Country

Cook Islands

Cook Islands

Name of law : The Official Information Act
First adopted : 2009

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 4
Scope 30 15
Requesting procedures 30 16
Exceptions 30 15
Appeals 30 14
Sanctions 8 3
Promotional measures 16 2
TOTAL 150 69

Introduction:
Unfortunately we were unable to obtain expert help in reviewing the access law for the Cook Islands. As a result, it is possible that the law is slightly undervalued, since it was penalized sharply for a lack of procedure which is one of the areas where we are most reliant on expert assistance. However, our reviewer did search for supplementary regulations without success, and it is also important to remember that the lack of accessible parameters is, in itself, a weakness. The Cook Islands' Ombudsman also seems like a relatively weak institution, in that the office cannot impose binding solutions. Reading through the Ombudsman's website, there was a troubling emphasis on the need for complainants to exhaust all avenues of appeal within the appropriate department before approaching the Ombudsman, despite the fact that procedure regarding these appeals is very vague. The promotional regime is also quite weak.
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 NO Not mentioned in constitution.
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 YES 5. Principle of availability - The question whether any official information is to be made available, where that question arises un der this Act, shall be determined in accordance with the purposes of this Act and the pr inciple that the information shall be made available unless there is good reason for with holding it, except where this Act otherwise expressly requires.
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 4. Purposes - The purposes of this Act are, consistently wit h the principle of the Executive Government’s responsibility to Parlia ment – (a) to increase the availability of official inform ation to the people of the Cook Islands in order – (i) to enable their more effective participation in the making and administration of laws and policies; and (ii) to promote the accountability of Ministers of the Crown and officials, and thereby to enhance respect for the law and to p romote the good government of the Cook Islands; (b) to provide for proper access by each person to offi cial information relating to that person; (c) to protect official information to the extent consi stent with the public interest and the preservation of persona l privacy.




