examining the philippine freedom of information act (polsc 150 term paper)
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FINAL FINAL OUTLINE [with color coding]: The Freedom of Information Act of 2009: A PrimerPola Rosie Michael
Objective: To outline a comprehensive rationale for freedom of informationI. a. b. c. d. II. a. b. c. d. III. Primer History of the Bill Background Timeline of legislation Freedom of information in the country Necessity Legal basis Bill of Rights provision Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials (RA 6713) Article 19 of the UDHR states Clamor
letter to speaker Nograles signed by reps of 70 organizations
b. collection of petitions and letters from Right To Know, right now campa c. IV. a. b. c. V. a. b. AER Urgency National Elections (automation) Maguindanao massacre, plight of journalist ZTE Model: SB 3308: Enabling laws for the FOIA Description of the Senate bill according to questions in four areas
Part I Rosie
iv. Michael c. VI. a. Comparison with House Bill Comparison of FOIA from other Countries Comparing the models of three other democratic countries i. ii. iii. VII. VIII. Advantages and Disadvantages Recommendation and Conclusion
United States Japan Singapore
II. Model Discussion on the law itself First we describe the law, and then we refer to the questions (below) and answer the most important Mechanism: discuss key provisions and compare the house and senate bills Actors Budget Scope - limitations and exceptions Safeguard
I A. Who can request records? 1. Status of requestor 2. Purpose of request 3. Use of records B. Whose records are and are not subject to the act? 1. Executive branch a. Records of the executives themselves b. Records of certain but not all functions 2. Legislative bodies 3. Courts 4. Nongovernmental bodies a. Bodies receiving public funds or benefits b. Bodies whose members include governmental officials. 5. Multi-state or regional bodies 6. Advisory boards and commissions, quasi-governmental entities. 7. Others C. What records are and are not subject to the act? 1. What kinds of records are covered? 2. What physical form of records are covered? 3. Are certain records available for inspection but not copying? D. Fee provisions or practices 1. Levels or limitations on fees. 2. Particular fee specifications or provisions. a. Search b. Duplication c. Other 3. Provisions for fee waivers 4. Requirements or prohibitions regarding advance payment 5. Have agencies imposed prohibitive fees to discourage requesters? E. Who enforces the act? 1. Attorney [Solicitor] General's role 2. Availability of an ombudsman 3. Commission or agency enforcement
F. Are there sanctions for noncompliance?
II. Exemptions and other Legal Limitations
A. Exemptions in the open records statute. 1. Character of exemptions a. General or specific b. Mandatory or discretionary 2. Discussion of each exemption
III. Law on Electronic Records A. Can the requester choose a format for receiving records? B. Can the requester obtain a customized search of computer databases to fit particular needs? C. Does the existence of information in electronic format affect its openness? D. How is email treated? E. Is software public? F. How are fees for electronic records assessed? G. Money-making schemes 1. Revenues 2. Geographic Location Systems H. Online dissemination
IV. Record categories - Open or Closed
A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J.
Autopsy reports Bank Records Business records, financial data, trade secrets. Contracts, proposals, and bids. Collective bargaining records. Coroner's reports Election records Gun permits Hospital permits Personnel records 1. Salary 2. Disciplinary records 2. Police blotter. 3. 911 tapes. 4. Investigatory records. a. Rules for active investigations b. Rules for closed investigations 5. Arrest records 6. Compiliations of criminal histories 7. Victims 8. Confessions 9. Confidential informants 10. Police techniques 11. Mug shots L. Prison, parole, and probation reports M. Public utility records N. Real estate appraisals, negotiations. O. School and university records 1. Athletic records 2. Trustee records 3. Student records 4. Other P. Vital statistics 1. Birth certificates 2. Marriage and divorce 3. Death certificates
V. Procedure for obtaining records
A. How to start 1. Who receives a request? 2. Does the law cover oral requests? a. Arrangements to inspect and copy b. If an oral request is denied: 1. How does the requester memorialize the refusal? 2. Do subsequent steps need to be in writing? 3. Contents of a written request a. Description of the records b. Need to address fee issues c. Plea for quick response. d. Can they request for future records? e. Other B. How long to wait. 1. Statutory, regulatory or court-set time limits for agency response. 2. Informal telephone inquiry as to status. 3. Is delay recognized as a denial for appeal purposes? 4. Any other recourse to encourage a response. C. Administrative appeal 1. Time limit. 2. To whom is an appeal directed? a. Individual agencies. b. A state commission or ombudsman. c. State attorney general. 3. Fee issues. 4. Content of appeal letter. a. Description of records or portions of records denied b. refuting the reasons for denial. 5. Waiting for a response.
