day and will
feature speakers from across the United States and overseas.

"Ninety other countries have adopted public records laws since 1973," said
Alasdair Roberts, the Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at
Suffolk Law School.  "There's a lot we can learn about ways of improving the
Massachusetts law."

The poll shows that public attitudes on openness are strongly connected to
views about government taxation and spending. Supporters of Question 3,
which would cut the state sales tax to three percent, are more likely to
regard state agencies as secretive.  Similarly, opponents of federal
stimulus spending are more likely to regard the federal government as
secretive.

In general, though, attitudes toward openness are not strongly tied to party
preferences.  Large majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents
agree that public access to government records is critical to the
functioning of good government.  Regardless of party preference, local
government is viewed as more open than state government.

The statewide survey of 500 Massachusetts registered voters was conducted
September 16-19, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent.

###

The Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law
School was established in 2006 through a generous gift from the Jerome Lyle
Rappaport Charitable Foundation and Jerry and Phyllis Rappaport. The Center
fosters innovative thinking on law and public policy and promotes emerging
leaders who are deeply committed to public service and pro bono work.
-----
Suffolk University Law School, in the heart of Boston, enrolls more than
1,600 students in its day and evening divisions. Its curriculum includes
specialty concentrations, joint-degree programs and an LL.M. in global
technology. A wide range of clinical programs, internships and moot court
competitions provide students with practical skills. Suffolk University is
comprised of the Law School, College of Arts and Sciences and Sawyer
Business School.



Rappaport Chair (Alasdair Roberts) appointed to the Administrative Conference of the United States

roberts

Rappaport Chair appointed to the Administrative Conference of the United States
Alasdair Roberts, Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy, was appointed as one of the forty public members of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a federal agency revived by the Obama administration to provide advice on "making government work better."


[foianet] Free download of article on UK FOIA implementation

Free download of article on UK FOIA implementation



To mark International Right to Know Day (September 28), the journal
Governance is providing free access to an article published in its current
issue:

Ben Worthy, "More Open But Not More Trusted?  The Effect of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 on the United Kingdom Central Government," Governance
23.4 (2010), pages 561-582.

For the next thirty days, this article can be downloaded at no charge from:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0491.2010.01498.x/full

Best wishes,


--
Alasdair Roberts
Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy
Suffolk University Law School

Co-Editor, Governance, http://www.governancejournal.net

120 Tremont Street, 210C
Boston, MA 02108-4977

Tel +1-617-599-9029
Skype alasdair.roberts
Email alasdair.roberts@gmail.com
Web http://www.aroberts.us




Right to Know Day 2010

Access Info Europe Celebrates International Right to Know Day
28 September 2010: Access Info Europe is marking the 8th International Right to Know Day with a series of events to promote awareness of the right of access to information.

From Secrecy to Transparency – A public conference on the right of access to information in the School of Journalism of Madrid’s Complutense University. The conference will discuss Spain's draft access to information law which was leaked to civil society last week. Read more 

Lights, Information, Action! – A special right to know day event in Bilbao organised by the NGO Alboan with the participation of Access Info Europe. Read more

Tell Us What You’ve Done – Launch of the monitoring of transparency on anti-corruption measures in 20 countries. Read more

Legal Leaks Help Desk - Launch of a service to provide legal advice and support to journalists. It is part of the Legal Leaks project which also includes a Toolkit for journalists, training sessions, and an international support network. Read more

International Right to Know Day was first celebrated on 28 September 2003 by access to information activists. The day is now marked by NGOs, Information Commissioners, Ombudsmen, and Inter-Governmental Bodies around the world. See more on the FOI Advocates Network here
The aim of Right to Know Day is to raise awareness about the right of all to access information about what government bodies are doing: it is the right to know how politicians are exercising power and how they are spending the money received from our taxes.