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 Partially 11. Requests – (1) Any qualified person may request a Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation to make available to him or her or it, any specified official information. (2) The official information requested shall be spe cified with due particularity in the request. (3) If the person making the request asks that his request be treated as urgent, he shall give his reasons for seeking the i nformation urgently. Art 11 "qualified person" definition includes some corporations, but is limited to Cook Island residents.
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 2. Interpretation - (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, - “Cook Islander” means a member of the Polynesian ra ce indigenous to the Cook Islands; “Document” means a document in any form, and includ es – (a) any writing on any material; (b) any information recorded or stored by means of any tape-recorder, computer, or other device; and any material subsequ ently derived from information so recorded or stored; (c) any label, marking, or other writing that identifie s or describes any thing of which it forms part, or to which it is att ached by any means; (d) any book, map, plan, graph, or drawing; (e) any photograph, film, negative, tape, or other devi ce in which one or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduce d; “International Organisation” means any organisation of States or Governments of States or any organ or agency of any such organisation; and includes the Commonwealth Secretariat; “Member” means, in relation to an organisation, any person (not being an officer or employee of the organisation) who, wheth er by election or appointment or otherwise, holds office as a member of the organisation and includes – (a) where the organisation is a company or corporation, a director; and (b) where the organisation is a trust, a trustee; and (c) any temporary, acting, or alternative member of the organisation; “Ministry” includes – (a) a Ministry including a department of the Govern ment of the Cook Islands set out in Schedule 1 to this Act; (b) a Ministry or department established after the coming into force of this Act, whether by statute or decision of the Exe cutive branch of the Government of the Cook Islands unless, in the s tatute or decision establishing the Ministry or department, it is spec ifically excluded from the operation of this Act; “Official information” (a) means any information held by – (i) a Ministry; or (ii) a Minister of the Crown in his or her offic ial capacity; or (iii) an organisation; and (b) includes any information held outside the Cook Isla nds by any branch or post of – (i) a Ministry; or (ii) an organisation; and (c) in relation to information held by the Ministry of Justice, includes information held by the Rules Committee established by section 102 of the Judicature Act 1980-81; and (d) in relation to information held by the Universi ty of the South Pacific, includes only information held by – (i) any full-time member of the academic staff of t he University in the Cook Islands; or (ii) any other full-time officer or employee of the University in the Cook Islands; or (iii) any examiner, assessor, or moderator in the C ook Islands in any subject or examination taught or conducted by t he University in the Cook Islands; but (e) does not include information contained in – (i) library or museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes; or (ii) material placed in the National Library by or on behalf of persons other than Ministers of the Crown in their official capacity or Ministries; and (f) does not include information which is held by a Ministry, Minister of the Crown, or organisation solely as an agent or for the sole purpose of safe custody and which is so held on beh alf of a person other than a Ministry or a Minister of the Crown in his or her official capacity or an organisation; and (g) does not include evidence given or submissions made to - (i) a commission of inquiry appointed by an Order i n Executive Council made under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1 966; or (ii) a commission of inquiry or board of inquiry or court of inquiry or committee of inquiry appointed pursuant to, and not by, any provision of an Act to inquire into a s pecified matter; and (h) does not include information contained in any corre spondence or communication which has taken place between the off ice of the Ombudsman and any Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation and which relates to an investigation conducted by an Ombudsman under this Act or under the Ombudsman Act 1984, other than information that came into existence bef ore the commencement of that investigation; “Ombudsman” means the Ombudsman holding office unde r the Ombudsman Act 1984 Art 2 includes documents in any form. However, it excludes information held on behalf of another person/body. Best practices indicate that RTI legislation should apply to all information held by a body regardless of ownership or origin. Also excluded are evidence or submissions made to commissions, or investigations by or communcations with the Ombudsman.
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 11. Requests – (1) Any qualified person may request a Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation to make available to him or her or it, any specified official information. (2) The official information requested shall be spe cified with due particularity in the request. (3) If the person making the request asks that his request be treated as urgent, he shall give his reasons for seeking the i nformation urgently. 16. "Documents – (1) Where the information requested by any perso n is comprised in a document, that information may be ma de available in one or more of the following ways - (...) (e) by giving an excerpt or summary of the contents ; or (f) by furnishing oral information about its conte nts.(...)" Art 11 seems to allow requests for information - particularly since 16(1)(e) and (f) imply that oral summaries can be given, which also suggests the ability to ask broad questions.
