Nursing transparency in former Soviet republics


COLUMBIA, Mo – Our work at the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) focuses primarily on citizen access, transparency and open government issues at the state and local level.

But we are frequently drawn by overlap and the interrelationship of concerns into national affairs and matters related to the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Though less frequent, we also have occasion from time to time to delve into international transparency issues.

Last month, NFOIC executive director Ken Bunting had occasion to address a delegation of top editors and senior investigative journalists from the newly independent southeastern European nation of Kosovo, who were on a U.S. State Department-arranged tour.

And even more recently, Bunting corresponded with the leader of a counterpart freedom of information non-governmental organization in the Republic of Georgia.

The director of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), Giorgi Kldiashvili, had made a general inquiry about “laws that regulate openness of government meetings” and applicable exemptions and exceptions.

In this email response to Bunting’s southeastern European counterpart, civic-minded and engaged Americans may see little that is new. But perhaps, it will serve as a reminder about the derivation of some of our precious freedoms, and their importance.

See the complete email here: Email to FOI advocate highlights basics of access laws.