Editor's Note

The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Countries choose security over openness

At an international transparency conference in Peru, participants admitted that right-to-information laws are often placed on the back burner in the midst of security and financial concerns, Cay Compass News reported. Also discussed was whether transparency should be a luxury item considering its cost. The United States reportedly spends $353 million a year filling requests, most of the cost being from requests to security agencies.
Legislation like Cayman’s Freedom of Information Law is sometimes being placed on the back–burner by wealthy democracies concerned about security and financial stability.

That was one of the major concerns raised during an international right to information conference hosted by the Carter Center this week in Lima, Peru.

“It’s quite clear that when under pressure, whether it be to deliver public services or under threat of terrorism…or when faced by a banking crisis…the holders of information tend to contract their enthusiasm for both the spirit and the letter of the law when it comes to transparency,” said Richard Calland of the Institute for Democracy in South Africa.

More here.

No comments: