Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Public Services Awards 2006 - no awards for FOI, transparency & openess

FOI and Access to Information still has quite a way to go in reaching the public service agenda as a core issue - it is disappointing to note that the forthcoming Public Services Awards feature no awards relating to freedom of information, transparency or open government. One of the problems with FOI at the moment is that many of headlines often focus on the negative issues such as witholding of information, little praise is given given to organisations who are making efforts to bring new information into the public domain.

Perhaps there is a need to revive the Freedom of Infornmation awards? (last given in 2001) your thoughts below....


CW said...

In this current climate of fear and uncertainty resurrecting the FOI awards would certainly be a good idea. With the ongoing controversies surrounding the war in Iraq situation, the handling of the 7/7 bombings, the de Menezes shooting it seems as if there's never been a greater for government transparency and accountability. Flagging up the postive aspects of FOI should of course also be highlighted, but as you mention they receive little media coverage.

Dwight Hines said...

We need awards for a variety of reasons, one good one being it lets folks know what others are doing that is successful.
We need subcategories, international could be one, where people usiing different laws could pressure a government into complying or else face sanctions. So, European Commissiion on Human Rights would not allow a member to do business with Haiti if Haiti was not in compliance with open records laws.
It would be analogous to victims of torture using the U.S. Federal courts for tort suits (
Dwight Hines,
St. Augustine, Florida