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Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Right to Know" - no big deal down under

In some parts of the world 28 September is "Right to Know" day. In Canada this year it's part of "Right to Know" week. In Australia it's..........well, just another work day really.

The FOI Advocates Network is behind the 28 September activities. Its members include civil society and other organisations that are actively involved in promoting the importance of open government principles. Notice the gap in the membership map below? No Australian or New Zealand organisations have felt the need to sign up.

"Right to Know Day" around the world

The Canadian Federal Information Commissisoner and provincial colleagues are providing support to the media and other organisations in promoting "Right to Know" week for the first time in Canada this year.

Those responsible for FOI laws in Australia are noticeable only because of their invisibility when it comes to leadership and advocacy for the right to know.

One of the awards to be conferred by the FOI Advocates Network is for the most secretive organisation. A government agency in Bulgaria has won it three years in a row. Will they have heard of our Federal Treasury and its epic (successful) battle to protect four year old documents on bracket creep and the first home owners grant scheme? It might at least qualify for an honourable mention!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:59 pm

    Hi Peter,

    “Open government is the hallmark of a free and democratic society…Government information belongs to the people, not to the government.” – Gordon Campbell, 1998

    cheers Robert.