Monday, September 27, 2010

UK Freedom of Information Blog: Freedom of Information - What Difference has it Made?

http://foia.blogspot.com/2010/09/freedom-of-information-what-difference.html

KnightBlog » Knight FOI Fund Plays Role in Revealing Large Public Pension Fund Loss

http://www.knightblog.org/knight-foi-fund

Public urged to ask for info : Cayman Islands News

http://www.caymannewsservice.com/foi/2010/09/27/public-urged-ask-info

Watchdogs: Gov2019t Spent $196 Keeping Secrets For Every $1 Spent Declassifying Documents (ProPublica)

Watchdogs: Gov2019t Spent $196 Keeping Secrets For Every $1 Spent Declassifying Documents (ProPublica)

by Marian Wang ProPublica, Sep. 8, 12:21 p.m.
The federal government has significantly reduced the backlog of Freedom of Information requests in the last year, but has been slow to act in other areas related to government secrecy, according to a new secrecy report card by OpenTheGovernment.org, a coalition of more than 70 watchdog groups.
201CThe country elected a president who has promised the most open, transparent and accountable federal Executive Branch in history,201D the report said. 201CThe record to date is mixed, but some indicators are trending in the right direction.201D
Perhaps among the more promising trends the group highlighted: Freedom of Information request backlogs were reduced by 40 percent across the federal government.
The new report, released Tuesday, covers the last three months of the Bush administration and the first nine months of the Obama administration. OpenTheGovernment.org2019s director, Patrice McDermott, noted other 201Cencouraging201D trends, such as a decline in the creation of new national security secrets.
According to the report, the number of federal workers who have 201Coriginal classification authority201D 2014 or the authority to create a new document and classify it as 201Ctop secret,201D 201Csecret201D or 201Cconfidential201D 2014 dropped from 4,109 in 2008 to 2,557 last year. Original classifications, accordingly, have dropped by about 10 percent.
Decisions to declassify records, however, also declined by 8 percent compared to the year before. In all, government agencies spent nearly $9 billion last year "maintaining the secrets on the books," the report describes, while spending about $45 million on declassifying documents.
For more, check out the full report in our document viewer.
Enhanced by Zemanta

RTKCNS FOI Headline Tag Cloud for July-September

79333a76-ca51-11df-b1c2-000255111976 Blog_this_caption

Freedom of Information Laws Spreading Around the World | World Resources Institute

http://www.wri.org/stories/2010/09/freedom-information-laws-spreading-around-world

International Right to Know day – a reason to celebrate | upstart

http://www.upstart.net.au/2010/09/27/international-right-to-know-day-a-reason-to-celebrate/

Right to Know Week – going on Right Now

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Eavesca/~3/Up5DKI-kul8/

So, for those not in the know (...groan) this week is Right to Know Week.

Right to Know (RTK) Week is and internationally designated week with events taking place around the world. It is designed to improve people's awareness of their rights to access government information and the role such access plays in democracy and good governance. Here in Canada there is an entire week's worth of events planned and it is easy to find out what's happening near you.

Last year, during RTK Week I was invited to speak in Ottawa on a panel for parliamentarians. My talk, called Government Transparency in a Digital Age (blog post about it & slideshare link) seemed to go well and the Information Commissioner soon after started quoting some of my ideas and writings in her speeches and testimony/reports to parliamentary. Unsurprisingly, she has become a fantastic ally and champion in the cause for open data. Indeed, most recently, the Federal Information Commissioner, along with all the her provincial counterparts, released a joint statement calling on their respective governments to proactively disclosing information "in open, accessible and reusable formats."

What is interesting about all this, is that over the course of the last year the RTK community - as witnessed by the Information Commissioners transformation - has begun to understand why "the digital" is radically transforming what access means and how it can work. There is an opportunity to significantly enlarge the number and type of allies in the cause of "open government." But for this transformation to take place, the traditional players will need to continue to rethink and revise both their roles and their relationships with these new players. This is something I hope to pick up on in my talk.

So yes... this year, I'll be back in Ottawa again.

I'll once again be part of the Conference for Parliamentarians-Balancing Openness and the Public Interest in Protecting Information panel, which I'll be doing with:

  • David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
  • Vanessa Brinkmann, Counsel, Initial Request Staff, Office of Information Policy, U.S. Department of Justice; and
  • James Travers of the Toronto Star

Perhaps even more exciting than the panel I'm on though is the panel that shows how quickly both this week and the Information Officer's are trying to transform. Consider that, this year, RTK will include a panel on open data titled "Push or Pull: Liberating Government Information" it will be chaired by Microsoft's John Weigelt and have on it:

  • Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association
  • Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy
  • Kady O'Malley, Parliamentary blogger for CBC.ca's Inside Politics blog
  • Jeff Sallot, Carleton University journalism instructor and former Globe and Mail journalist

Sadly I have a prior commitment back in Vancouver so won't be there in person, but hope to check it out online, hope you will too.

