This document sets out the classes of information that should be made available by public bodies in order to get a full picture of the influence of interest groups, particularly lobbyists, on governmental and legislative decision making. You can download the report in PDF and in Word . If you have any comments about the contents of this report, we are happy to hear from you. For a member of the public to be able to follow how a particular decision is being or was taken, it is essential that there be full transparency about the influences which shaped that
In the recently published book "The UN and Freedom of Expression and Information - Critical Perspectives", from Cambridge University Press, Access Info’s Executive Director Helen Darbishire maps the current state of the right of access to information and sets out some of the challenges currently facing the right. Darbishire notes that although the world’s first access to information law was adopted 250 years ago in Sweden 1766, it took the UN until 2011 to recognise this as a fundamental human right linked to the right to freedom of expression, and much remains to be done in defining this right and
Report finds Europe-wide Lack of Transparency of Policing of Protests Madrid, 24 April 2015 - There is a serious lack of transparency about the use of various types of equipment during policing of protests according to a report published today by Access Info Europe, following research conducted in 42 countries and territories across Europe by means of access to information requests. The research by the Madrid-based pro-transparency organisation aimed to get a comprehensive picture of the legal framework for, and the actual use of different types of, equipment – including batons, shields, tear gas, and rubber bullets. This goal was
In the year running up to 28 September 2012, members of the European public presented a total of 214 requests for documents with European institutions and bodies using the AsktheEU.org request platform. As of 23 September, almost 65% of the 214 requests made using AsktheEU.org resulted in full (37%) or partial (28%) disclosure of documents. In a further 19% of instances (40 requests) the institution responded that it did not hold the information requested, either because the document did not exist or because it was not in that institutions’ possession. Information was refused in only 13 cases (6% of requests).
This guide on how to test levels of transparency in areas of government prone to corruption was released by Access Info Europe on October 2011, together with the results of the first large-scale monitoring conducted using the methodology in Croatia, conducted by Transparency International Croatia. The “Anti-Corruption Transparency Monitoring Methodology” was presented at the UN Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption currently taking place in Marrakesh, Morocco. The data from Croatia, where 200 answers were received to 560 questions (35% or around one third), shows that there are areas where huge progress has been made
This report consists of the findings of research into the right of access to information in Cyprus conducted in 2010 by Access Info Europe, KAB and IKME as part of the Access Info Cyprus Project. It was researched, written and edited by: Helen Darbishire and David Pardo of Access Info Europe; Faika Deniz Pasha, Derviş Musannif, Ilke Dagli and Didem Erel of the EU Cyprus Association (KAB); and Orestis Tringides and Alecos Tringides of the Institute for Social-Political Studies (IKME). Additional legal analysis was by David Goldberg, Oncel Polili and Panayiota Stavrou. Thanks to Andreas Pavlou of Access Info Europe
Of the 25 access to documents requests made by citizens to the European Central Bank via AsktheEU.org between September 2011 and August 2013, just eight were successful in obtaining all or some of the information requested. In three instances there was full disclosure of the documents requested. The other five requests were successful even though no documents were provided because the requested correspondence did not exist or the meetings enquired about had never taken place. Five requests concerned documents that the ECB did not hold, and requesters were generally referred to another institution which was likely to possess those documents.
Public participation can change the way public policies are developed, reducing capture by special interest groups, and ensuring that decisions take into account the views and needs of affected communities. Although information alone is not sufficient—additional mechanisms are necessary for receiving input from the public, reviewing it, and providing feedback on how this input was taken into consideration—meaningful participation exercises are contingent on the public having timely access to the same data as the officials making the decision. Participation cannot be effective or equal if individuals have to file requests and wait for an answer. The role of transparency in
Limiting access to information to under-16s goes against the principle of access to information as a fundamental right No one should have their right of access to information restricted due to their age according to Access Info Europe and transparency experts. This declaration follows a meeting between Access Info and authors of a draft transparency law in Catalonia, Spain, who have a provision which would restrict access to information to under-16s. Following the meeting between Catalan representatives and Victoria Anderica, Access Info Europe has published a short report that outlines the arguments against restricting access to information due to age,
The Spanish Transparency, Access to Information and Good Governance Law establishes the rules on the access to information procedures in Article 17, one of which is identifying the identity of the requester. This is not necessarily a problem, given that many access to information laws around the world also ask for such information in order to direct the response directly back to the requester, the difference and real problem in Spain is that access to information is considered an administrative procedure and therefore making requests comes under administrative procedure rules. The following mini report by Access Info outlines the reasons