Country

Angola

Angola

Name of law : Law on Access to Documents held by Public Authorities1, which hereby repeals all legislation that contradicts the provisions of the current law
First adopted : 2002

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 4
Scope 30 20
Requesting procedures 30 11
Exceptions 30 18
Appeals 30 18
Sanctions 8 0
Promotional measures 16 5
TOTAL 150 76

Introduction:
The total absence of sanctions and protections is a major problem with Angola's law, as is the limited role, power, and effectiveness of the Monitoring Commission. This is a shame, because the relatively broad scope, strong recognition of the right to information, and reasonably clear requesting process could have made this an effective law, but with the lack of oversight and monitoring to ensure compliance, it is difficult to imagine the law will be properly implemented (and indeed, all indicators are that it has not been). Other problems include overly broad exceptions and the lack of a public interest override. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Ana Celeste Januario for helping to ensure the accuracy of this score.
Right of Access

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1 The legal framework (including jurisprudence) recognises a fundamental right of access to information.Score 0 for no constitutional right to information, 1 point for a limited constitutional right, 2 points for full constitutional recognition of a public right of access to information.2 YES Article 40 of the Constitution: "1. Everyone shall have the right to freely express, publicise and share their ideas and opinions through words, images or any other medium, as well as the right and the freedom to inform others, to inform themselves and to be informed, without hindrance or discrimination. 2. The exercise of the rights and freedoms described in the previous point may not be obstructed or limited by any type or form of censorship. 3. Freedom of expression and information shall be restricted by the rights enjoyed by all to their good name, honour, reputation and likeness, the privacy of personal and family life, the protection afforded to children and young people, state secrecy, legal secrecy, professional secrecy and any other guarantees of these rights, under the terms regulated by law. 4. Anyone committing an infraction during the course of exercising freedom of expression and information shall be held liable for their actions, in disciplinary, civil and criminal terms, under the terms of the law. 5. Under the terms of the law, every individual and corporate body shall be assured the equal and effect ive right of reply, the right to make corrections, and the right to compensation for damages suffered." Article 44 of the Constitution: "1. Freedom of the press shall be guaranteed, and may not be subject to prior censorship, namely of a political, ideological or artistic nature. 2. The state shall ensure plural expression, imposing different ownerships and editorial diversity in the media. 3. The state shall ensure the existence and the independent and qualitatively competitive functioning of a public radio and television service. 4. The law shall establish the forms by which freedom of the press shall be exercised." Article 45 of the Constitution: "1. During general and local elections and referendums, candidates shall have the right to broadcasting time on state radio and television stations in accordance with the scope of the election or referendum, under the terms of the Constitution and the law. 2. Political parties with seats in the National Assembly have the right of reply and political response to statements by the Executive, under the terms regulated by law." Article 69 of the Constitution: "1. Everyone shall have to right to apply for a writ of habeas data to ensure that they are informed of any information about them contained in files, archives and computerised records, and that they are informed of the purpose for which this is destined and, in addition, shall have the right to demand that these are corrected or updated, under the terms of the law and whilst safeguarding state and legal secrecy. 2. The recording and processing of data referring to political, philosophical or ideological beliefs, religious faith, political party or trade union membership or the ethnic origins of citizens for discriminatory purposes shall be prohibited. 3. Access to the personal data of third parties and the transfer of personal data from one file to another within different departments or institutions shall also be prohibited, except in the cases established in law or legal rulings. 4. The provisions contained in the previous article shall, with the necessary adaptations, apply to habeas data." Article 17 of the Constitution: "1. Within the framework of the Constitution and the law, political parties shall compete on the basis of a project for society and a political programme for the organisation and expression of the will of citizens, participating in political life and universal suffrage by democratic and peaceful means and respecting the principles of national independence, national unity and political democracy. 2. The constitution and functioning of political parties must, in accordance with law, respect the following fundamental principles: a) National character and scope; b) Free constitution; c) The public pursuance of aims; d) Freedom of affiliation and single affiliation; e) The use of peaceful means only to pursue aims and a ban on the creation or use of military, paramilitary or militarised organisations; f) Democratic organization and functioning; g) Minimum representation, as established by law; h) A ban on receiving monetary and economic contributions from foreign governments and government institutions; i) The rendering of accounts for the use of public funds. 3. Through their objectives, programmes and activities, political parties must contribute towards: a) The consolidation of the Angolan nation and national independence; b) Safeguarding territorial integrity; c) Reinforcing national unity; d) The defence of national sovereignty and democracy; e) The protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights; f) The defence of the republican nature of the government and the secular nature of the state. 4. Political parties shall be entitled to equal treatment by entities exercising political power, impartial treatment by the state press and the right to exercise democratic opposition, under the terms of the Constitution and the law." Article 26 of the Constitution: "1. The fundamental rights established in this Constitution shall not exclude others contained in the laws and applicable rules of international law. 2. Constitutional and legal precepts relating to fundamental rights must be interpreted and incorporated in accordance with the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man, the African Charter on the Rights of Man and Peoples and international treaties on the subject ratified by the Republic of Angola. 3. In any consideration by the Angolan courts of disputes concerning fundamental rights, the international instruments referred to in the previous point shall be applied, even if not invoked by the parties concerned." Constitution art 40, 44,45 and 69. Art 17 and 26 of the Angola Constitution establish the integration of the International Human Rights instruments in Angola
2 The legal framework creates a specific presumption in favour of access to all information held by public authorities, subject only to limited exceptions.No=0, Partially=1, Yes=22 NO Not mentioned.
3 3.1 The legal framework contains a specific statement of principles calling for a broad interpretation of the RTI law
3.2 The legal framework emphasises the benefits of the right to information?
3.1(Y/N - max 1 point)
3.2 (Y/N - max 1 point)
2 YES Preamble and Article 1 State Secrecy Act Act 10/02 of 16 August, stipulates as follows: articles 2 and 26