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 2. Interpretation - (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, - “Cook Islander” means a member of the Polynesian ra ce indigenous to the Cook Islands; “Document” means a document in any form, and includ es – (a) any writing on any material; (b) any information recorded or stored by means of any tape-recorder, computer, or other device; and any material subsequ ently derived from information so recorded or stored; (c) any label, marking, or other writing that identifie s or describes any thing of which it forms part, or to which it is att ached by any means; (d) any book, map, plan, graph, or drawing; (e) any photograph, film, negative, tape, or other devi ce in which one or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduce d; “International Organisation” means any organisation of States or Governments of States or any organ or agency of any such organisation; and includes the Commonwealth Secretariat; “Member” means, in relation to an organisation, any person (not being an officer or employee of the organisation) who, wheth er by election or appointment or otherwise, holds office as a member of the organisation and includes – (a) where the organisation is a company or corporation, a director; and (b) where the organisation is a trust, a trustee; and (c) any temporary, acting, or alternative member of the organisation; “Ministry” includes – (a) a Ministry including a department of the Govern ment of the Cook Islands set out in Schedule 1 to this Act; (b) a Ministry or department established after the coming into force of this Act, whether by statute or decision of the Exe cutive branch of the Government of the Cook Islands unless, in the s tatute or decision establishing the Ministry or department, it is spec ifically excluded from the operation of this Act; “Official information” (a) means any information held by – (i) a Ministry; or (ii) a Minister of the Crown in his or her offic ial capacity; or (iii) an organisation; and (b) includes any information held outside the Cook Isla nds by any branch or post of – (i) a Ministry; or (ii) an organisation; and (c) in relation to information held by the Ministry of Justice, includes information held by the Rules Committee established by section 102 of the Judicature Act 1980-81; and (d) in relation to information held by the Universi ty of the South Pacific, includes only information held by – (i) any full-time member of the academic staff of t he University in the Cook Islands; or (ii) any other full-time officer or employee of the University in the Cook Islands; or (iii) any examiner, assessor, or moderator in the C ook Islands in any subject or examination taught or conducted by t he University in the Cook Islands; but (e) does not include information contained in – (i) library or museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes; or (ii) material placed in the National Library by or on behalf of persons other than Ministers of the Crown in their official capacity or Ministries; and (f) does not include information which is held by a Ministry, Minister of the Crown, or organisation solely as an agent or for the sole purpose of safe custody and which is so held on beh alf of a person other than a Ministry or a Minister of the Crown in his or her official capacity or an organisation; and (g) does not include evidence given or submissions made to - (i) a commission of inquiry appointed by an Order i n Executive Council made under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1 966; or (ii) a commission of inquiry or board of inquiry or court of inquiry or committee of inquiry appointed pursuant to, and not by, any provision of an Act to inquire into a s pecified matter; and (h) does not include information contained in any corre spondence or communication which has taken place between the off ice of the Ombudsman and any Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation and which relates to an investigation conducted by an Ombudsman under this Act or under the Ombudsman Act 1984, other than information that came into existence bef ore the commencement of that investigation; “Ombudsman” means the Ombudsman holding office unde r the Ombudsman Act 1984 Art 2 definition of official information includes all ministries. Schedules contain a fairly long list of associated departments - so gave them full points for that. But excluded are commissions of inquiry (2(6)(c) and (d)).
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 NO Parliament is not mentioned.
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 NO 2. "Interpretation (...) (6) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby decl ared that the terms “Ministry” and “organisation” do not include – (a) a Court(...)" Art 2(6)(a)
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 YES SCHEDULE 1 Ministries (including departments): Agriculture Audit Office Crown Law Office Cultural Development Disaster Management Office Education Energy National Environment Service Finance and Economic Management Financial Supervisory Commission Foreign Affairs and Immigration Human Resources Health Internal Affairs Justice Marine Resources Meteorological Service Ministerial Support Offices National Library Office of the Minister for Island Administration Office of the Prime Minister Parliamentary Services Police Public Service Commission Transport Waste Management Works Aitutaki Island Administration Office Atiu Island Administration Office Mangaia Island Administration Office Manihiki Island Administration Office Mauke Island Administration Office Mitiaro Island Administration Office Palmerston Island Administration Office Penrhyn Island Administration Office Pukapuka-Nassau Island Administration Office Rakahanga Island Administration Office Organisations Building Control Committee Business Trade & Investment Board Cook Islands Airport Authority Cook Islands Government Property Corporation Cook Islands Investment Corporation Cook Islands Marine Board Cook Islands National Superannuation Fund Cook Islands Pearl Authority Cook Islands Ports Authority Cook Islands Price Tribunal Cook Islands Tourism Marketing Corporation Cultural and Historic Places Board Higher Salaries Commission Island Councils Island Environment Authorities Leases Approval Tribunal Medical and Dental Council National Arts Council National Environment Council Nursing Council Parole Board Price Tribunal Public Expenditure Review Committee Rarotonga Local Government Remuneration Tribunal Seafood Export Advisory Council Liquor Licensing Authority Te Aponga Uira O Tumutevarovaro Transport Licensing Authority Schedule 1
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 Partially 2. "Interpretation (...) (6) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby decl ared that the terms “Ministry” and “organisation” do not include – (...) (b) in relation to its judicial functions, a Tribun al;(...)" Art 2(6)(b) excludes tribunals, apart from their administrative functions.
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 NO Not mentioned

