Diminishing Returns, or How Spin-Doctors and Journalists Have Mis-
treated a Volatile Reform,‚ÄĚ The Drawing Board: An Australian Review of
Public Affairs 2, no. 3 (2002): 187‚Ä“207, 193.
72. Rick Snell, ‚ÄúContentious Issues Management: The Dry Rot in FOI
Practice?‚ÄĚ Freedom of Information Review, no. 102 (2002): 62‚Ä“65, 63.
73. Ombudsman of New South Wales, Annual Report 2001‚Ä“2002 (Sydney,
Australia: OfÔ¬Āce of the Ombudsman, 2002), 73.
74. Paola Totaro, ‚ÄúNo Such Thing as a Free Set of Documents,‚ÄĚ Freedom of
Information Review 101 (2002): 53‚Ä“54, 53.
75. Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Annual Report 2000
(Toronto: OfÔ¬Āce of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, 2001),
76. Ann Rees, ‚ÄúPublic Access under Attack,‚ÄĚ Toronto Star, September 20, 2003,
A1; Ann Rees, ‚ÄúInformation Requests Stir Privacy Debate,‚ÄĚ Toronto Star,
September 21, 2003, A7. In 2004 the Commissioner called on the govern-
ment to reform the procedures: Information and Privacy Commission of
Ontario, Annual Report 2003 (Toronto: Information and Privacy Commis-
sioner of Ontario, 2004), 6.
77. Roberts, ‚ÄúRetrenchment and Freedom of Information: Recent Experience
under Federal, Ontario, and British Columbia Law,‚ÄĚ Table 5.
78. Alasdair Roberts, ‚ÄúTreatment of Sensitive Requests under British
Columbia‚Ä™s Freedom of Information Law,‚ÄĚ Freedom of Information Review
109 (2004): 2‚Ä“4.
79. Ann Rees, ‚ÄúWatchdog Probes Claim That Province Violated Privacy Law,‚ÄĚ
Vancouver Sun, March 20, 2004, A1.
80. Ann Rees, Freedom of Information under Surveillance in British Columbia
(Vancouver: Simon Fraser University, School of Communication, 2004),
81. Richard Halloran, ‚ÄúInformation Act Scored as Futile,‚ÄĚ New York Times,
March 15, 1972, 19.
Notes to Pages 98‚Ä“104
82. Otto Kahn-Freund, ‚ÄúOn Uses and Misuses of Comparative Law,‚ÄĚ Modern
Law Review 37 (1974): 1‚Ä“27, 12‚Ä“13.
83. Gunther Teubner, ‚ÄúLegal Irritants: Good Faith in British Law or How
Unifying Law Ends up in New Divergencies,‚ÄĚ Modern Law Review 61,
no. 1 (1998): 11‚Ä“32, 12.
84. Asahi News Service, ‚ÄúMore Lists: Many Agencies Are Recording Inappro-
priate Details,‚ÄĚ August 30, 2002, Mainichi Daily News, ‚ÄúMinistries May
Face Inspection over Private Data Collection,‚ÄĚ May 29, 2002.
85. See Adams and Ecclestone, Implementation of the Freedom of Informa-
tion Act 2000: Study Visit to Australia and New Zealand, 4. However, this
proposition should be treated cautiously. It was a comment made about
the Australian and New Zealand systems, for which data on patterns of use
is not available. Experience in jurisdictions with better data shows that
ofÔ¬Ācials sometimes prefer to route simple and noncontentious requests
through the formal disclosure process for a variety of reasons, includ-
ing organizational simplicity and the capacity for fee collection: Roberts,
‚ÄúRetrenchment and Freedom of Information: Recent Experience under
Federal, Ontario, and British Columbia Law.‚ÄĚ
86. OECD, Governance in Transition: Public Management Reforms in OECD
Countries (Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Develop-
87. OECD, Ministerial Symposium on the Future of Public Services (Paris:
OECD, 1996), Session 2.