Scope

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4 Everyone (including non-citizens and legal entities) has the right to file requests for information.Score 0 point if only residents/citizens; 1 point for all natural persons; 1 point for legal persons. 2 YES 7: "1. Everyone shall have the right to information through access to non-personal documents held by public bodies. 2. The right of access to personal documents is restricted to the person to whom the personal data refers and to third parties who can demonstrate direct and personal interest, in terms of the next article. 3. The right of access to documents held by public bodies includes not only the right to obtain reproductions thereof, but also the right to be informed of the existence and the contents thereof. 4. Where documents held by public bodies are kept in archives, this shall not at any time hinder the exercise of the right of access to such documents. 5. Access to documents that form part of unfinished court proceedings or to documents produced in the preparation of a court ruling shall be deferred until the ruling has been taken, the proceedings have been shelved or a year after they were first produced. 6. Access to inquests and inquiries shall be permitted only after the expiry of the period for possible disciplinary proceedings. 7. Access to documents within the domain of notaries or public registers, documents on an individual’s civilian identity and criminal records, documents concerning automatically processed personal data, as well as documents kept in historical archives is governed by separate legislation."
5 The right of access applies to all material held by or on behalf of public authorities which is recorded in any format, regardless of who produced it.Score 1-3 points if limited definition of information information such as not "internal documents" or databases excluded, 4 points for all information with no exceptions.4 Partially 4(1)(a): "administrative documents: any information media, be it print, audio, visual or digital, or any records of another nature, produced or held directly, indirectly or autonomously by public bodies, to wit, case files, reports, studies, opinion pieces, minutes, official records, circulars, ministerial memoranda, internal orders, internal normative decisions, instructions and guidelines for the interpretation of the law or setting the framework for an activity, as well as other pieces of information;" 4(2): "For the purposes of this law, the following shall not be deemed to be documents held by public bodies: a) personal annotations and other notes, sketches or other records of a similar nature; b) documents whose production does not arise from the activities of public bodies, in particular documents with reference to meetings of the Council of Ministers [Cabinet] as well as the preparation of such meetings." Art 4(1)(a) expansive definition - includes documents produced AND held by bodies. However, 4(2) contains an exception for personal annotations or notes.
6 Requesters have a right to access both information and records/documents (i.e. a right both to ask for information and to apply for specific documents).Score 1 point for only documents, 1 point for information2 YES 4(1)(a): "administrative documents: any information media, be it print, audio, visual or digital, or any records of another nature, produced or held directly, indirectly or autonomously by public bodies, to wit, case files, reports, studies, opinion pieces, minutes, official records, circulars, ministerial memoranda, internal orders, internal normative decisions, instructions and guidelines for the interpretation of the law or setting the framework for an activity, as well as other pieces of information;"
7 The right of access applies to the executive branch with no bodies or classes of information excluded.This includes executive (cabinet) and adminsitration including all ministries, departments, local government, public schools, public health care bodies, the police, the armed forces, security services, and bodies owned or controlled by the above.Score 4 points for central government agencies covered: 1 for the head of state, 1 for ministries, 1 for other non-statutory agencies created by the ministries, 1 for state and local government if the government is unitary. If it´s a federalist system, 2 points for the non-statutory agencies. This can be determined by examining the length and thoroughness of the list, if such a schedule exists. Score 1 point for the archives. Add three points and deduct 1 for each exempted central agency (such as the armed forces, police, etc).8 Partially 7(7): "Access to documents within the domain of notaries or public registers, documents on an individual’s civilian identity and criminal records, documents concerning automatically processed personal data, as well as documents kept in historical archives is governed by separate legislation." 7(7) excludes archives. Applies to all the rest of government, but public bodies is never explicitly defined.
8 The right of access applies to the legislature, including both administrative and other information, with no bodies excluded. Score 1 point if the law only applies to administrative documents, 2-3 points if some bodies excluded, 4 points if all legislative branch at all levels of government4 YES Administrative functions
9 The right of access applies to the judicial branch, including both administrative and other information, with no bodies excluded. Score 1 point if the law only applies to administrative documents, 2-3 points if some bodies excluded, 4 points if all judicial branch at all levels of government4 YES Administrative functions
10 The right of access applies to State-owned enterprises (commercial entities that are owned or controlled by the State). Score 1 point if some, 2 points if all2 Partially Petroleum Activites Act 10/04 art. 77: "1. The supervising Ministry, as well as the persons or entities which cooperate with it, shall keep confidential all data or information of a technical, economic, accounting or other nature supplied by licensees, the National Concessionaire and its associates. 2. The licensees, the National Concessionaire and its associates, as well as the persons or entities which cooperate with them, shall keep confidential all data or information supplied by the supervising Ministry. 3. The duty of confidentiality in respect of the information referred to in this Article shall expire after the period set forth in the relevant license or Concession Decree. 4. The provisions of this Article shall not be applicable whenever such data or information is to be provided to other entities as a requirement of the law, namely for budget and statistical purposes." Petroleum Activites Act 10/04 art. 77, but no mention of other SOE's
11 The right of access applies to other public authorities, including constitutional, statutory and oversight bodies (such as an election commission or information commission/er). Score 1 point if some bodies, 2 points if all2 YES Applies to all public institutions
12 The right of access applies to a) private bodies that perform a public function and b) private bodies that receive significant public funding. 1 point for public functions, 1 point for public funding 2 Partially 3: "The documents referred to in the next article are documents that originate or are held by institutions of the State that have government functions and bodies of public institutions as well as statutory societies and other entities that exercise public authority in terms of the law." Art 3 mentions "entities that exercise public authority in terms of the law"