Requesting Procedures

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13 Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.Y/N answer 0 or 2 points2 YES 11. "Requests (...) (3) If the person making the request asks that his request be treated as urgent, he shall give his reasons for seeking the i nformation urgently." 11(3) requirement for reasons only for urgent requests implies that reasons are not required in regular cases.
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 NO Procedure is not listed in the act, and I was unable to find standard request forms on any government websites I visited.
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 NO Procedure is not listed in the act, and I was unable to find standard request forms on any government websites I visited.
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 YES 12. Assistance – It is the duty of every Ministry, Minister of the Crown, and organisation to give reasonable assistance to a per son, who - (a) wishes to make a request in accordance with sec tion 11 of this Act; or (b) in making a request under section 11 of this Ac t, has not made that request in accordance with that section; or (c) has not made his or her request to the appropri ate Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation, to make a request in a manner that is in accordance with that section or to direct his or her request to the appropriate Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation.
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 YES 12. Assistance – It is the duty of every Ministry, Minister of the Crown, and organisation to give reasonable assistance to a per son, who - (a) wishes to make a request in accordance with sec tion 11 of this Act; or (b) in making a request under section 11 of this Ac t, has not made that request in accordance with that section; or (c) has not made his or her request to the appropri ate Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation, to make a request in a manner that is in accordance with that section or to direct his or her request to the appropriate Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation. Art 12 - doesn't explicitly mention disability, but seems to cover this under a general duty to assist.
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 No 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 13. Transfer of requests – Where – (a) a request in accordance with section 11 of this Act is made to a Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation ; and (b) the information to which the request relates – (i) is not held by the Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation but is believed by the person deali ng with the request to be held by another Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation; or (ii) is believed by the person dealing with the req uest to be more closely connected with the functions of another Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation, - the Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisati on to which the request is made shall promptly, and in any case not later than 10 working days after the day on which the request is received, transfer the request to the other Mini stry or Minister of the Crown or organisation, and inform the person making the requ est accordingly Art 13 allows for transfers, but permits them where the information is more directly related to another body.
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 YES 16. "Documents (...) (2) Subject to section 17 of this Act, the Ministr y or Minister of the Crown or organisation shall make the information av ailable in either way preferred by the person requesting it unless to do so would – (a) impair efficient administration; or (b) be contrary to any legal duty of the Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation in respect of the docume nt; or (c) prejudice the interests protected by section 6 or section 7 or section 8 of this Act and (in the case of the inte rests protected by section 8 of this Act) there is no co untervailing public interest. (3) Where the information is not provided in the w ay preferred by the person requesting it, the Ministry or Minister of t he Crown or organisation shall, subject to section 9 of this Act, give to that person in writi ng – (a) the reason for not providing the information i n that way; and (b) if that person so requests, the grounds in sup port of that reason, unless the giving of those grounds would itself prejudice the interests protected by section 6 or 7 or section 8 of this Act and (in the case of the interests pro tected by section 8 of this Act) there is no countervailing public interest."
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 YES Art 14 Decisions on Requests "(1) Subject to this Act, the Ministry or Ministe r of the Crown or organisation to whom a request is made in accordance with section 11 or is transferred in accordance with section 13 of this A ct shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, <...> a) decide whether the request is to be granted and , if it is to be granted, in what manner and for what charge (if any ); and (b) give or post to the person who made the request , notice of the decision on the request. <...>"
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 Partially Art 14 Decisions on requests "(1) Subject to this Act, the Ministry or Ministe r of the Crown or organisation to whom a request is made in accordance with section 11 or is transferred in accordance with section 13 of this A ct shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 work ing days after the day on which the request is received by that Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation, - (a) decide whether the request is to be granted and , if it is to be granted, in what manner and for what charge (if any ); and (b) give or post to the person who made the request , notice of the decision on the request. <...>" 20 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 Partially 15. Extension of time limits – (1) Where a request in accordance with section 11 of this Act is made or transferred to a Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation, the permanent head or that Minister o f the Crown or that organisation may extend the time limit set out in section 13 or sect ion 14(1) of this Act in respect of the requests if - (a) the request is for a large quantity of official information or necessitates a search through a large quantity of i nformation and meeting the original time limit would unreasona bly interfere with the operations of the Ministry or th e Minister of the Crown or the organisation; or (b) consultations necessary to make a decision on t he request are such that a proper response to the request cannot r easonably be made within the original time limit. (2) Any extension under subsection (1) of this sec tion shall be for a reasonable period of time having regard to the circ umstances. (3) The extension shall be effected by giving or p osting notice of the extension to the person who made the request within 20 working days after the day on which the request is received. (4) The notice effecting the extension shall – (a) specify the period of the extension; and (b) give the reasons for the extension; and (c) state that the person who made the request for the official information has the right, under section 30(3) of t his Act, to make a complaint to an Ombudsman about the extensio n; and (d) contain such other information as is necessary . 15 - requires notification, explanations, and notice of appeal options, but the law loses a point for not listing a specified time limit for these extensions, noting only that they must be "reasonable".
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 YES Because charges are only mentioned in regards to decision (ie - access fees), it is implied that there is no charge for filing requests. In the absence of expert confirmation, I will award the points.
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 NO 14. "Decisions on requests (...) (3) Any charge fixed shall be reasonable and regar d may be had to the cost of the labour and materials involved in making the information available to, and to any costs incurred pursuant to, a request of the applic ant to make the information available urgently.(...)" 14(3) says only that charges must be reasonable - does not centrally fix them, nor does it limit it to costs incurred (provides for charges for labour).
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 NO No 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 Partially 30. " Functions of Ombudsman - (1) It shall be a function of the Ombudsman to investigate and review any decision by which a Mini stry or Minister of the Crown or organisation - (...) (c) imposes conditions on the use, communication, o r publication of information made available pursuant to a request made in accordance with section 11 of this Act;(...)" Not explicitly stated - but Art 30(c) implies that government bodies can sometimes attach conditions to grants of access.


