COLUMBIA, Mo. — Nations that have freedom of information (FOI) laws in place tend to have lower incidents of corruption than those with no similar laws, a new University of Missouri study found. In comparing data from 168 countries, Edson Tandoc, Jr., a doctoral candidate in the MU School of Journalism also found that having an FOI law is linked to higher levels of human development. He says governments of many countries enact FOI laws in an effort to stop corruption, but while FOI laws work to reduce corruption over time, they are not a quick fix.
“Because it takes years for these laws to become fully effective, FOI laws should not be considered only as a corrective measure,” Tandoc said. “Countries without FOI laws should not wait for corruption to strike before they get serious about passing these laws because they will not cure the problems overnight.” (more…)