Madrid/Halifax, 18 December 2013 – Specialist right to information organisations Access Info Europe and Centre for Law and Democracy led on the drafting of a set of recommendations for progressive improvements to the right to information (RTI) which should be introduced by governments participating in the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

These recommendations form the right to information chapter of the Open Government Guide, which was released at the Open Government Partnership Summit in October 2013.

In addition to the key recommendation that States should adopt a law giving effect to the right to information which meets international standards, the chapter makes a number of recommendations for initial, more substantial, most robust and innovative steps to give effect to this fundamental right, including:
» Putting in place the required institutional structures for implementation of the law
» Expanding the scope of proactive publication
» Undertaking robust promotional measures, including by raising public awareness about the right to information
» Implementing ‘transparency by design’, including by using digital technologies to integrate RTI into all stages of information preparation and processing

The Open Government Guide aims to help governments achieve key OGP goals by highlighting practical, measurable, specific, and actionable steps that governments can take across a range of cross-cutting areas. It was developed by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative along with expert organisations for each of the topics.

Access Info and the Centre for Law and Democracy call upon all OGP Participating States whose RTI laws achieve a score less than 100 points on the RTI Rating, or which have not yet adopted an RTI law, to include a commitment in their upcoming (second round) Action Plans to adopt or revise their RTI laws to bring them into line with international standards, as recommended in the RTI Chapter of the Open Government Guide. We also call upon civil society to use the RTI Chapter of the Guide to assess the performance of their governments in this area and to make relevant recommendations for RTI implementation or law reform.

The full chapter on RTI is available here file_pdf.

diseno chapaThese standards also form part of the broader Open Government Standards on Transparency, Participation, and Accountability which Access Info Europe together with a series of partners has been developing to help define exactly what open government means in the context of the Open Government Partnership.

For more information, please contact:

Vicky Anderica | Access Info Europe | +34 913 656 558 

Toby Mendel | Centre for Law and Democracy | +34 913 656 558