Exceptions

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Comments
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 NO 18. "Refusal of requests – A request made in accordance with section 11 of this Act may be refused only for one or more of the foll owing reasons, namely – (...) (c) that the making available of the information r equested would – (i) be contrary to the provisions of any Act(...) 18(c)(1) allows for refusals based on any other act.
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. "Other reasons for withholding official informat ion (...) (2) Subject to sections 6, 7, 9 and 18 of this Ac t, this section applies if, and only if, the withholding of the information is necessary to – (...) (g) maintain the constitutional conventions for the time being which protect – (i) the confidentiality of communications by or wit h the Sovereign or Her representative; (ii) collective and individual ministerial responsi bility; (iii) the political neutrality of officials; (iv) the confidentiality of advice tendered by Mini sters of the Crown and officials; or (h) maintain the effective conduct of public affair s through – (...) (ii) the protection of such Ministers, members of organisations, officers, and employees from imprope r pressure or harassment (...) (l) prevent the disclosure or use of official informati on for improper gain or improper advantage." 18. "Refusal of requests – A request made in accordance with section 11 of this Act may be refused only for one or more of the foll owing reasons, namely – (...) (d) that the information requested is or will soon be publicly available(...) (h) that the request is frivolous or vexatious or t hat the information requested is trivial." 8(2)(g) - maintaining constitutional conventions. 8(2)(h)(ii) - protection of ministers from improper harassment (this could be legitimate... but I feel like the language is overly broad and that the provision could be abused). 8(2)(l) - improper gain or advantage. 18(h) - information is trivial. 18(d) -Information that will soon be publicly available (no timeline - again could be abused).
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 Partially 8. "Other reasons for withholding official informat ion – (...) (2) Subject to sections 6, 7, 9 and 18 of this Ac t, this section applies if, and only if, the withholding of the information is necessary to – (...)(b) protect information where the making available of the information – (i) would disclose a trade secret (...)" 6. "Conclusive reasons for withholding official inf ormation (...)(b) prejudice the entrusting of information to the Government of the Cook Islands on a basis of confidence by – (i) the government of any other country or any agen cy of such a government; or (ii) any international organisation (...)". Art 8(2)(b)(I) - trade secrets. Art 6(b) - information received in confidence from an international organization - overly broad and not harm tested, esp since international relations is already listed.
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 Partially 8. Other reasons for withholding official informat ion – (1) Where this section applies, good reason for withholding official infor mation exists for the purpose of section 5 of this Act unless, in the circumstances of the par ticular case the withholding of that information is outweighed by other consideration wh ich render it desirable, in the public interest, to make that information available. (2) Subject to sections 6, 7, 9 and 18 of this Ac t, this section applies if, and only if, the withholding of the information is necessary to – (a) protect the privacy of natural persons, includi ng that of deceased natural persons; or (b) protect information where the making available of the information – (i) would disclose a trade secret; or (ii) would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information; or (c) protect information which is subject to an obli gation of confidence or which any person has been or could be compelled to provide under the authority of an Act, where the making available of the information – (i) would be likely to prejudice the supply of simi lar information, or information from the same source, and it is in the public interest that such informat ion should continue to be supplied; or (ii) would be likely otherwise to damage the public interest; or (d) avoid prejudice to measures protecting the heal th or safety of members of the public; or (e) avoid prejudice to the substantial economic int erests of the Cook Islands or (f) avoid prejudice to measures that prevent or mit igate material loss to members of the public; or (g) maintain the constitutional conventions for the time being which protect – (i) the confidentiality of communications by or wit h the Sovereign or Her representative; (ii) collective and individual ministerial responsi bility; (iii) the political neutrality of officials; (iv) the confidentiality of advice tendered by Mini sters of the Crown and officials; or (h) maintain the effective conduct of public affair s through – (i) the free and frank expression of opinion by or between or to Ministers of the Crown or member or an organisation or officers and employees of any Ministry or organisation in the course of their dut y; or (ii) the protection of such Ministers, members of organisations, officers, and employees from imprope r pressure or harassment; or (i) maintain legal professional privilege; or (j) enable a Minister of the Crown or any Ministry or organisation holding the information to carry out, without prejudice or disadvantage, commercial activities; o r (k) enable a Minister of the Crown or any Ministry or organisation holding the information to carry on, w ithout prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations); or (l) prevent the disclosure or use of official informati on for improper gain or improper advantage. Art 8 contains such an override, but is limited in its scope.
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 No such clauses.
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 Partially 20. Duty to consider consulting person if request l ikely to be refused under section 18(e) or (f) - If a request is likely to be refused under sec tion 18(e) or (f), the Ministry, Minister of the Crown, or organisation mu st, before that request is refused, consider whether consulting with the person who mad e the request would assist that person to make the request in a form that would remove the reason for the refusal. Art 20 has something along these lines - but is not binding and lacks the necessary clarity.
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 YES 17. Deletion of information from documents – (1) Where the information requested is comprised in a document and there is a good reason for withholding some of the information contained in that document, the oth er information in that document may be made available by making a copy of that document av ailable with such deletions or alterations as are necessary. (2) Where a copy of a document is made available un der subsection (1) of this section, the Ministry or Minister of the Cr own or organisation shall, subject to section 9 of this Act, give to the applicant in wri ting – (a) the reason for withholding the information; an d (b) if the applicant so requests, the grounds in s upport of that reason, unless the giving of those grounds would i tself prejudice the interests protected by section 6 or section 7 or section 8 of this Act and (in the case of the inte rests protected by section 8 of this Act) there is no co untervailing public interest
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 21. Reason for refusal to be given – Where a request made in accordance with section 11 of this Act is refused, the Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation, shall, - (a) subject to section 9 of this Act, give to the a pplicant in writing – (i) the reason for its refusal; and (ii) if the applicant so requests, the grounds in s upport of that reason, unless the giving of those grounds wou ld itself prejudice the interests protected by section 6 or section 7 or section 8 of this Act and (in the case of the interests protected by section 8 of this Act) t here is no countervailing public interest; and (b) give to the applicant information concerning th e applicant’s right, by way of complaint under section 30 of this Act to the Ombudsman, to seek an investigation and review of the refusal.