88. Committee on Standards in Public Life, Ninth Report, 4.18.
89. Butler Committee, Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruc-
tion (London: The Stationery OfÔ¬Āce, 2004), 146‚Ä“148; Michael White and
Patrick Wintour, ‚ÄúStraw Cites Leakers in Defence of Blair Style,‚ÄĚ The
Guardian, July 16, 2004, 5.
90. Government Communications Review Group, An Independent Review of
91. Phillip Bobbitt, The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History
(New York: Anchor Books, 2002), 226.
92. In the United Kingdom, this argument has been laid out by Sampson,
Who Runs This Place?
93. For example, by the recognition of voting rights for racial minorities, or
by the reduction of the minimum voting age to 18 years.
94. Such distrust may be exacerbated by the contemporary media, but it was
hardly fostered by it: Mass skepticism of central authority was noted long
before the advent of contemporary communications technologies.
95. Sidney Blumenthal, The Permanent Campaign, Rev. ed. (New York: Simon
and Schuster, 1982); Committee on Standards in Public Life, Ninth Report,
96. P. Webb and T. Poguntke, eds., The Presidentialization of Democracy
(Oxford University Press, 2004).
97. Government Communications Review Group, An Independent Review of
Government Communications, 12.
98. Ibid., 23.
Notes to Pages 104‚Ä“106
99. Peter Riddell, Parliament under Pressure (London: Gollancz, 1998), 99.
100. Nicholas Watt, ‚ÄúOpenness Bill Gets Cold Reception,‚ÄĚ The Guardian,
October 23, 1999, 10.
101. Rob Evans and David Hencke, ‚ÄúBlair ‚ÄúBig Bang‚ÄĚ Theory to Delay Free-
dom Act,‚ÄĚ The Guardian, October 26, 2001, 15.
102. The Code of Practice on Access to Government Information was adopted
in April 1994 and revised in January 1997. As a nonstatutory code, reme-
dies for noncompliance were relatively weak.
103. This data is drawn from annual monitoring reports for the Code of Prac-
tice on Access to Government Information published on the website of
the Department of Constitutional Affairs.
104. David Hencke and Rob Evans, ‚ÄúBlair Wins Battle to Put Open Govern-
ment on Ice,‚ÄĚ The Guardian, October 30, 2001, 12.
105. FOI Practitioner‚Ä™s Group, Minutes of Meeting on January 24, 2003
(London: Lord Chancellor‚Ä™s Department, 2003), 4 and 8‚Ä“9. The docu-
ment was provided in response to a request under the Code of Practice.
106. A March 25, 2004, memorandum for the government‚Ä™s Access To Infor-
mation Project Board states that there should be a central ‚Äúcoordination
unit‚ÄĚ to provide advice on difÔ¬Ācult requests and ‚Äúco-ordinate responses
to round-robin requests‚ÄĚ Access to Information Project Board, Memo-
randum for the Board on Critical Success Factors for the Implementation
of the Freedom of Information Act (London: Department of Constitu-
tional Affairs, 2004). In April 2004, another advisory body ‚Ä“ the Freedom
of Information Practitioners‚Ä™ Group ‚Ä“ was assured that ‚Äúmeasures will
be taken to ensure consistency in dealing with round-robin requests.‚ÄĚ
FOI Practitioner‚Ä™s Group, Minutes of Meeting of April 19, 2004 (London:
Department of Constitutional Affairs, 2004), 4. These documents were
released in response to a request under the Code of Practice.
107. Written Answers To Questions, Hansard, September 8, 2004: ‚ÄúI an-
nounced the establishment of the Ministerial Committee on Freedom of
Information (MISC28) to Parliament on Thursday 27 May 2004.‚ÄĚ Blair
refused to provide further information about its work.
108. The Mirror, ‚ÄúCabinet Fear Freedom Law,‚ÄĚ The Mirror, July 9, 2004, 2.
109. David Hencke, ‚ÄúTreasury Accused as Cost of Information Soars,‚ÄĚ The
Guardian, May 18, 2004, 1.
