Home > DocuBase > Article

« All DocuBase Articles


Tuesday, 7th October 2014

Government Secrecy in an Information Age: 2014 Report on Open & Secretive Public Institutions in Southern Africa

Source: MISA (Media Institute of Southern Africa)

From the Foreword:

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has for the last five years produced an annual report on the openness and secretiveness of public institutions in southern Africa. Each year, researchers throughout the region evaluate the websites and responses to written and oral information requests of dozens of public institutions across numerous countries.

Over this time there has been a gradual improvement in some areas and countries, but overall it remains clear that in most institutions secretiveness still trumps transparency. This is despite a number of countries guaranteeing the right to access to information in their Constitutions, and several institutions having client service charters setting out the minimum standards that these institutions should adhere to when dealing with the provision of information to the public...

The number of African countries with access to information (ATI) laws currently stands at 13. This includes three southern African countries – Angola, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The number of countries with ATI laws more than doubled between 2011 and 2014, and yet not one southern African country enacted ATI legislation during this time. As more and more countries recognise the need for positive ATI laws, southern Africa continues to lag behind, denying their citizens the tools to access the information crucial to enabling them to make informed decisions about their lives, their communities and their governments.

+ Foreword and Regional Overview (PDF; 1.2 MB)

+ Press Release and Country Reports



Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »

Please note: DocuTicker's editors collect citations for full-text PDF reports freely available on the web but we do not archive these reports. When you click a link to find and/or download the report, you are leaving the DocuTicker site. DocuTicker makes no representations regarding the ongoing availability of any report or any external resource. Links were accurate as of the date of posting.

« All DocuBase Articles



Article Categories

All Article Categories »


All DocuBase Sources »

Source Categories

All Source Categories »


All Archives »