Requesting Procedures

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13 Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.Y/N answer 0 or 2 points2 NO 10: "1. It is forbidden to use information without due respect for copyright, industrial property rights as well as reproduction, dissemination and use of such documents and the information therein contained, which could constitute practices of unfair competition. 2. Personal data communicated to third parties shall not be used for purposes other than those for which access was authorised, and shall otherwise entail liability for losses and damages under the terms laid down in the law." 2: "1. This law regulates access to documents in relati on to the activities of the entities mentioned in Article 3. 2. The procedure for the exercise by the citizens of their right to be informed by Public Authorities of progress in proceedings in which they have a direct interest, as well as their right to be informed of the final decisions taken thereupon, is covered by separate legislation." 13: "Requests for access to documents must be made in writing and contain all references necessary for identifying the document, as well as the name, the address and the signature of the interested person." Art 10, 2, and 13 create a requirement for reasons.
14 Requesters are only required to provide the details necessary for identifying and delivering the information (i.e. some form of address for delivery).Score Max 2 points and deduct if requesters are required to give any of the following: ID number, telephone number, residential address, etc.2 YES 13: "Requests for access to documents must be made in writing and contain all references necessary for identifying the document, as well as the name, the address and the signature of the interested person."
15 There are clear and relatively simple procedures for making requests. Requests may be submitted by any means of communication, with no requirement to use official forms or to state that the information is being requested under the access to information law.Max 2 points. Considerations include that there is no requirement to state that the request is under the RTI law, nor to use an official form, nor to identify the document being sought. 2 Partially
16 Public officials are required provide assistance to help requesters formulate their requests, or to contact and assist requesters where requests that have been made are vague, unduly broad or otherwise need clarification. Score 1 point for help in formulation and 1 point for clarification procedures2 NO Not mentioned.
17     Public officials are required to provide assistance to requesters who require it because of special needs, for example because they are illiterate or disabled.Score Yes=2 point, No=02 NO Not mentioned.
18 Requesters are provided with a receipt or acknowledgement upon lodging a request within a reasonable timeframe, which should not exceed 5 working daysScore 1 point for receipt, 1 point for max 5 working days2 NO Not mentioned.
19 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for situations where the authority to which a request is directed does not have the requested information. This includes an obligation to inform the requester that the information is not held and to refer the requester to another institution or to transfer the request where the public authority knows where the information is held.Score: 1 point for information not held, 1 for referrals or 2 for transfers2 Partially 15(c): "notify that the document is not within its possession and, if it knows of its whereabouts, point out the entity that possesses the document, or pass the request on to the latter and so inform the interested party;" Art 15(c) mandates that the requester be pointed in the right direction, with referrals being optional.
20 Public authorities are required to comply with requesters’ preferences regarding how they access information, subject only to clear and limited overrides (e.g. to protect a record).Score: 2 points for Yes, only 1 point if some limitations2 NO
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 NO Not mentioned.
