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Fees for FOI Requests Breach European Rules on Access to Information

irish_moneyMadrid/Dublin, 12 November 2013 - The specialist freedom of information NGO Access Info Europe today expressed serious concern at attempts to maintain and even increase fees for FOI requests in Ireland and noted this is not permitted by European and international standards.

Access Info Europe noted that the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents expressly prohibits charges for requests. The Convention clearly states that a fee may only be charged to the applicant "for a copy of the official document, which should be reasonable and not exceed the actual costs of reproduction and delivery of the document" in other words, only photocopying and postage charges are permitted.

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Recommendations for Transparency of Media Ownership presented to Council of Europe

frontpageTMOfinalBelgrade/Madrid, 7 November 2013 - Access Info Europe and the Open Society Media Program today launched Ten Recommendations for Transparency of Media Ownership in a presentation to the 47 governments of the Council of Europe meeting in Belgrade, Serbia.

Presenting the recommendations, Mark Thompson of the Open Society Media Program called for the Council of Europe to take a lead in creating a regulatory framework for ensuring that citizens can know who really owns the media.

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OGP countries need to take the Right to Information seriouslyOGP_london_summit_13

Halifax/Madrid, 1 November 2013 - Global right to information organisations Access Info Europe (AIE) and the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) today called on Open Government Partnership (OGP) Participating Countries to make serious commitments to strengthen their right to information laws in the next round of action plans, due to be presented in April 2014.

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OGP civil society organisations concerned about disproportionate surveillance by governments

Surveillance_camerasLondon, 1 November 2013 - OGP civil society organisations have expressed their concern, in a public statement made today, about the contraditions between recent revelations on disproportionate government surveillance on the one hand, and their OGP commitment to more transparent, accountable, responsive and effective government, on the other.

It comes after the final plenary session on the first day of the London OGP Summit when Indian Human Rights campaigner Aruna Roy challenged US Secretary of State John Kerry on the revelations of mass surveillance of populations around the world by the US government.

You can read a copy of the letter, and a full list of signatories as of 1 November 2013, below.

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