Wednesday, September 29, 2004

International Right to Know Day

Was yesterday....more information:

established by the Freedom of Information Advocates Network (based in Budapest and Sofia, see and ). Advocates in two dozen countries are mounting coordinated activities such as conferences, awards, release of studies, and workshops on September 28.

Plus this at

The posting today included a sample of 25 news stories from around the world based on records released through the access laws:

* Australians learned about the $500,000 per year on average that each ex-prime minister of Australia costs taxpayers in that country for support of professional activities (and excluding the lifelong pension each receives).

* In Romania, citizens won access to data on wiretaps including how many actually led to criminal convictions.

* Canadians discovered that the Premier of Alberta billed taxpayers for a $2,600 lunch tab and $27 glasses of orange juice.

* An Indian citizen exposed the abuse of government cars by civil servants and officials who used the transport for tourist trips and religious pilgrimages.

* The largest Japanese newspaper, The Yomiuri Shimbun, uncovered huge lobbying expenses by the Japanese liquor merchants association that won repeal of licensing requirements, including direct payments to lawmakers.

* And the Mexican federal agency that is implementing Mexico's new law ordered release of Interior Ministry intelligence that was the basis for Mexico's expelling Cuban diplomats in 2003.

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