22 There are clear and reasonable maximum timelines (20 working days or less) for responding to requests, regardless of the manner of satisfying the request (including through publication).Score: 1 point for timeframes of 20 working days (or 1 month, 30 days or 4 weeks). Score 2 points for 10 working days (or 15 days, or two weeks) or less.2 YES Art 15 Reply from Public Authorities "The entity to whom a request for access to a document is made, must within a period of 10 days: a) communicate the date, place and manner in which to consult the document, reproduce it, or obtain a certified copy thereof; b) in terms of the provisions of Article 67 of the procedures for public authorities approved by Decree-Law 16-A/95, of 15 December, give reasons for the complete or partial refusal to grant access to the requested document; c) notify that the document is not within its possession and, if it knows of its whereabouts, point out the entity that possesses the document, or pass the request on to the latter and so inform the interested party;" 10 working days
23 There are clear limits on timeline extensions (20 working days or less), including a requirement that requesters be notified and provided with the reasons for the extension.---2 YES No extensions.
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 YES 12: "1. Access to documents is exercised by means of: a) free perusal conducted on the premises of the in stitution where they are kept; b) reproduction by means of photocopy or any other technical means, to wit visual or audio; c) issuance of certified copies by the public body [where the document is kept]. 2. Reproduction pursuant to paragraph 1b) shall be one copy and subject to payment by the applicant of an amount strictly corresponding to the cost of the materials used and the service rendered; such amount to be determined by a decree-law. 3. Documents in digital format shall be transmitted in a way that is intelligible to any person and such so that it constitutes an accurate match of the contents of the file, without detriment to the option provided for in paragraph 1b) of this article. 4. Where there is a risk that reproduction as provided for in paragraph 1b) may cause damage to the documents, the interested person, at his or her expense and under the supervision of the institution, shall be entitled to devise a manual reproduction or reproduction by any other means that does not harm the preservation of the document." art 12 - The access to documents is free, the request pay only for the reproductions material
25 There are clear rules relating to access fees, which are set centrally, rather than being determined by individual public authorities. These include a requirement that fees be limited to the cost of reproducing and sending the information (so that inspection of documents and electronic copies are free) and a certain initial number of pages (at least 20) are provided for free. Score 1 point for fees being limited to reproduction and delivery costs and set centrally, 1 point for at least 20 pages free of charge or for fees being optional2 Partially 12(2): "Reproduction pursuant to paragraph 1b) shall be one copy and subject to payment by the applicant of an amount strictly corresponding to the cost of the materials used and the service rendered; such amount to be determi ned by a decree-law." No - Art 12(2) limits access fees to the cost of materials used AND services rendered.
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 NO Not mentioned.
27 There are no limitations on or charges for reuse of information received from public bodies, except where a third party (which is not a public authority) holds a legally-protected copyright over the information. Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 NO 10: "1. It is forbidden to use information without due respect for copyright, industrial property rights as well as reproduction, dissemination and use of such documents and the information therein contained, which could constitute practices of unfair competition. 2. Personal data communicated to third parties shall not be used for purposes other than those for which access was authorised, and shall otherwise entail liability for losses and damages under the terms laid down in the law." Art 10 - The information is limited for use requested


