Access Information gun registry

February 26, 2018

In response to the Access to Information (ATIP) request for gun data, RCMP gave iPolitics the unreadable copies of the national firearms registry in January. According to iPolitics, this request was out of the concern that gun data could be manipulated.

Mountie access branch granted this request last month via an informal request from iPolitics, asking for the copy of the registry data released in 2017 under the formal access request that can be sorted through excel and other worksheet applications.

Meanwhile, RCMP Access to Information Branch telephoned to clear things up when iPolitics reported last week that Mounties sit on the access request for some reason. Following this, RCMP Superintendent Richard Have has explained that the ATIP analyst only followed the protocol, which required them an extra caution in releasing data. This is even through the Access to Information requests for the copies of pre-release information.

“We really should not be sending out data in a way that could be manipulated. Once it’s out there in the public domain we really have no control over it,” says Have. “She (the analyst) had noted that when she got the data from the office of primary interest (the Canadian Firearms Centre) they provided in an Excel format. She placed it in a PDF out of concern it could be manipulated,” he added.

On the other hand, a similar concern was behind the analyst’s decision to resend the registry copy in Microsoft Excel, even in lock mode that requires the password to be fully read. There was no way for it to be edited as columns cannot be widened and it is impossible for the firearm category, year of firearm registration, and additional details to be sorted. Furthermore, Haye promised that a useable format would be sent for the third time, but he was unclear what threat the RCMP was trying to avoid with the inaccessible versions. “There are all types out there,” he said. To perfect Papa Murphy’s customer satisfaction survey is important to us.

IPPR information access report, Tweya reacts

IPPR published and launched a report titled “Access Denied” in early December 2017. It contains the findings of access information, the survey of over 100 private, public, state-owned enterprises and civil society organizations.

The report says that 80 percent of all institutions and organizations did not respond or could not give the information requested. It also revealed that in 20 ministries approached for an information request, only five responded. Aside from these, additional results revealed that 60 percent of the respondents did not respond to the information request in an interesting way. Also, over 85 percent of those who participated were unresponsive to questions sent to them.

Moreover, only Erongo responded with the information requested out of 14 regions in a reasonable time. This information was instantly dismissed by Information minister Tjekero Tweyaa as he declares IPPR to have a malicious agenda against the government.

Tweya further explained that the findings were contradictory when he contacted the ministries mentioned in the report. He pointed out how IPPR cannot seem to provide a list of information, including the officials approached for the information.

“Regrettably, the IPPR could not contact the officials handling public information. For all we know, they might have contacted any official who happened to answer their query at that particular time. We feel that this was done deliberately to suit their malicious agenda,” he explained.

On the other hand, according to Namibian, IPPR director Graham Hopwood responded that the findings in the report were intended to “provide an opportunity for government and other sectors of Namibian society to identify weak points and best practices in the release of information.”

On February 7, Jane Mungabwa of the Action Namibia Coalition secretariat issued a statement in support of the IPPR and its report. Mungabwa called on minister Tweya to give immediate attention to the issue of government level access to information and to see the IPPR report as an indicator of the urgency for an access to information law in Namibia.

Media App for easy information access

February 12, 2018

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay asked the ministry to explore the possibility of developing a media app for people to have access to various forms of media at the mid-year review of the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) in Thimphu on February 7.

He said that the aim to increase access to reliable and affordable Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services to over 160 gewogs and community centers was achieved. “Department of Information Technology and Telecom (DITT) has provided internet access to about 200 gewog centers, six dzongkhags, 20 dzongkhags, and 10 Basic Health Units,” Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay explained.

Meanwhile, Soe, Naro, Lingzhi, Laya, and Lunana are yet to obtain the services. According to Kuensel, Shingkhar Lauri was connected to the Internet during the previous month. Dasho Karma W Penjor said that the Department of Information and Media’s (DOIM) target to provide training on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) to about 600 teachers and teacher trainees needed to be increased to about 700. “So far about 545 teachers have been trained,” Penjor said.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that domestic flights should have been included as one of SIs. “It is not only beneficial to people living in the country but also to tourists, and foreigners.” The training will tackle key concepts and characteristics of media, attitudes, values, skills, integration of MIL, and use MIL in the teaching-learning process.

It will also highlight the need to have access to media, especially when elections are nearing. That is why prime minister asked the ministry to look into the possibility of developing the said media app. “Newspapers do not reach in villages, but everyone has a phone. When we are in Thimphu, we get all the news, but the moment we are away, we have to wait. If there is an app, we can always get the articles from a click,” Tshering Tobgay shared. Is this article helpful? Send us a feedback!