Welcome to Right to Know Week. Hope you'll join in the fray.

Email & Share: Print PDF email Twitter del.icio.us Digg StumbleUpon Slashdot Reddit Facebook Netvibes Technorati Suggest to Techmeme via Twitter Identi.ca

Exercising our right to know - The Vancouver Sun

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Exercising+right+know/3583910/story.html?id=3583910
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act gives the public a right of access to government information in British Columbia. Examples of information of ...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Open Data, Open City | Martin Prosperity Institute

http://www.martinprosperity.org/insights/insight/open-data-open-city

Queen asked for help to payheating bills - Calgary Herald

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/Queen+asked+help+payheating+bills/3577587/story.html
... officials feared the news would be a public relations disaster for the monarch, according to the newspaper, which learned of the request under Freedom of Information ...

National Press Club Backs Supreme Court Brief Seeking Broader FOIA Disclosure - Earthtimes

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/press/seeking-broader-foia-disclosure,1464179.html
WASHINGTON , Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Press Club has joined an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to encourage broad government disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com ...

City hall needs to come clean on secretive water deal - Winnipeg Sun

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/columnists/joyanne_pursaga/2010/09/24/15466311.html
The group also requested a copy of the contract under freedom of information legislation, which the city denied. Mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis is also speaking out against ...

‘Info bill to ensure accountability’ - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/cebudailynews/news/view/20100925-294213/Info-bill-to-ensure-accountability

Friday, September 24, 2010

Behind the numbers: The G8/G20 expenses debate, is it really about transparency? - Inside Politics

http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/09/behind-the-numbers-the-g8g20-expenses-debate-is-it-really-about-transparency.html

Centre for Law and Democracy Website Launched

It is our pleasure to inform you that the website for the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) is now live. On the website (http://www.law-democracy.org), you will find information about the Centre and what we do. There are pages listing our recent activities, our research, media work, legal work and our projects.

 

We hope you find the website useful. We appreciate any feedback and comments you might have, as we hope to make the website both an effective tool for presenting our work and a useful resource for those working on promoting foundational rights for democracy.

___________________________________
Toby Mendel
Executive Director
 
Centre for Law and Democracy

Waltham Forest - Council Transparency

http://data.london.gov.uk/datastore/package/waltham-forest-council-transparency

Waltham Forest's dedicated page for publishing council transparency data.

Centre for FOI 'New Developments Seminar - Now Booking

http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/home/News/20101709.asp

Senate backs repeal of SEC open records exemptions - AP - msnbc.com

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39327023
... government's oversight of financial services firms has cleared the Senate. The legislation would repeal Freedom of Information Act exemptions given to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the nation's new ...

Council staff under pressure over requests - Press & Journal

http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1932894?UserKey=

Gov't slammed for charging $9,000 for info

http://www.theprovince.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=3572668

Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Central America and Dominican Republic Forum for Transparency San Salvador 28-29 September

http://www.transparency.org/news_room/latest_news/press_releases/2010/2010_09_23_centamer_transp_forum_media_advisory

UK Freedom of Information Blog: Central government FOI statistics April-June 2010

http://foia.blogspot.com/2010/09/central-government-foi-statistics-july.html

Expense visualizer (via FlowingData blog)

Expense visualizer: "

Canada expense visualizer

In an effort to make Canadian government expense data more accessible, FFunction designed the Expense Visualizer. A slider on top lets you filter by time, and small graphs show spending by different departments. Rearrange panels as you wish, and select among several scaling options as absolute values or relative. Bookmark your custom views or send them to others.


It took two years to make, but I'm pretty sure most of that time was waiting for all the groups to publish their data since the implementation itself is fairly straightforward.


A vertical axis probably would've been useful to see the values more easily. Or even better, a display of values as you rollover the graphs (like this).