Exceptions

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28 The standards in the RTI Law trump restrictions on information disclosure (secrecy provisions) in other legislation to the extent of any conflict.Score 4 points for a resounding "yes" and 1/2/3 points if only for some classes of information or for some exceptions. If the state secrets law is not trumped by the RTI law max score is 2 points. 4 YES 21: "All legislation contrary to the provisions of the present law is hereby repealed." Title of the law states that it "which hereby repeals all legislation that contradicts the provisions of the current law." Art 21 reinforces this.
29 The exceptions to the right of access are consistent with international standards. Permissible exceptions are: national security; international relations; public health and safety; the prevention, investigation and prosecution of legal wrongs; privacy; legitimate commercial and other economic interests; management of the economy; fair administration of justice and legal advice privilege; conservation of the environment; and legitimate policy making and other operations of public authorities. It is also permissible to refer requesters to information which is already publicly available, for example online or in published form.Score 10 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which either (a) falls outside of this list and/or (b) is more broadly framed10 Partially 8(2): "Information of a medical nature is communicated to the applicant only through a medical intermediary elected by the applicant." 7: "1. Everyone shall have the right to information through access to non-personal documents held by public bodies. 2. The right of access to personal documents is restricted to the person to whom the personal data refers and to third parties who can demonstrate direct and personal interest, in terms of the next article. 3. The right of access to documents held by public bodies includes not only the right to obtain reproductions thereof, but also the right to be informed of the existence and the contents thereof. 4. Where documents held by public bodies are kept in archives, this shall not at any time hinder the exercise of the right of access to such documents. 5. Access to documents that form part of unfinished court proceedings or to documents produced in the preparation of a court ruling shall be deferred until the ruling has been taken, the proceedings have been shelved or a year after they were first produced. 6. Access to inquests and inquiries shall be permitted only after the expiry of the period for possible disciplinary proceedings. 7. Access to documents within the domain of notaries or public registers, documents on an individual’s civilian identity and criminal records, documents concerning automatically processed personal data, as well as documents kept in historical archives is governed by separate legislation." 8(2) Information of a medical nature is to be communicated to the applicant only through a medical intermediary elected by the applicant. Art 7 rule for "personal documents" is overly broad. 7(6) Access to inquests and inquiries shall be permitted only after the expiry of the period for possible disciplinary proceedings.
30 A harm test applies to all exceptions, so that it is only where disclosure poses a risk of actual harm to a protected interest that it may be refused. Score 4 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which is not subject to the harm test 4 YES
31 There is a mandatory public interest override so that information must be disclosed where this is in the overall public interest, even if this may harm a protected interest. There are ‘hard’ overrides (which apply absolutely), for example for information about human rights, corruption or crimes against humanity.Consider whether the override is subject to overarching limitations, whether it applies to only some exceptions, and whether it is mandatory.4 NO Not mentioned.
32 Information must be released as soon as an exception ceases to apply (for example, for after a contract tender process decision has been taken). The law contains a clause stating that exceptions to protect public interests do not apply to information which is over 20 years old.Score 1 point for each2 NO 5(2): "The documents to which the preceding paragraph applies can be freely consulted, in terms of the present law, once they have been de classified or once the period of time provided for their classification has expired." Art 5(2) contains a sunset clause for security info, but with no guidance on how it should be applied. Apparently the rule governing this has not yet been approved.
33 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for consulting with third parties who provided information which is the subject of a request on a confidential basis. Public authorities shall take into account any objections by third parties when considering requests for information, but third parties do not have veto power over the release of information.Score: 1 point for consultation, 1 further point if original time frames must be respected and the law allows for expedited appeals.2 NO 8(3): "Access by third parties to personal data can further be authorised in the following cases: a) by means of a written authorisation from the person to whom the data applies; b) when communicating personal data has the objective of safeguarding the legitimate interest of the person to whom the data applies should the latter not be in a position to concede authorisation, and once an opinion has been obtained as provided for in the previous number." 8(3) has the requirement for consent, but no mechanism for obtaining it.
34 There is a severability clause so that where only part of a record is covered by an exception the remainder must be disclosed. Score 1 point if yes but sometimes can be refused (eg: if deletions render meaningless the document) and 2 points if partial access must always be granted2 Partially 8(4): "Documents containing personal data can further be communicated to third parties when, by their nature, it is possible to delete the personal data without having to recreate the documents and without the danger of easy identification." 8(4) - though this is very limited.
35 When refusing to provide access to information, public authorities must a) state the exact legal grounds and reason(s) for the refusal and b) inform the applicant of the relevant appeals procedures.Score Y/N: 1 point for a and 1 point for b2 YES 15: "1. The entity to whom a request for access to a document is made, must within a period of 10 days: a) communicate the date, place and manner in which to consult the document, reproduce it, or obtain a certified copy thereof; b) in terms of the provisions of Article 67 of the procedures for public authorities approved by Decree-Law 16-A/95, of 15 December, give reasons for the complete or partial refusal to grant access to the requested document; c) notify that the document is not within its possession and, if it knows of its whereabouts, point out the entity that possesses the document, or pass the request on to the latter and so inform the interested party;"


