Freedom of Information Legislation

Improve public access to information

Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Hong Kong appears to stand out as a centre for the free flow of information in the region. But it lags behind countries that long ago enacted laws protecting public archives and access to information.

Saturday, 26 January, 2013, 2:06am

India's whistle-blowers let down by the law

All over India, in small remote towns, brave souls are waging a lonely battle - exposing corruption at the cost of their lives. In the latest case, S.P.Mahantesh, a local government official, succumbed to head injuries in Karnataka, south India, earlier this month after being assaulted. Mahantesh is believed to have been killed for being a whistle-blower on illegal land allotments.

28 May 2012 - 12:00am

Open information law will be overhauled, judge says

Almost half of all lawsuits applying for the release of government-held information have been rejected by mainland courts in the three years since legislation meant to give access came into force, according to a senior judge who helped draft the law.

29 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Not just for official eyes any more

The news

8 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Ruling could help citizens seeking official information

A new interpretation of the law by the courts may make it easier for citizens frustrated in their efforts in seeking information from the government to sue the department in question.

The ruling specifies situations in which a government department may be sued under the Open Government Information Regulations.

16 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Access to information must be made easier

Our government claims to value transparency and accountability. But when it comes to putting these principles into practice, its actions often leave much to be desired. Many departments have failed to live up to disclosure standards set by the code on access to information, which predates the handover.

30 Jan 2010 - 12:00am

Rights to information around the region

South Korea: The Act on Disclosure of Information by Public Agencies went into effect in January 1998. Citizens can demand information held by public agencies, but not from those that handle issues of national security.

29 Jan 2010 - 12:00am

Watchdog raps officials' secrecy

The government is guilty not only of failing on many fronts to give the public access to official information, but of doing little to improve the situation, a year-long Ombudsman's investigation concluded yesterday.

29 Jan 2010 - 12:00am

Pan-democrats aim to revive talks on access to official records

Pan-democrats are hoping to revive debate on new laws to regulate and enable public access to official records after the Ombudsman announced last month an investigation into the effectiveness of the Code on Access to Information.

9 Mar 2009 - 12:00am

Ombudsman probes government's access to information code

The Ombudsman has launched an investigation into the government's access to information code, citing 'a lack of understanding' on the part of public servants about the regulation.

27 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

Access to information still stymied by officials

A seismograph that could provide relief workers with critical information on the May 12 quake and revenue from the Airport Expressway in Beijing are among the subjects on which the public have requested information. But officials, who have long been known for their scerecy, have ignored many of them.

28 Jun 2008 - 12:00am

For the record ...

The issue is poor records management. The government has, so far, owned up to five cases of missing data. Could this be just the tip of the iceberg? These are the recent cases which have come to light, but they show the current administrative system of public-records management is not what it should be.

15 May 2008 - 12:00am

In Brief

89pc of requests under freedom of information code met

18 Aug 2007 - 12:00am

Toughen disclosure rules, say legislators

Macau officials face pressure on assets

The administration of Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah faced fresh calls yesterday from legislators to revise the city's 'sunshine law', which requires officials to disclose their assets but bars public access to those declarations.

14 Aug 2007 - 12:00am

Freedom of information denied is freedom denied

The free flow of information is at the heart of Hong Kong's success. Without a transparent government, media freedom and free speech, Hong Kong would wither and die. Ensuring that this remains the case is essential to our future growth and well-being.

20 May 2007 - 12:00am