No one said freedom of information laws were easy to enforce

El Heraldo in Honduras wanted to see a  report on the Honduran foreign service the foreign affairs ministry compiled.

The paper submitted a request under the country’s transparency act.

And guess what? Yep! There are “delays” in getting the report to the newspaper.

English version (Google Translate): Foreign Ministry refuses to give consular report

Original text: Cancillería rechaza dar informe sobre consulados

No one should be surprised. For me it is not because the foreign ministry is inefficient or wicked. (Although some political elements in Honduras would see the situation that way. And maybe the ministry is just a tad inefficient.) It’s just that is the way governments are. They don’t like giving out information that the people think we have a right to see.

When Pres. Lyndon Johnson signed the US Freedom of Information law into effect in 1966, he told his then press secretary, Bill Moyers, that he had just signed into law the most dangerous piece of legislation ever.

Throughout its history the government agencies have fought to limit the scope of the law while civic groups and journalists have sought to expand it. It is all a part of the standard ongoing battles in a democracy.

El Heraldo needs to be praised for keeping the feet of government agencies and leaders to the fire on these issues.

For more info about the global battles for freedom of information, go to Freedominfo.org.

The describe themselves as “a one-stop portal that describes best practices, consolidates lessons learned, explains campaign strategies and tactics, and links the efforts of freedom of information advocates around the world.”

I have to agree with that assessment. This is a site well worth visiting.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Central America, Freedom of access, Freedom of Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s