Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Ombudsmen make open goverment laws work

Article by Al Roberts in Daily Herald (Utah, US)
"These watchdogs perform four critical functions. First, they provide an inexpensive way of obtaining justice when agencies ignore a FOIA request or refuse information. You don't need a lawyer or deep pockets to make an appeal to Canada's Information Commissioner. His staff successfully mediates almost all disputes in a few months, at no charge for the complainant. (Other ombudsmen charge modest appeal fees.) In the United States, you can ask an agency to reconsider its decision -- but it's unlikely to change its mind. Then it's time for a costly and complicated trip to federal court."

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