Appeals

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
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 NO No internal appeals procedure - which is troubling since the Ombudsman's website repeatedly instructs complainants to go through an internal appeal first.
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 30. Functions of Ombudsman - (1) It shall be a function of the Ombudsman to investigate and review any decision by which a Mini stry or Minister of the Crown or organisation - (a) refuses to make official information available to any person in response to a request made by that person in acc ordance with section 11 of this Act; or (b) decides, in accordance with section 16 or secti on 17 of this Act, in what manner or, in accordance with section 14 of this Act, for what charge a request made in accordance w ith section 11 of this Act is to be granted; or (c) imposes conditions on the use, communication, o r publication of information made available pursuant to a request made in accordance with section 11 of this Act; or (d) gives a notice under section 9 of this Act. (2) It shall be a function of the Ombudsman to inve stigate and review any decision by which the permanent head of a Minis try or an officer or an employee of a Ministry authorised by its permanent head or a Mini ster of the Crown or an organisation extends any time limit under section 15 of this Act. (3) An investigation and review under subsection (1 ) or subsection (2) may be made by the Ombudsman only on complaint bein g made to the Ombudsman in writing. (4) If, in relation to any request made in accordan ce with section 11 of this Act, any Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation fails within the time limit fixed by section 14(1) of this Act (or, where that time limit has been extended under this Act, within that time limit as so extended) to comp ly with paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of section 14(1) of this Act, that failure shall be de emed, for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, to be a refusal to make available the official information to which the request relates. (5) Undue delay in making official information avai lable in response to a request for that information, shall be deemed, fo r the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, to be a refusal to make that information a vailable.
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 NO 3. "Ombudsman - (...)(2) Subject to the provisions of section 7 of this Act, the Ombudsman shall be appointed by the Queen's Representative on the advice of the Prime Minister who shall convey the recommendations of Parliament." 6. Conclusive reasons for withholding official inf ormation – Good reason for withholding official information exists, for the pu rpose of section 5 of this Act, if the making available of that information would be likel y to - (a) prejudice the security or defence of the Cook I slands or the international relations of the Government of the Co ok Islands; or (b) prejudice the entrusting of information to the Government of the Cook Islands on a basis of confidence by – (i) the government of any other country or any agen cy of such a government; or (ii) any international organisation; or (c) prejudice the maintenance of the law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection of offence s, and the right to a fair trial; or (d) endanger the safety of any person; or (e) damage the economy of the Cook Islands by discl osing prematurely decisions to change or continue Governm ent economic or financial policies relating to – (i) the regulation of banking or credit; (ii) taxation; (iii) the stability, control, and adjustment of pri ces of goods and other costs, and rates or wages, salaries , and other incomes; (iv) the borrowing of money by the Government of th e Cook Islands; and (v) the entering into of overseas trade agreements. Ombudsman Act - Art 3(2) - appointed by GG on advice of PM - no protection. Art 6 - no security of tenure.
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 8. Salaries and allowances of Ombudsman - (1) There shall be paid to the Ombudsman out of the Government Account, without further appropriation than this section, a salary at such rate as the Queen's Representative, by Order in Council, from time to time determines. (2) The salary of the Ombudsman shall not be diminished by an Order in Council under this section during the continuance of his appointment. (3) Any Order in Council under this section, and any provision of any such Order, may be made so as to come into force on a date to be specified in that behalf in the Order, being the date of the making of the Order or any other date, whether before or after the date of the making of the order or the date of the commencement of this Act. (4) Every Order in Council under this section, and every provision of any such order, in respect of which no date is specified as aforesaid shall come into force on the date of the making of the order. (5) There shall be paid to the Ombudsman, in respect of time spent in travelling in the exercise of his functions, travelling allowances and expenses in accordance with the Civil List Act 1984, and the provisions of that Act shall apply accordingly as if the Ombudsman were a Minister. 9. Oath to be taken by Ombudsman - Before entering upon the exercise of the duties of his office the Ombudsman shall take an oath before the Speaker or Clerk of Parliament, namely: I .................... will faithfully and impartially perform the duties of my office and that I will not, except where I am required to do so by enactment of the Parliament of the Cook Islands, divulge any information received by me in the performance of my functions. 28. Money to be appropriated by Parliament for purpose of this Act - Except as otherwise provided in this Act, all salaries and allowances and other expenditure payable or incurred under or in the administration of this Act shall be payable out of money to be appropriated by Parliament for the purpose. Ombudsman Act Art 8 and 9 - no such protections, but Art 28 of the Ombudsman Act ensures that money comes from 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 Partially 16. Evidence - (1) Subject to the provisions of this section and of section 17 of this Act, an Ombudsman may from time to time require any person who in his opinion is able to give any information relating to any matter that is being investigated by the Ombudsman to furnish to him any such information, and to produce any documents or papers or things which in the Ombudsman's opinion relate to any such matter as aforesaid and which may be in the possession or under the control of that person. This subsection shall apply whether or not the person is an officer, employee, or member of any Department or organisation, and whether or not such documents, papers, or things are in the custody or under the control of any Department or organisation. 24. Power of entry on premises - (1) For the purposes of this Act, but subject to the provisions of this section, the ombudsman may at any time enter upon any premises occupied by any of the Departments or organisations named or specified in the Schedule to this Act and inspect the premises and, subject to the provisions of sections 16 and 17 of this Act carry out therein any investigation that is within his jurisdiction. (2) Before entering upon any such premises an Ombudsman shall notify the Permanent Head of the Department or, as the case may require, the principal administrative officer of the organisation by which the premises are occupied. (3) The Minister of Justice may from time to time by notice to the Ombudsman exclude the application of subsection (1) of this section to any specified premises or class of premises, if he is satisfied that the exercise of the defence, or international relations of the Cook Islands, including the Cook islands relations with the Government of any other country or with any international organisation. Ombudsman Act art 16 mentions reviewing classified docs but this is severly curtailed by s 17. Art 24 allows power of inspection.
