opendatastudy

Research on Open Data and Transparency


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Freedom of Information — why bother?

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‘Freedom of Information. Three harmless words. I look at those words as I write them, and feel like shaking my head till it drops off my shoulders. You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop. There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it.”’ – Tony Blair.

Why do governments bother to pass Freedom of information laws? Here’s my attempt to explain why they bother to do something that appears ‘so utterly undermining of sensible government’ (Blair again) foia-why-bother-ben-worthy-freedom-of-information. This is, by the way, a blatant preview for my forthcoming book.

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United Kingdom End of Term Report 2013-2015

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My OGP IRM report is here for public comment on the UK government’s Second National Action Plan. Here’ s a summary:

The UK’s second action plan commitments on beneficial ownership, aid transparency, Sciencewise, and OpenDataCommunities are some examples of major contributions to government openness. Four commitments were closer to completion. However, progress overall in the rest of commitments was sustained from the assessment at mid-term. The third action plan has several commitments that flow from two priority areas and star commitments including beneficial ownership and extractives.”

You have until 18th January to offer any thoughts either via the page or by email to to irm@opengovpartnership.org.