Governments still avoiding FOI requests: study

The guru of Freedom of Information requests, Prof. Fred Vallance Jones of King’s College, sicced his journalism students on three levels of government,  for the third year in a row, and found them mostly noncompliant. Having been on the receiving end of FOI requests in my career, I will point out that some of them I’ve seen have been strange to the point of incomprehensible; there’s some responsibility to be shared by the requestor to make a clean, comprehensible request.

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Sep 27, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — A total refusal to release contracts in Winnipeg, Quebec’s denial of basic accountability information about top officials’ spending, passenger manifests for Ontario’s executive aircraft on which names deleted after six months and the federal government’s stubborn refusal to release data in a useful form are just some of the findings of the Newspapers Canada sixth annual National Freedom of Information Audit, which tests the openness of governments across the country.

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