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 NO 19. "Procedure after investigation - (...) (3) If in any case to which this section applies the Ombudsman is of the opinion- (a) That the matter should be referred to the appropriate authority for further consideration; or (b) That the omission should be rectified; or (c) That the decision should be cancelled or varied; or (d) That any practice on which the decision, recommendation, act, or omission was based should be altered; or (e) That any law on which the decision, recommendation, act, or omission was based should be reconsidered; or (f) That reasons should have been given for the decision; or (g) That any other steps should be taken- the Ombudsman shall report his opinion, and his reasons therefore, to the appropriate Department or organisation, and may make such recommendations as he thinks fit. In any such case he may request the Department or organisation to notify him, within a specified time, of the steps (if any) that it proposes to take to give effect to his recommendations. The Ombudsman shall also, in the case of an investigation relating to a Department or organisation named or specified in Part I of the Schedule to this Act, send a copy of his report or recommendations to the minister concerned, and, in the case of an investigation relating to an organisation named or specified in Part II of the Schedule to this Act, send a copy of his report or recommendations to the Chairman of the organisation concerned, and to the Minister, if any. (4) If within a reasonable time after the report is made no action is taken which seems to an Ombudsman to be adequate and appropriate, the Ombudsman, in his discretion, after considering the comments (if any) made by or on behalf of any Department or organisation affected, may send a copy of the report and recommendations to the Prime Minister, and may thereafter make such report to Parliament on the matter as he thinks fit.(...)" 33. Procedure after investigation – (1) Where, after making an investigation of a complaint made under section 30 of this Act, an Omb udsman is of the opinion - (a) that the request made in accordance with sectio n 11 of this Act should not have been refused; or (b) that the decision complained of is unreasonable or wrong or is otherwise a decision to which subsection (1) or subsection (2) of section 19 of the Ombudsman Act 1984 applies , - the Ombudsman shall, subject to subsection (3) of t his section, (c) report his or her opinion and his or her reasons th erefore to the appropriate Ministry or Minister of the Crown o r organisation; and (d) subject to section 34 of this Act, make such recomm endation as he thinks fit; and (e) give to the complainant – (i) a copy of his or her recommendations (if any); and (ii) such other information as he or she thinks pro per. (2) The Ombudsman shall also send a copy of his or her report and recommendations to such Minister of the Crown as he or she considers appropriate. (3) Notwithstanding anything in this section, the O mbudsman shall not, in any report made under this section, make any com ment that is adverse to any person unless the person has been given an opportunity to be heard. (4) Except as provided in subsection (1) of this se ction, nothing in section 19 of the Ombudsman Act 1984 shall apply in respect of a decision that may be investigated and reviewed under section 30(1) or se ction 30(2) of this Act. Ombudsman Act Art 19(3) and (4) - they only make recommendations. Art 33 of the FOI act reinforces this.
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 Partially Ombudsman's website says they can recommend the decision be reconsidered.
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES 38. Appeals - Any party to an application under section 37 o f this Act who is dissatisfied with any final or interlocutory order in respect of the application may appeal to the Court of Appeal and Part II of the Judicature Act 1980-81 shall apply to any su ch appeal.
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 13. Mode of complaint - (1) Every complaint to the Ombudsman shall be made in writing. (2) Notwithstanding any provision in any enactment where any letter appearing to be written by any person in custody on a charge or after conviction of any offence, or by any person who is of unsound mind within the meaning of Part XXI of the Cook Islands Act 1915, is addressed to the Ombudsman it shall be immediately forwarded to the Ombudsman by the person for the time being in charge of the place or institution where the writer of the letter is detained or of which he is a patient. Not specifically mentioned (Art 13 of Ombudsman Act implies it) - and unfortunately the Ombudsman's website link for online compaints was non-functional, but the fact that complaints can be made by fax or email implies they are free and don't require a lawyer.
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 30. Functions of Ombudsman - (1) It shall be a function of the Ombudsman to investigate and review any decision by which a Mini stry or Minister of the Crown or organisation - (a) refuses to make official information available to any person in response to a request made by that person in acc ordance with section 11 of this Act; or (b) decides, in accordance with section 16 or secti on 17 of this Act, in what manner or, in accordance with section 14 of this Act, for what charge a request made in accordance w ith section 11 of this Act is to be granted; or (c) imposes conditions on the use, communication, o r publication of information made available pursuant to a request made in accordance with section 11 of this Act; or (d) gives a notice under section 9 of this Act. (2) It shall be a function of the Ombudsman to inve stigate and review any decision by which the permanent head of a Minis try or an officer or an employee of a Ministry authorised by its permanent head or a Mini ster of the Crown or an organisation extends any time limit under section 15 of this Act. (3) An investigation and review under subsection (1 ) or subsection (2) may be made by the Ombudsman only on complaint bein g made to the Ombudsman in writing. (4) If, in relation to any request made in accordan ce with section 11 of this Act, any Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation fails within the time limit fixed by section 14(1) of this Act (or, where that time limit has been extended under this Act, within that time limit as so extended) to comp ly with paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of section 14(1) of this Act, that failure shall be de emed, for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, to be a refusal to make available the official information to which the request relates. (5) Undue delay in making official information avai lable in response to a request for that information, shall be deemed, fo r the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, to be a refusal to make that information a vailable. Art 30 provides sufficiently broad grounds.
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 NO The Official Information Act and the Ombudsman's website are all silent on procedure. There are some things listed in the Ombudsman Act, but it's still rather vague on how the actual process moves forward, and contains no timelines.
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 Partially Ombudsman's website says they can recommend changes in policy or procedure.


