(Update: the Centre for Law and Democracy tells me the points were deducted following my comment last time that the assessment had mistaken a state level whistleblower protection law for a national level one. The absence of the latter-still the situation- is the cause of the mark down. I wasn't aware they had noted my comment and accepted it a year ago.)
What happens in practice of course is the important test- but it's not exactly been a great week on that front here either.
In some cases, countries with relatively weak laws may nonetheless be very open, due to positive implementation efforts, while even relatively strong laws cannot ensure openness if they are not implemented properly. Regardless of these outlying cases, over time a strong access to information law can contribute to advancing openness and help those using it to defend and promote the right of access to information.
- No constitutional right of access to information;
- Blanket exclusions from the act for intelligence organisations and a range of other executive government agencies. Private sector bodies in receipt of significant government funding are not covered. All in all a deduction of 20 points in Category 2 for these weaknesses.
- Excessive "wiggle room" on time limits.
- Fees-not limited to cost of reproduction.
- The extent of secrecy provisions in other legislation.
- Broadly framed exemptions, some not based on a harm test. No universal public interest override, for example for disclosure of information about corrupt conduct.
- No sanctions for improper public service employee conduct such as undermining the act or destruction of documents.