Posts Tagged ‘Freedom of Information Act’

Crowdsourcing the UK’s Freedom of Information Act

The Guardian reports, “The [British] government has launched an open consultation on the guidance that public authorities will use to enhance the right to data in the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act. These provisions, covering the re-use of data and the form in which it is made available, are expected to come into force in April 2013, and – delivering on a commitment in the open data white paper – we are opening up the process of developing the guidance to the public. The white paper presented clear actions to strengthen people’s access to data, improve its usability and ensure that its full potential for economic and social growth is unleashed.” Read more

Proactive Transparency in Government Data

A recent article asks the question, “What’s the link between open data and access to information?” The article states, “The lack of connection that exists between activists working in both communities… prevents realising the issue.  This civil servant was really interested in how this new evolution would affect the relationship between citizens and the State. The key connection, and it is not always explicit, between open data and access to information is placed in the so called duties of proactive transparency that Freedom of Information Laws impose on States and that actually mandate [the publishing of] certain categories of information proactively, in an easy and accessible way, so citizens can benefit from it.” Read more

Paying Too Much for FOIA

A new article from InfoVegan looks at the costs of the Freedom of Information Act and how those costs will only continue to rise if Data.gov and other open government sites go dark: “FOIA is one of those transparency things that sounds like a good idea, but in the end turns out to be kind of stupid. In 1974 when the law was put together, the House Committee on Government Operations said that FOIA’s cost should not exceed 100,000/yr — that’s about $450,000 in today’s dollars. Talk about gross underestimation… In 2010, we spent nearly a half billion taxpayer dollars* spent on processing FOIA requests. Since 2008, we’ve added an extra 50 million dollars to our FOIA costs.” Read more