The Dutch ministry of Economy this week received an award for being the most obstructive authority in the Netherlands when it comes to transparency, it was selected as thee Wob Obstructor of 2010 in the context of the international Right To Know Day, that also was celebrated in Brussels by the European Ombudsman.
The Dutch “winner” of the anti-award was selected yesterday in the context of the Dutch celebration of the Right To Know Day, which focuses the citizens right to a transparent administration. The Dutch ministry was named and shamed because of a case, where it had delayed the answer on an access to documents request following alleged irregularities in information sharing before the Dutch election this summer, a comment could not yet be obtained.
Naming and shaming was also on the agenda at the Right to Know Day event in Brussels by the European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros. However the naming and shaming was more politely wrapped in reports and recommendations by the invited speakers.
The European Ombudsman deals with complaints from European citizens. More than one third of his workload are complaints about lacking transparency in the EU system , several of which Diamandouros has found to be right.
“It is with a certain degree of concern that I have noted the consistently high number of complaints alleging lack of transparency during the past years. After all, an accountable and transparent EU administration is key to building citizens’ trust in the EU,” the ombudsman said in his speech at the Right to Know Day in Brussels.
Selected links from the Right To Know Day 2010
www.Woberator.nl – newly launched website to teach people how to wob in the Netherlands
Legal Leaks published an overview over WoBs, click on Country Information
Read the speech by the European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros or his press-release with a sum-up of his speech
Transparency International published a paper over the differences in European WoBs
Article 19 published an overview over wob-developments in the past year
The magazine Governance published an article about the effect of the British WoB on public administration
The FOI advocates published a map with some of the Right To Know Day activities
Dutch journalist magazine De Nieuwe Reporter published and article about wobbing the EU
Read more about wobbing at www.wobbing.eu.