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Jakarta Post

Welcoming the freedom of information law

  • Mohamad Mova Al ‘Afghani

Dundee, UK   /   Sat, April 10 2010   /  09:42 am

“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman” (Justice Louis D Bran-deis, On Other People’s Money and How the Bankers Use it, 1933, Chapter V).Not so many people know that next May, the Freedom of Information (FoI) law will come into effect. This law will have tremendous implications in increasing transparency in government operations and to a certain extent, the business world.The central idea of the FoI law is to bring government “into the sunlight”. The “sunlight” will allow the governed to observe clearly government operations that are otherwise performed in secrecy. Because they will be watched, it is expected that the public officials will behave accordingly.The FoI law provides everyone, irrespective of their motives, a right of access to information held by public bodies. The understanding of “public bodies” in o...