TANZANIA Description of Assessment Criteria The total number of points allocated to categories 1 and 2 is 20 points (n = 20) each. Points are awarded based on the researcher’s answer: Yes (2 points); Partial (1 point); No (0 points). Government ministries and institutions fell into one of the following groups in accordance with the number of points that they received. Category 1: Website Analysis Group 1: (0 – 6) Absence of a website or an extremely poor website containing no or almost no relevant public information. Group 2: (7 – 13) Average website containing some relevant public information. Group 3: (14 – 20) Well organised, transparent website providing a good amount of relevant public information. Category 2: Written Request/Oral Request Group 1: (0 – 6) Denied access to reasonable information request or acted with high levels of secrecy. Group 2: (7 – 13) Displayed an average level of openness in allowing access to public information. Group 3: (14 – 20) Displayed openness in allowing access to public information. Institution was helpful and transparent. Limitations of the Study s 4HE CULTURE OF ACKNOWLEDGING THE RECEIPT OF INFORMATION requests is still a challenge in some agencies and ministries. In general, when a letter is sent, someone receives it, signs a dispatch form and delivers it to the intended target. This intended target doesn’t notify the requester that he/she has received the letter. It is only after a follow up call is made when that the requester is informed, “yes we got it” or “maybe it is still at the registry”. This year, some of the officials asked to accept receipt of the letters didn’t even want to sign the dispatch form. This gives the impression that nobody wants to be held responsible. s 4HE TIMING OF THE RESEARCH IS CHALLENGING 4HIS IS THE BUSIEST time for most public offices, especially ministries, as it is around the time of the budgetary session in Parliament. Most of those who are supposed to respond to requests are not always available at this time. SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS Category 1: Website Analysis s )T HAS BEEN OBSERVED THAT ALMOST ALL OF THE EIGHT SURVEYED public institutions have relatively up-to-date websites. The websites are well organised and transparent, providing a good amount of relevant public information. From the websites one can determine the location of the office. Some websites have maps, contact details and working hours. s !MPLE TIME WAS SCHEDULED FOR MONITORING THE WEBSITE objectively. Most of these sites were linked to the national government website, which facilitates information seeking and sharing. The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, the National Identification Authority and the National Bureau of Statistics scored high in this category, each with 15 and 16 points respectively. The Judiciary of Tanzania website contained the least information, scoring 12 points. 92 s )T WAS OBSERVED THAT WHILE THE WEBSITES CONTAINED INFORMATION about tendering and procurement (some notices posted), none of the sites gave details with respect to who tenders were awarded to. s -OST OF THE OFlCES HAVE WEBSITES AND IT WAS OBSERVED THAT the information posted is current and selected documents are available for download. Category 2: Request for Written and Oral Information s /F ALL THE SURVEYED INSTITUTIONS ONLY THE ."3 ACKNOWLEDGED that they received the request within the first seven working days. They responded to all questions provided. s 4HE RESEARCHER HAND DELIVERED THE REQUEST LETTERS AND ALSO SENT them via email to the respective institutions. Unfortunately, only the NBS responded electronically, and the others did not respond at all. s 4HE REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION WERE SENT ON THE TH AND TH of June 2014 respectively, and dispatches were signed by the person receiving them. A week later a follow up activity was conducted, mainly by telephone, and after fourteen days physical visits were made when it became evident that telephone communications were a challenge for some offices. At the Ministry for Health, for instance, a registry unit worker almost refused to sign that she had received the letter, and when the researcher tried to call the office to follow up, nobody answered the phone. s !T SOME MINISTRIES EG -%- -/&!)# WHEN THE RESEARCHER called the office, staff answered and promised to call back, but never did. After a follow up visit the researcher received the response that “they are still working on the request”. s 7ITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE ."3 OFlCE WHOSE RESPONSE WAS timely and informative, other offices did not acknowledge that they had received a letter of request for information. Some of these offices have client service charters that provide details of providing responses, but it was observed that some staff were not aware that such a document exists.