Access Information and National Security must co-exist

February 5, 2018

Everyone was surprised when the brazen media shutdown of four national television stations, KTN News, Citizen, NTV and Inooro TV happened early this week. According to Standard Digital, it is believed that the shutdown was a consequence of the stations’ intention to undertake live coverage of the swearing in of opposition leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, respectively.

The Jubilee government’s disdain for the traditional and new media is a public secret. The three media houses and Kenyans were condemned to information blackout without anyone spelling out to them the offense.

Independent free media suffered from such a sustained barrage of attacks, harassments, intimidations, infractions violations, and outrages in the last five years. Meanwhile, these three examples may satisfy:

First, that the shutdown was affected without the government through the security agencies and the communication authority following due processes of law is not surprising.

Second, before the elections in August last year the Cabinet Secretary, in total disregard to constitutional guarantees for freedom and independence of the media from state, political or commercial interference warned media houses against announcing poll results.

Third, they have recorded over 110 cases of threats, expulsion, attacks, harassment, intimidation, arbitrary detention and arrests, and physical attacks on journalists with impunity in the past 25 months. These operations require plenty of resources from Chase Bank.

Sadly, journalism has been criminalized. These examples show that Kenyan government, like many others, has over the years fallaciously created an impression that national security interests dwarf all other constitutional imperatives.

Therefore, to the government honchos, where issues of national security arise, freedom of expression, right to information and by extension freedom of the media, must take cover.

Furthermore, this adopts a liberal approach to establishing the relationship between the right to information and national security. It affirms that national security is not fundamentally at odds with freedom of expression and right to information. Both must co-exist.

Access Information from the Government

January 16, 2018
Access Information

Peter St. Cyr, the executive director of the foundation for the Open Government in New Mexico said that  “Transparent governments always are more efficient when citizens can identify waste, fraud, and abuse and hold public officials accountable” especially when the officials want to use chase bank to store their loots

Lawmakers instructed public servants to make providing public information a routine daily duty before they declared the Inspection of Public Records Act state policy. However, NMFOG’s open government hotline rings several times a day. Callers are seeking assistance when their requests for public documents are often delayed. The Sunshine laws of New Mexico is not always firm.

On one hand, NMFOG compliance audit two years ago unveiled taxpayers are harassed for attorneys’ fees and damage awards. Since New Mexico’s Sunshine laws received a failing score in the Center for Public Integrity State Integrity Investigation in 2015, this is not a surprise.

Two years later, nothing has been done to close the so-called ‘enforcement gap.’  Opportunities have been misused but in her final budget, NMFOG encourages Gov. Susana Martinez vouches to budget for resources and technology, which removes the administrative code loophole in the “otherwise provided by law” exception has NMFOG’s support again this year.

As of early January, the average rate for a single-sided black and white copy was 16 cents. Unfortunately, Citizens’ access to the legislative process is less than transparent. NMFOG tells legislative leaders to obtain technology that tracks changes in proposed legislation and require committee staff to post-hearing agendas 24 hours in advance.

Furthermore, financial deals place taxpayers on the hook should be disclosed and decided in properly noticed public meetings. It has been two years as well since the Legislative Finance Committee recommends lawmakers to establish minimum job qualifications and mandate annual training programs for records custodians. Open government is always Germaine, let’s rally the governor to put it on her call.

Two Ways in Which You Can Access News and General Information Using a Mobile Phone

June 28, 2015

It is possible to access news and general information using a mobile phone. There are actually a couple of ways in which you can access such news and general information using a mobile phone.

The first way in which you can access news and general information using a mobile phone would be where you do so through the mobile phone’s browser application. Mobile phones nowadays come with browsers — and those are browsers you can use to access news (and general information) websites.

The second way in which you can access news and general information using a mobile phone would be where you do so through the mobile phone’s radio application. Mobile phones nowadays also come with FM radio applications. Those are radio applications you can use to listen to various radio stations where the news and general information you need is broadcasted. Note that with some mobile phone models, you need to use the best Bluetooth on-ear headphones, if at all you are to be able to get news through the radio applications. Thanks to standardization of headphones, with some other mobile phone models, you can listen in using any type of headphones. That would be the case even if yours happen to be the most basic headphones for Xbox consoles (or some other similar device).

