Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

1 FOI - one element of a supporting network of laws, institutions and practices Presented by Rick Snell February 2010 University of Tasmania Australia.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "1 FOI - one element of a supporting network of laws, institutions and practices Presented by Rick Snell February 2010 University of Tasmania Australia."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 FOI - one element of a supporting network of laws, institutions and practices Presented by Rick Snell February 2010 University of Tasmania Australia

2 2 FOI is not a mechanism that can operate in all conditions or environments as a stand alone measure. Changes in the surrounding information environment often provide the foundation, or supports, for more effective FOI. FOI is the most fiercely contested of an array of transparency and accountability measures. Capacity is a critical factor.

3 3 A difficult path Of the 70+ countries that have introduced FOI few have been overnight events or without considerable struggle and/or resistance. –USA late 1940s to mid 1960s (with a series of upgrades since) –Australia late 1960s to 1980s (major upgrade occurring now) –United Kingdom 1960s to 2005 –Indonesia late 1990s to 2009

4 Political will: a critical but uncertain component The political will required for FOI is significant and often has had to be enhanced or motivated by regime change, a significant crisis (corruption scandal) or long standing issue where access to information was a critical element. Other transparency measures seem less dependent on such high levels of political will –Access to sectoral information (health, environment, local government) –Reasons for decisions 4

5 What is the objective? A FOI law? A changed and improved information environment? 5

6 One approach - setting higher benchmarks of transparency Precursors –Australia Reasons for decisions, ombudsman Review of government decisions, annual reporting Intermediate steps –UK Environmental, health, individual agency policies Followed by a general code of access –Indonesia Environmental, provincial –Japan Prefectures, local government –China 3 decades of progressive administrative law reforms 6

7 7 The Problem of Harsh Environments Conflict or post conflict states High levels of corruption One party or one party dominant states Slow economic development Low literacy rates High levels of government paternalism Poorly functioning public service Low records management capacity Low levels of press freedom and/or high levels of journalistic risk

8 8 The Problem of Supply and Demand Supply –Government information poor, scattered, limited –Fragile or non-existent information networks –Information flow irregular and inconsistent –State needs to build a capacity for open public administration – Yet access laws at the high sophistication and capability end of spectrum Demand –Limited - NGOS, Elites, media –Distribution weak (very little empirical study) –Problematic threats to users or perception of threats - –Previous history diminishes expectations –Limited capacity to deal with non-compliance

9 Should we wait for FOI? FOI can come before other reforms and changes Demand and supply challenges are only hurdles Need to adjust expectations Address implementation FOI regimes and information environments evolve 9


Download ppt "1 FOI - one element of a supporting network of laws, institutions and practices Presented by Rick Snell February 2010 University of Tasmania Australia."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google