Transparency in Public Governments and Information to Media and Citizens


Most countries have laws and regulations about the citizens right to request for information about cases that will impact their personal situation or about official plans that will have an impact for themselves and for instance their property. According to countries laws the authorities are obligated to give such information and not delay with it.

Freedom of information act.

The United States have their Freedom of Information act (FOIA) from 1974 that gives regulations for information to the public when newsmedia or the citizens are asking for information about different cases handled by the authorities. The law have many good intensions in giving such information that I have described.

Present situation.

The present situation is that very few americans know about this possibility to get information from the federal and local governments and their activities. It is also very few people that send requests to the authorities in the United States compared with other western countries. The law has of course regulations about private information about people and for instance defense information that cannot be made public. The media use this possibility for information from the authorities more than the citizens.

I think it is very urgent that the people in USA use the possibility for information that the law gives them. I have read about the authorities practice of the law and it seems like it is more censoring of information in the US now than it was before. It looks like other western countries are more open about information to the public. People have also to wait very long to get the information they have asked for in the United States. The authorities says that it is lack of capacity that causes the delay.

This situation that I have described is not good for transparency in the society. I hope people in the US will claim their right get information. This is both because of peoples needs to protect their interests and transparency in the society will have a good impact on the democracy.

I think a reminder of the Freedom of Information act is very applicable in the present situation in the US were transparency is more needed than ever. My call for you must be that you use your rights for transparency and information in the society.

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