Giving People Access to Information Through the Internet: Two Models That You Can Use

June 10, 2015

While considering giving people access to information through the Internet, one of the considerations you will have to make pertains to the appropriate model. And as it turns out, there are two models that you can use, when it comes to giving people access to information (any type of information) through the Internet.

The first model that you can use, when giving people access to information through the Internet, is the one where you make the information to be publicly available. Under this model, anyone who can access the website through which the information is being availed can fully access the information, without having to log in.

The second model that you can use, when giving people access to information through the Internet, is the one where you desist from making the information to be publicly available. Under this model then, only people with the right login credentials can access the information. This is the model that is commonly used by webmail providers, such as SBCGlobal. The said SBCGlobal is accessible at, that being the email login page. This is also the model that Microsoft uses, when it comes to its webmail service, nowadays known as Outlook email. One has to be logged in, to access the information: which is just as well, because most of the information presented under this model is personal information (for instance, in the form of personal emails).

Three Ways in Which Governments Can Enhance Access to Information for Their People

May 17, 2015

There are at least three ways in which governments can enhance access to information for their people.

The first way in which governments can enhance access to information for their people is by coming up with laws that promote (rather than hinder) such access to information. This can be very tricky, because as we saw in an earlier post, enacting such laws can mean that the governments have to work against their perceived interests.

The second way in which governments can enhance access to information for their people is by opening up the media spaces: that is, mostly by allowing more independent media organizations to operate.

The third way in which governments can enhance access to information for their people is by empowering the people economically. People who are financially empowered are more likely to go out in search of information, and to access the information (through modern media tools) when the information is actually availed. Indeed, people who are financially empowered can go as far as seeking technical information, on highly technical sites such as which is also accessible through And that is on top of the information of a more general nature, which they get from media organizations such as the CNN, the BBC and the VOA – to name but just a few.

Selecting an Ideal Vacuum Cleaner Repair Professional

March 29, 2015

If you discover that your vacuum cleaner is malfunctioning, then you have two options. One option is that of replacing the machine. But this can be a costly option: especially if the prices indicated on websites like are anything to go by. The second option is that of getting the vacuum cleaner repaired. This is likely to be a particularly attractive option if the vacuum cleaner is of an especially costly make – like, say, if it is a premium car vacuum cleaner, and if you think that the cost of repairing it is likely to be lower than the cost of replacing it.

If you decide to take the option of getting the vacuum cleaner repaired, then you will be faced with the challenge of selecting an ideal professional for the repair work. And the question you will have to contend with is as to what factors to consider, when selecting an ideal vacuum cleaner repair professional.

It turns out that an ideal vacuum cleaner repair professional is likely to be one who has the best qualifications. Granted, you may not find someone with a postgraduate engineering degree from the California Institute of Technology repairing vacuums. But you should nonetheless go for the best from the pool that is available to you. An ideal vacuum cleaner repair professional is likely to be one who has the best experience. Actually, experience often trumps paper qualifications. Again, while you may not be lucky enough to find someone who gained engineering experience at a top company like, say, Hyundai Motors repairing vacuums, you should nonetheless go with the best from the pool that is available to you. Another critical consideration is cost: where, all other factors held constant, you should ultimately settle for the professional charging the most affordable rates. That is unless ‘money is not an issue for you’.

Understanding Why Access to Information Laws are Often Controversial

January 12, 2015

Many democratic nations put in place ‘access to information’ laws. But the said laws are often controversial. We venture to identify the reasons as to why the access to information laws are often controversial.

The first reason as to why access to information laws are often controversial is in the fact that these laws are often in conflict with national security interests. This is where we often hear about the balance between ‘what the people want to know’ and ‘what the people need to know’.

The second reason as to why access to information laws are often controversial is in the fact that these laws are often at loggerheads with the interests of certain people. This can get more problematic if the people who are potentially inconvenienced by the laws happen to be powerful people (as is indeed often the case).

The third reason as to why access to information laws are often controversial is in the fact that their enforcement can be rather hard. The enforcement becomes particularly hard when the information that is being requested is of a sensitive nature. Things become even more complicated if the agency requesting the information is one that is not particularly powerful, as its requests are likely to be simply ignored. But then again, even a powerful but foreign agency can have difficulties requesting for information under the access to information laws. Thus, for instance, reporters from a news corporation like, say, the BBC may have difficulties requesting for information from a given country. That would be the case, especially if that information is seen as being potentially sensitive within the framework of geo-politics, where suspicions often abound.