ZAMBIA INTRODUCTION In a functioning democracy, openness and transparency are key ingredients of accountability and trust. Ideally, open governments encourage the public participation in decision-making. The existence of appropriate and effective legislation can facilitate an environment of openness; legislation such as an access to information law which guarantees open and accountable government and public institutions. The access to information environment in Zambia however, has not changed significantly as the process of enacting the draft Access to Information (ATI) Bill is still limited to vain assurances from government officials. Rationale and ReseaRch PaRaMeteRs The objective of this research was to determine how transparent and open public institutions are to the general public. This openness and transparency is with regards to how public institutions handle and respond to requests for information from the public. It is believed that public and government institutions hold information on behalf of citizens, and when citizens request that information, it should be provided to them. This study is meant to encourage transparency and openness in government and public institutions. In August 2016, Zambia held a national referendum alongside its general elections which gave hope to many champions of access to information .A positive vote would have led to an amendment of the Constitution to expand the Bill of Rights to include civil, political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, and special rights. Under civil and political rights, the expanded Bill of Rights provided for access to information. For this particular research eight (8) public institutions were randomly selected. The study was conducted from 4 July – 7 August 2017 in Lusaka, Zambia. The referendum however failed as the threshold requiring a minimum of 50 percent of eligible voters to participate in the referendum was not met. Many attributed this failure to a lack of public awareness about the referendum as well as the fact that it ran concurrently with the general elections. The following public institutions were surveyed: 1. Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) 2. National Housing Authority (NHA) 3. Ministry of Education (MoE) 4. Ministry of Finance(MoF) 5. Ministry of Local Government and Housing(MLGH) 6. Ministry of Tourism and Arts (MoTA) 7. Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) 8. Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) The Civil Society Coalition on Access to Information urged the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Chishimba Kambwili, to speed up the adoption of the ATI Bill and to avoid tying the tabling of the Bill in Parliament to the failed referendum. In February 2017, the Minister of Justice, Given Lubinda announced that the draft ATI Bill was ready to be shared with the public and that it would be re-tabled in Parliament. When the announcement was made, many civil society organisations commended Government on this move but cautioned that the passing of the Bill should be speedy as it was long overdue. MISA Zambia also added its voice by welcoming the pronouncement of the Ministry of Justice, but implored the Minister to provide a roadmap for the enactment of the Bill as a concrete sign of commitment. The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflections (JCTR) expressed delight at the government’s decision to re-table the ATI Bill, adding that JCTR will keep supporting the ATI Bill as part of awell-run democratic governance system. Unfortunately, Government later announced that the Bill could not be tabled in Parliament as during its current session, there were already too many items on the agenda. As it stands, many Zambians and civil society organisations are hoping the Minister of Justice will fulfil his promise to table and enact the ATI Bill. However, the ATI Bill was not even mentioned in the last sitting of Parliament. Nonetheless, MISA Zambia remains hopeful and continues to push for the enactment of the Bill. Written requests for information were submitted to all selected institutions and their online platforms were assessed, including their websites and social media pages.