110. Maurice Frankel, Comments on the Draft Final Paper of the Fees Working
Group (London: Campaign for Freedom of Information, 2004), 7.
111. Patrick Wintour, ‚ÄúFalconer Promises Low User Cost for Legislation That
Will Bring ‚ÄúMore Trust‚ÄĚ in Government,‚ÄĚ The Guardian, October 18,
112. Charles Falconer, ‚ÄúFarewell to the Blight of Secrecy,‚ÄĚ The Guardian,
December 29, 2004, 18.
113. Michael White and David Hencke, ‚ÄúParties Dig for Dirt as Election
Looms,‚ÄĚ The Guardian, February 5, 2005, 1.
114. Department of Constitutional Affairs, Access to Information Central
Clearing House: Toolkit for Practitioners (London: Department of Con-
stitutional Affairs, 2005).
Notes to Pages 107‚Ä“110
5. Soft states
1. Jacob Soderman, ‚ÄúThe EU‚Ä™s Transparent Bid for Opacity,‚ÄĚ Wall Street Jour-
nal Europe, February 24, 2000.
2. Colin Bennett, ‚ÄúUnderstanding Ripple Effects: The Cross National Adop-
tion of Policy Instruments for Bureaucratic Accountability,‚ÄĚ Governance
10, no. 3 (1997): 213‚Ä“234; Colin J. Bennett, Globalization and Access to
Information Regimes (Ottawa: Government of Canada, Access to Infor-
mation Review Task Force, 2001).
3. Daniel Kaufmann, Aart Kraay, and Massimo Mastruzzi, Governance Mat-
ters III: Governance Indicators for 1996‚Ä“2002 (Washington, DC: World
Bank, 2003). The authors provide data on each of the Ô¬Āve measures for
each country for 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002. For countries adopting laws
before 1996, 1996 data was used. As most of these were stable OECD
democracies this seemed a reasonable decision. For later adopters, data
for the nearest preceding year was used; for example, 1998 data was used
for a country adopting a law in 1999.
4. This was encouraged by scholars and nongovernmental organizations
within the United States; for example, see Ralph G. Elliott, ‚ÄúConstitu-
tionalizing the Right of Freedom of Information: A Modest Proposal for
the Nations of Central and Eastern Europe,‚ÄĚ Connecticut Journal of Inter-
national Law 8 (1993): 327‚Ä“357.
5. Gunnar Myrdal, The Challenge of World Poverty (New York: Pantheon
Books, 1970), 208‚Ä“252.
6. Council of Europe Recommendation Rec(2002)2, February 22, 2002. On
the inÔ¬‚uence of the Council of Europe, see Alex Grigorescu, ‚ÄúEuropean
Institutions and Unsuccessful Norm Transmission: The Case of Trans-
parency,‚ÄĚ International Politics 39, no. 4 (2002): 467‚Ä“489.
7. Communiqu¬ī of the Commonwealth Law Ministers‚Ä™ Meeting, Kingstown,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, November 21, 2002.
8. Organization of American States, AG/Res. 2057, ‚ÄúAccess to Public
Information: Strengthening Democracy,‚ÄĚ June 8, 2004.
10. ARTICLE 19, Joint Declaration by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom
of Opinion and Expression, the Osce Representative on Freedom of the
Media and the Oas Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression (London:
ARTICLE 19, 2004).
15. Fredrik Galtung, ‚ÄúA Global Network to Curb Corruption: The Experi-
ence of Transparency International,‚ÄĚ in The Third Force, ed. Ann Florini
(Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2000).
16. Jeremy Pope, Press Release: Greater Access to OfÔ¬Ācial Information and
Containing ConÔ¬‚icts of Interest ‚ÄúKey to Containing Corruption‚ÄĚ (Berlin:
Transparency International, 1998).
Notes to Pages 110‚Ä“114
17. United Nations Development Program, Corruption and Good Governance
(New York: UNDP Management Development and Governance Division,
18. Xinhua News Agency, ‚ÄúCPC Leader Calls for More Transparency in Gov-
ernment Work,‚ÄĚ September 26, 2003. See also Hou Qi and Wei Ziyang,
‚ÄúInformation Must Flow Freely,‚ÄĚ China Daily, July 2, 2004.
