Tag: open government

My First Application of FOI in Hong Kong

It was new for me when I heard anyone can acquire almost any data from HK government for legitimate reasons under that Code on Access to Information.

This code is a response to the notion of “FOI” (For Our Information; Freedom Of Information), which calls for citizens’ free access to government information so that the transparency of government management can be ensured and citizen rights can be protected.

According to Wiki, In 2006, nearly 70 countries went through relative legislation. Among these laws are USA’s FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and, of course, Hong Kong’s Code on Access to information.

Despite the code in place, a practical question remains. Will those government officers fulfill their duty and do give reply to every single data request? So I decided to give a try on Accessinfo.hk.

Accessinfo.hk is a website positioned as a platform for citizens to post their information requests to authorities and receive feedback. It was initiated by a group of Open Data activist, including Guy Freeman, who is currently data scientist in HK01. The website publishes every question and answer to everyone, and, at the same time, monitors the process. Before localizing the Alaveteli system ( http://alaveteli.org/ ) to Hong Kong, its sister site WhatDoTheyKnow ( https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/ ) had already seen wide application in the United Kingdom.

accessinfo

Screenshot: accessinfo.hk

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