Freedom of Information

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Description of Tool Class


Freedom of Information (FOI) tools allow the user to request information from bodies of government. The purpose of FOI tools is to establish a more Open Government by facilitating a citizen's request for information in a public, traceable way.

Over 100 countries around the world have implemented some form of freedom of information legislation. Sweden's Freedom of the Press Act of 1766 is the oldest in the world. The emergence of freedom of information legislation was a response to increasing dissatisfaction with the secrecy surrounding government policy development and decision making.[1] They establish a "right-to-know" legal process by which requests may be made for government-held information, to be received freely or at minimal cost, barring standard exceptions. Also variously referred to as open records, or sunshine laws (in the United States), governments are typically bound by a duty to publish and promote openness. In many countries there are constitutional guarantees for the right of access to information, but these are usually unused if specific support legislation does not exist.

Tools in this Tool Class

Top contributors to this page: DerekPeaceTech

Supports Objectives(s) Open Government (Objective)