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Scott Edmunds Lightning talk: Experiences of NGO


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Scott Edmunds Lightning talk at "Unlocking the Value of Open Data"conference: "Experiences of NGO" (with thanks to Justice Centre Hong Kong). 9th June 2018 at HKU.

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Scott Edmunds Lightning talk: Experiences of NGO

  1. 1. Experiences of a NGO • Government responses to access to information requests take a long time • Government does not release information they hold for unclear reasons • Data that the Government ‘regularly maintains’ is limited • Government made odd comments when responding to data requests • Organisations carrying out a public role, such as the Duty Lawyer Service, are not covered by the Code on Access to Information
  2. 2. Want evidence based policy on internment camps? Do we need to lock up S Asians in SSP?
  3. 3. No actual data on refugee crime
  4. 4. Sometimes you need to find your own data
  5. 5. Sometimes you need to find your own data
  6. 6. Inconsistent reasons for not returning data… Reject again based on: “Information relating to incomplete analysis, research or statistics, where disclosure could be misleading or deprive the department or any other person of priority of publication or commercial value.” “in view of the confidentiality of the content, your requested data could not be provided.” Errr, there isn’t any identifiable data. It’s all anonymised.
  7. 7. Even LEGCO members get turned down (by fax)
  8. 8. Data access can cost lots of money… Source from following FOI requests: Companies: Lands: HA: Companies Registry = $73,000 HKD Lands Dept = $4.15 million HKD Hospital Authority = $250,000 HKD Yearly Revenue Data Access Fees:
  9. 9. The Quasi-government complex Lessaccountability
  10. 10. The Quasi-government complex TCM Safety information =
  11. 11. Gathering our own open data…
  12. 12. Do we need to lock up all S Asians in SSP? No. Crime rate is low, stable, and 2% arrests are of S Asians (50-60 people)
  13. 13. Advocacy efforts Submissions of the Hong Kong UPR Coalition: • HKSAR should adopt a Freedom of Information Ordinance that establishes maximum disclosure and minimal exemption requirements, within one year. • HKSAR should adopt an Archives Ordinance, incorporating mandatory public sector compliance and penalties for non- compliance, destruction of records and denial of access, within one year. Signatories include: Keyboard Frontline Open Data Hong Kong PEN Hong Kong The Foreign Correspondents' Club, Hong Kong How to fix this? Fill policy vacuum