6. Subsequent remedies. D. Court action. 1. Who may sue? 2. Priority. 3. Pro se. 4. Issues the court will address: a. Denial b. Fees for records. c. Delays. d. Patterns for future access (Declaratory judgment). 5. Pleading format. 6. Time limit for filing suit. 7. What court. 8. Judicial remedies available 9. Courts and attorneys fees 10. Fines. 11. Other penalties 12. Settlement pros and cons E. Appealing initial court decisions. 1. Appeal routes. 2. Time Limits for filing appeals. 3. Contact of interested amici. F. Addressing government suits against disclosure.
III. Advantages and Disadvantages IV. Comparison with FOIA from other countries: [all democracies,
V. Conclusion Questions and Recommendation Chiz Escudero: ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS TO STRENGTHEN FOIA money making schemes to support the added cost of FOIA
Timeline + background infoMay 6, 2008 - HB 3732, entitled An Act Implementing the Right of Access to Information on Matters of Public Concern Guaranteed Under Section Twenty-Eight, Article II and Section Seven, Article III of the 1987 Constitution and for Other Purposes, a substitute for bills 194, 997, 1665, 2021, 2059, 2176, 2223, 2293 and 3116, is brought to the House floor. May 12, 2009 - HB 3732 passes its second reading. June 3, 2009 - Committee Report 534 is filed, regarding Senate Bill 3308 (The Freedom of Information Act of 2009) substituting SBs No. 16 (Revilla), 109 (Roxas), 576 (Estrada), 592 (Estrada), 1578 (Villar), 2571 (Legarda), and 3273 (Cayetano, A., Cayetano, P., and Zubiri), taking into consideration HBN 3732 (Angara, Del Mar, Villanueva, et al.) and SRN 11 (Estrada). Sponsors: Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV. December 14, 2009 - The Senate votes 12-0 to approve FOIA on 3rd reading. Senators who signed the measure are Francis Escudero, Francis Pangilinan, Benigno Noynoy Aquino III, Rodolfo Biazon, Aquilino Nene Pimentel, Jr. Panfilo Lacson, Richard Gordon, Miriam DefensorSantiago, Gregorio Honasan, Edgardo Angara, and Joker Arroyo. January 31, 2010 - Bicameral committee approves FOIA. February 1, 2010 - Senate ratifies bicameral version of FOIA. House approval needed. February 3, 2010 - Congress adjourns for the 2010 elections. FOIA is left hanging. February 14, 2010 - ATIN writes to Speaker Prospero Nograles: http://www.aer.ph/images/stories/projects/id/nograles-letter-14%20feb%202010-final.pdf May 31 to June 4, 2010 - Last week of 14th Congressional sessions; FOIA hoped to be passed within this week.
Benefits Morse, Jane Freedom of Information Laws benefit Government and Public 14 December 2006 USINFO article Washington -- Freedom of information (FOI) laws benefit both the public and the government, although governments are sometimes reluctant to adopt them, says William
Ferroggiaro, a Washington-based writer and consultant with more than 15 years of experience as an advocate for government accountability. Ferroggiaro spoke with participants from Egypt, Guyana, Macedonia, Madagascar, Pakistan and other parts of the world during a USINFO Webchat December 14. In the United States, the Freedom of Information Act ensures the public's right to access U.S. government records and is an important component of ensuring the government's accountability to the people it serves, Ferroggiaro said. The act prevents the creation of secret laws and regulations, he said. Through it, he added, the public can have access to documents, although after the fact, that discuss policies that affect their daily lives. Knowing that the public will find out about ill-conceived ideas potentially prevents those ideas from being put forward. For the government, freedom of information laws provide a legal mechanism for disclosure of information and improve credibility before the public, Ferroggiaro said. The U.S. Freedom of Information Act was passed by Congress in 1966 and went into effect in 1967. There were a lot of political battles, however, to make it the law of the land, Ferroggiaro acknowledged. Currently, more than 70 countries have some legal right of access to information, he said. But it is difficult for countries anywhere to enact and implement such laws, Ferroggiaro said. Although the United Kingdom enacted its law in 2002, he noted, the law went into effect only recently. It is difficult for govern