Appeals

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36 The law offers an internal appeal which is simple, free of charge and completed within clear timelines (20 working days or less).Score 2 points if the internal appeal fulfills these criteria, 1 point if an appeal is offered that does not fulfill this criteria, 0 for no internal appeals.2 Partially 16: "The requestor may amicably or adversarially challenge the express or tacit non-compliance or decision restricting the exercise of the right of access." 16_A/95 Article 16 "The requestor may amicably or adversarially challenge the express or tacit non-compliance or decision restricting the exercise of the right of access." Law of administrative appeals.
37 Requesters have the right to lodge an (external) appeal with an independent administrative oversight body (e.g. an information commission or ombudsman). 1 for partial, 2 for yes2 YES 16: "The requestor may amicably or adversarially challenge the express or tacit non-compliance or decision restricting the exercise of the right of access." 19: "It is the responsibility of the Monitoring Commission: a) to draft its internal rules; b) evaluate all complaints submitted to it by the interested persons; c) advise on access to personal documents; d) present its position on the system of classification of documents; e) give opinions on the implementation of this law, as well as on the drafting and implementation of the complementary laws; f) prepare an annual report on the implementation of this law and on its activity, to be forwarded to the National Assembly and then to the government for publication."
38 The member(s) of the oversight body are appointed in a manner that is protected against political interference and have security of tenure so they are protected against arbitrary dismissal (procedurally/substantively) once appointed.Score: 1 point for appointment procedure, 1 point for security of tenure2 YES 18: "1. The Monitoring Commission is made up of the following members: a) a judge from the Chamber of Civil and Administrative Law nominated by the Judicial High Council, who shall be the Chair; b) two Members of Parliament elected by the National Assembly, reflecting a multi- party composition; c) a law professor nominated by the President; d) two persons of high standing nominated by the government; e) a lawyer nominated by the Law Society. 2. Any member may at his initiative be replaced by an alternate appointed by the same entity that appointed him or her. 3. The terms of office of members shall be two years, renewable; without prejudice to [the expected] termination when a member ceases to perform the functions which led to his or her appointment. 4. All members may serve their terms over and above their other functions. 5. Rights and benefits of the members are set out in a regulations instrument of the present law. 6. Entities having an interest in matters being discussed at a given session of the commission may have a representative present, without the right to vote. Art 18 - No mention of security of tenure, but the appointments process is diverse enough to ensure independence.
39 The oversight body reports to and has its budget approved by the parliament, or other effective mechanisms are in place to protect its financial independence.Score 1 point for reports to parliament, 1 point for budget approved by parliament2 Partially 19: "It is the responsibility of the Monitoring Commission: a) to draft its internal rules; b) evaluate all complaints submitted to it by the interested persons; c) advise on access to personal documents; d) present its position on the system of classification of documents; e) give opinions on the implementation of this law, as well as on the drafting and implementation of the complementary laws; f) prepare an annual report on the implementation of this law and on its activity, to be forwarded to the National Assembly and then to the government for publication." art 19 - Finances aren't mentioned, but the body presents report to parliament.
40 There are prohibitions on individuals with strong political connections from being appointed to this body and requirements of professional expertise.Score 1 point for not politically connected, 1 point for professional expertise2 NO Not mentioned.
