UNESCO and ICIC Celebrate International Day for Universal Access to Information

In observance of International Day for Universal Access to Information, two international access organizations are co-hosting a webinar from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT on September 29, 2020, to discuss best practices in access to information amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Register for the webinar here. The United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) … Continue reading UNESCO and ICIC Celebrate International Day for Universal Access to Information

The Importance of Preserving Pandemic Records

In a recent statement, Turning the threat of COVID-19 into an opportunity for greater support to documentary heritage, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic, which many countries have already declared to be modern history’s gravest health emergency, will one day become a part of our shared history. In … Continue reading The Importance of Preserving Pandemic Records

Statement of the International Conference of Information Commissioners: “Access to Information in the context of a global pandemic”

The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brings unprecedented challenges for our society, both nationally and globally. The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) has joined over three dozen of its colleagues worldwide to support the International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC) in its statement acknowledging the challenges public authorities face in the current pandemic … Continue reading Statement of the International Conference of Information Commissioners: “Access to Information in the context of a global pandemic”

OGIS Officially Joins the International Access Community

OGIS is excited to report that it was recently welcomed as one of the first accredited official members of the International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC). The ICIC connects Information Commissioners, Ombudsmen and other bodies charged with overseeing the implementation of Access to Public Information legislation around the world. The ICIC’s values of Respect and … Continue reading OGIS Officially Joins the International Access Community

Freedom (of Information) Rings at COGEL 2018

The Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) held its 40th annual conference earlier this month in Philadelphia, PA. COGEL is the preeminent organization of government ethics administrators, and its members work in the fields of governmental ethics, freedom of information (FOI), elections, lobbying and campaign finance. Members include governmental entities (state, local, and foreign) educational … Continue reading Freedom (of Information) Rings at COGEL 2018

International Day for Universal Access to Information 2018

In November 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a resolution declaring September 28th of every year as International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI). “The universal right to information is essential for societies to function democratically and for the well-being of each individual,” UNESCO wrote in its proclamation. “Freedom of … Continue reading International Day for Universal Access to Information 2018

Thinking globally

Thirty-three information commissioners—a.k.a freedom of information ombudsmen—from 25 countries gathered April 21-23 for the 9th International Conference of Information Commissioners to discuss transparency issues and share successes and challenges. It was a great honor to represent OGIS at the conference, hosted by the Chilean Transparency Council, in Santiago, Chile. Among the themes of the conference, … Continue reading Thinking globally

Reaching Out

Coinciding nicely with the recent convening of the Open Government Partnership, a global effort to make governments more transparent, effective and accountable, OGIS Director Miriam Nisbet is privileged to have traveled to China recently to meet with government officials and university faculty and students in conjunction with Yale Law School’s China Law Center.  The context … Continue reading Reaching Out

Freedom of Information: Big in Japan (and Brazil and Spain…)

Those of us who live and breathe FOIA tend to stay pretty focused on the federal access law or, for those outside the Federal government, on a patchwork of U.S. state access laws. We may tend to overlook that there are now more than 90 countries with similar laws of their own, and we at … Continue reading Freedom of Information: Big in Japan (and Brazil and Spain…)