In times of digital centralisation, closed governance, and democracy in retreat, how should people reclaim their deserved right to know?
While open government becomes a trend for governments around the world, the Hong Kong government has been gradually concealing information away from the public in many fields. The long-criticized Code of Access to Information has not been reviewed in more than twenty years. The Ombudsman has also criticized the legal effect of the Code for the limited power and coverage of scrutiny. In practice, government departments have always had much reservations when it comes to information disclosure. Worse still, the authority has actively used injunctions and emergency ordinance to suppress freedom of expression. Closed information makes the high wall behind which hides bureaucracy and policing that continues to strip citizens of the right to know. Hong Kong citizens has never been further away from the truth.
Through reviewing the government’s information openness, open government research studies the shortcomings in the current archiving systems with comparisons with different countries. On the one hand, we advocate freedom of information law and archives law; on the other hand, we take actions to set into motion an all-round opening of information. Through our research and actions, we hope to facilitate public participation and stimulate more nuanced and informed discussions on public policies.