41 The independent oversight body has the necessary mandate and power to perform its functions, including to review classified documents and inspect the premises of public bodies.Score 1 point for reviewing classified documents, 1 point for inspection powers2 YES 17: "It is the responsibility of the Monitoring Commission to ensure compliance with the provisions of the current law." 19(D): "present its position on the system of classifica tion of documents;"
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
43 In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the power to order appropriate remedies for the requester, including the declassification of information. 1 for partial, 2 for fully2 NO Not mentioned.
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES Yes
45 Appeals to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such body exists) are free of charge and do not require legal assistance.1 for free, 1 for no lawyer required. 2 YES 18: "1. The Monitoring Commission is made up of the following members: a) a judge from the Chamber of Civil and Administrative Law nominated by the Judicial High Council, who shall be the Chair; b) two Members of Parliament elected by the National Assembly, reflecting a multi-party composition; c) a law professor nominated by the President; d) two persons of high standing nominated by the government; e) a lawyer nominated by the Law Society. 2. Any member may at his initiative be replaced by an alternate appointed by the same entity that appointed him or her. 3. The terms of office of members shall be two years, renewable; without prejudice to [the expected] termination when a member ceases to perform the functions which led to his or her appointment. 4. All members may serve their terms over and above their other functions. 5. Rights and benefits of the members are set out in a regulations instrument of the present law. 6. Entities having an interest in matters being discussed at a given session of the commission may have a representative present, without the right to vote." 6: "Access to documents concerning in camera proceedings is regulated by separate legislation. 9: "1. The right to make corrections, to complete or to delete inaccurate, insufficient or excessive personal data is exercised subject to the provisions of the legislation concerning personal data automatically processed and with the necessary changes. 2. Only the corrected version of personal data can is suitable for use or communication." The adminstrative appeal is free and does not require a lawyer - Art 18, 6, 9.
46 The grounds for appeal to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such body exists) are broad (including not only refusals to provide information but also refusals to provide information in the form requested, administrative silence and other breach of timelines, charging excessive fees, etc.).Score 1 point for appealing refusals, additional points for appealing other violations.4 YES 16: "The requestor may amicably or adversarially challenge the express or tacit non-compliance or decision restricting the exercise of the right of access." Art 16 allows for challenges on any non-compliance with the legislation.
47 Clear procedures, including timelines, are in place for dealing with external appeals (oversight/judicial).Score 1 point for clear procedures, 1 point for timelines. 2 YES 15: "1. The entity to whom a request for access to a document is made, must within a period of 10 days: a) communicate the date, place and manner in which to consult the document, reproduce it, or obtain a certified copy thereof; b) in terms of the provisions of Article 67 of the procedures for public authorities approved by Decree-Law 16-A/95, of 15 December, give reasons for the complete or partial refusal to grant access to the requested document; c) notify that the document is not within its possession and, if it knows of its whereabouts, point out the entity that possesses the document, or pass the request on to the latter and so inform the interested party;" Art 15 - clear procedures and a timeline of 10 days
48 In the appeal process (oversight/judicial/) the government bears the burden of demonstrating that it did not operate in breach of the rules.Score Y/N and award 2 points for yes. 2 NO Not mentioned.
49 The external appellate body has the power to impose appropriate structural measures on the public authority (e.g. to conduct more training or to engage in better record management)1 for partial, 2 for fully. 2 NO Not mentioned.