[Thanks, S├ębastien]






"

Metro - B.C. asks group to pay $9K for park info

http://www.metronews.ca/vancouver/local/article/642850--b-c-asks-group-to-pay-9k-for-park-info

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Senate committee repeals FOIA exemptions

http://www.businessrecord.com/main.asp?FromHome=1&TypeID=1&ArticleID=10770&SectionID=45&SubSectionID=136

Freedom of Information Critical for Transparency | Liberian Observer

http://www.liberianobserver.com/node/8442

Government buy-in and public participation needed : Cayman Islands News

http://www.caymannewsservice.com/viewpoint/2010/09/21/government-buy-and-public-participation-needed

The extent to which citizens go online to access data on the business of government (US - The Pew Internet & American Life Project)

Part Four: Online government data and information

The extent to which citizens go online to access data on the business of government

For many good government advocates, providing citizens with access to vast stores of previously-unavailable government data represents the internet’s greatest promise for improving the relationship between the government and its constituents. To measure the extent to which citizens go online to access data on the business of government, we asked internet users whether they had visited any of four specific types of websites in the last year. Although these services do not necessarily comprise a comprehensive list of government data services, they cover a relatively broad spectrum of the activities considered important by advocates of transparency in government. The activities we asked about include:
  • Looking online to see how money from the recent stimulus package is being spent
  • Downloading or reading the text of any legislation
  • Visiting a site that provides access to government data, such as data.gov, recovery.gov or usaspending.gov
  • Looking online for information on who contributes to the campaigns of their elected officials 

FOIwiki - helping you unlock the secrets of UK Freedom of Information laws

FOIwiki is designed to help you ensure your Freedom of Information requests are fairly treated by Public Authorities. Often the Authority will misapply an Exemption to your request and not supply the information you're after. This site allows you to check the law and official guidance all in one place.
The Freedom of Information laws all roughly follow the same process, although there are some subtle differences:

  1. you make an information request to a public authority
  2. the authority can ask you to clarify this
  3. under certain circumstances, the authority may ask you to pay a fee to cover printing and postage or other costs
  4. you wait for them to answer back within a certain time period
  5. the authority will either send you the information you ask or will refuse to send it, claiming one or more exemptions that are allowed to them under the laws.
  6. for refusals, you can make an appeal to the authority to get them to reconsider the exemptions
  7. if this is still unsuccessful, you can apply to the Information Commissioner (or the Scottish Information Commissioner) for a decision on the matter
  8. if this is still unsuccessful, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) (or the Court of Session for Scotland's FOI laws)

Filed under: 'There's an app for that!': DinerInspect app uses restaurant inspection reports

Software developer wins Edmonton app competition

DinerInspect app has restaurant inspection reports
EDMONTON — Software developer Mitch Ronquillo has taken the guesswork out of where to dine or not to dine in Edmonton by creating an application that displays restaurant inspection reports on a map.
Ronquillo's DinerInspect app was selected as the gold winner in the City of Edmonton's Apps4Edmonton contest. DinerInspect was one of 32 data applications and 86 app ideas generated by the contest.


Read more: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/technology/Software+developer+wins+Edmonton+competition/3531077/story.html#ixzz10Bb26xGo

Canadian Embassy awards new McLuhan Fellow (June 24 2010)

Canadian Embassy awards new McLuhan Fellow (June 24 2010)

Veteran journalist Ed Lingao has been named the Marshall McLuhan Fellow for 2010 during the Jaime V. Ongpin Journalism Seminar

Mr. Lingao, currently the multimedia director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, won the distinction for his collective body of work in the different media –print, broadcast, and online.  The most recent of which include his work in the PCIJ on the Maguindanao massacre and the campaign spending in the 2010 elections.  He also recently wrote a compelling story on the necessity of the Freedom of Information Act.

The Marshall McLuhan Prize, named after the world-renowned Canadian communication scholar, is the Embassy of Canada’s flagship public diplomacy initiative. The Prize was launched in 1997 to encourage investigative journalism in the Philippines and it underlines Canada’s belief that a strong media is essential to a free democratic society. 

The program, with financial support from Sun Life of Canada, provides the winner with a study tour to Canada. This will be an opportunity to interact with media counterparts and to discuss current governance issues with Canadian government officials and members of civil society.  The winner will also have the chance to sit as a fellow at the McLuhan Institute in Toronto. 

The Jaime V. Ongpin Journalism Seminar was organized by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility in Makati City.



PCIJ's Ed Lingao is 2010 McLuhan Fellow for Journalism