19. Pakistan, Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies for the
Remainder of Fy 2002/03 (Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund,
2002); Banisar, Freedom of Information and Access to Government Records
around the World.
20. Mohammad Kamran, ‚ÄúInformation Law Not Being Implemented,‚ÄĚ
Pakistan Daily Times, November 23, 2004.
21. Kimberly Barata, Piers Cain, and Anne Thurston, ‚ÄúBuilding a Case for
Evidence,‚ÄĚ Records Management Journal 10, no. 1 (2000).
22. Australian Law Reform Commission, Draft Recommendations Paper on
Review of Archives Act (Canberra: Australian Law Reform Commission,
23. Kimberly Barata, Piers Cain, and Anne Thurston, From Accounting to
Accountability: Managing Accounting Records as a Strategic Resource
(London: International Records Management Trust, 1999), 68.
24. Piers Cain and Anne Thurston, Personnel Records: A Strategic Resource
for Public Sector Management (London: University College London, 1997),
25. International Records Management Trust, Personnel and Payroll Records
and Information Systems in Tanzania (London: International Records
Management Trust, 2002), 13. The Trust found similar difÔ¬Āculties in a
study of personnel records in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh: Interna-
tional Records Management Trust, Personnel Information and Civil Service
Establishment Controls in Uttar Pradesh (London: International Records
Management Trust, 2002).
26. International Records Management Trust, Legal and Judicial Records and
Information Systems in Ecuador (London: International Records Manage-
ment Trust, 2002).
27. Musila Musembi, ‚ÄúFighting Poor Records Keeping in Kenya,‚ÄĚ in Infor-
mation for Accountability Workshops Sourcebook, ed. Dawn Routledge,
Kimberly Barata, and Piers Cain (London: International Records Man-
agement Trust, 2000). Manipulation of Ô¬Āles to hide corruption is also
reported in Gambia. See Barata, Cain, and Thurston, From Accounting
to Accountability: Managing Accounting Records as a Strategic Resource,
28. Attorney General of Australia, Annual Report on the Freedom of Informa-
tion Act, 2003‚Ä“2004 (Canberra: Attorney General‚Ä™s Department, 2004).
29. Treasury Board Secretariat, Review of the Costs Associated with Adminis-
tering Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Legislation (Ottawa: Trea-
sury Board Secretariat, 2000).
30. The Australian FOI system handles a larger proportion of requests for
personal information, which are processed more easily.
Notes to Pages 114‚Ä“119
31. United States Department of Justice, Summary of Annual FOIA Reports for
Fiscal Year 2003, FOIA Post 22 (Washington, DC: Department of Justice,
OfÔ¬Āce of Information and Privacy, 2004).
32. Most requests to the Social Security Administration are from individu-
als seeking geneological information needed to trace their family trees,
while most VHA requests involve medical and personnel records: Martha
Mendoza, ‚ÄúFour Million FOIA Requests in 2004 Tops Previous High,‚ÄĚ
Associated Press, March 18, 2005. In 2003, over 98 percent of the 1.7 mil-
lion VHA requests resulted in total disclosure; the average processing cost
was less than twenty dollars.
33. ARTICLE 19, A Model Freedom of Information Law (London: ARTICLE
19, 2001), Section 11.
34. In Chapter 4, I noted the impact of fee increases in Ireland and the Cana-
dian province of Ontario. In Australia, a 1987 increase in FOIA fees that
yielded revenues equal to 3 percent of costs also caused a 10 percent
decline in requests: Tom Riley, ‚ÄúFreedom of Information and the Right
to Know,‚ÄĚ in Information for Accountability Workshops Sourcebook, ed.
Dawn Routledge, Kimberly Barata, and Piers Cain (London: International
Records Management Trust, 2000), 39.
35. The ofÔ¬Āce also had other responsibilities that were part of the govern-