Sanctions & Proteccions

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Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
50 Sanctions may be imposed on those who wilfully act to undermine the right to information, including through the unauthorised destruction of information.Score 1 point for sanctions for underming right, 1 point for destruction of documents 2 NO Not mentioned.
51 There is a system for redressing the problem of public authorities which systematically fail to disclose information or underperform (either through imposing sanctions on them or requiring remedial actions of them).Score 1 point for either remedial action or sanctions, 2 points for both 2 NO Not mentioned.
52 The independent oversight body and its staff are granted legal immunity for acts undertaken in good faith in the exercise or performance of any power, duty or function under the RTI Law. Others are granted similar immunity for the good faith release of information pursuant to the RTI Law.Score 1 for oversight body, 1 for immunity for others2 NO Not mentioned.
53 There are legal protections against imposing sanctions on those who, in good faith, release information which discloses wrongdoing (i.e. whistleblowers).Score 2 for strong protections, 1 for moderate protections2 NO Not mentioned.


Promotional measures

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
54 Public authorities are required to appoint dedicated officials (information officers) or units with a responsibility for ensuring that they comply with their information disclosure obligations.Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 Partially 14: "In each public authority, institution and statutory society there is an entity responsible for the implementation of the provisions of this law." Art 14 somewhat covers this - but doesn't specify that the official be an information officer (just that someone must be responsible)
55 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, is given overall responsibility for promoting the right to information. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 Partially 19: "It is the responsibility of the Monitoring Commission: a) to draft its internal rules; b) evaluate all complaints submitted to it by the interested persons; c) advise on access to personal documents; d) present its position on the system of classification of documents; e) give opinions on the implementation of this law, as well as on the drafting and implementation of the complementary laws; f) prepare an annual report on the implementation of this law and on its activity, to be forwarded to the National Assembly and then to the government for publication." Art 19 - the Monitoring Commission somewhat has this function - though whether their role is actually promotional is unclear.
56 Public awareness-raising efforts (e.g. producing a guide for the public or introducing RTI awareness into schools) are required to be undertaken by law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
57 A system is in place whereby minimum standards regarding the management of records are set and applied. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
58 Public authorities are required to create and update lists or registers of the documents in their possession, and to make these public. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 Partially 11(1)(b): "the listing of all documents containing an interpretation of legislation or a description of an administrative procedure, with specific mention of the title, subject, date, origin and where the documents may be consulted." 11(1)(b) is a limited version of this.
59 Training programs for officials are required Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
60 Public authorities are required to report annually on the actions they have taken to implement their disclosure obligations. This includes statistics on requests received and how they were dealt with. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
61 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, has an obligation to present a consolidated report to the legislature on implementation of the law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES 19(f): "prepare an annual report on the implementation of this law and on its activity, to be forwarded to the National Assembly and then to the government for publication."