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Friday, September 28, 2012

International Right to Know Day 28 September

Have a good one. 

 Despite the fact there is a blank when it comes to Australian groups among the 200 organisational members of the founders, FOI Advocates, and on the map of Australia in the world map of RTKD activities 2012. And Australia is not in the list of members of the Open Government Partnership, one year old today, and now with 57 government members - but we live in hope.

On the last mentioned, Australian Information Commissioner Professor John McMillan told the Creating Open Government Conference in Sydney last month that Australian membership is still  "under discussion"- what a marathon!
The development of a national framework for open government policy was an issue my office took up in an Issues Paper in 2010, Towards an Australian Government Information Policy. We plan to return to that theme in another paper in November this year to mark the second anniversary of the office.
A related development mentioned earlier in this conference by other speakers is the international Open Government Partnership (OGP), which 57 countries have now joined. One of the requirements of membership is that a country publish a national action plan that contains concrete open government commitments and projects. Expert external evaluation of a country's performance against the commitments in the country plan is another requirement of OGP membership. Impressive plans have already been published by, among others, the United States, United Kingdom and Canadian governments. The Australian Government has not yet announced whether it will join the OGP, though the matter is under discussion.
On the fore-mentioned interest in right to information advocacy here, Australia's Right To Know has the name but zero recent form.

(Update: not dancing in the street mind you, but the Office of the Queensland Information Commissioner acknowledges Right to Know Day, which also gets a mention in the Office of Australian Information Commissioner weekly email update :
Today is Right to Know Day! Right to Know Day was created at an international meeting of information advocates in Bulgaria in 2002, with the goal of promoting the global movement of increasing access to information and awareness of Freedom of Information (FOI) worldwide.  For more information visit the Freedom  of Information Advocates Network website:

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