Sanctions & Proteccions

Indicator

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 Partially 27. Offences - Every person commits an offence against this Act and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $200 who- (a) Without lawful justification or excuse, wilfully obstructs, hinders, or resists the Ombudsman or any other person in the exercise of his powers under this Act; (b) Without lawful justification or excuse, refuses or wilfully fails to comply with any lawful requirement of the Ombudsman or any other person under this Act; (c) Wilfully makes any false statement to or misleads or attempts to mislead the Ombudsman or any other person in the exercise of his powers under this Act; (d) Represents directly or indirectly that he holds any authority under this Act when he does not hold that authority. Art 27 of the Ombudsman Act makes it a crime to obstruct the ombudsman.
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 No 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 YES 48. Protection against certain actions - (1) Where any official information is made available in good faith pursuant to this Act – (a) no proceedings, civil or criminal, shall lie agains t the Crown or any other person in respect of the making availa ble of that information, or for any consequences that follow fr om the making available of that information; and (b) no proceedings, civil or criminal, in respect of an y publication involved in, or resulting from, the mak ing available of that information shall lie against the author of the information or any other person by reason of th at author or other person having supplied the information to a Ministry or Minister of the Crown or organisation. (2) The making available of, or the giving access to, any official information in consequence of a request made under this Act shall not be taken, for the purposes of the law relating to defamation or breac h of confidence or infringement of copyright, to constitute an authorization or approv al of the publication of the document or of its contents by the person to whom the informati on is made available or the access is given. Art 48 provides blanket immunity
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 No 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 NO 14. "Decisions on requests – (...) (5) Where a request in accordance with section 11 of this Act is made or transferred to a Ministry, the decision on that req uest shall be made by the permanent head of that Ministry or an officer or employee of that Ministry authorized by that permanent head unless that request is transferred in accordan ce with section 13 of this Act to another Ministry or to a Minister of the Crown or to an org anisation. (...)" Art 14(5) allows for the possibility of designated officials, but does not mandate their appointment.
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 NO No mentioned
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 No 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 No 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 22. "Publication setting out functions of Ministries and organisations - (1) The Office of the Prime Minister shall cause to be publ ished, not later than the 1 st May 2008, a publication that includes in respect of each Minist ry and each organisation, - (...) (b) a general description of the categories of docu ments held by it (...)" 22(b) requires a "general description" of the documents each body holds.
59 Training programs for officials are required Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO No 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 No 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 Partially 26. Annual report - Without limiting the right of the Ombudsman to report at any other time, but subject to the provisions of subsection (6) of section 19 of this Act and to any rules for the guidance of the Ombudsman made by Parliament and for the time being in force, the Ombudsman shall in each year make a report to Parliament on the excise of his functions under this Act. Art 26 of the Ombudsman Act requires a consolidated report before parliament, but does not specfically deal with implementioan of the information law. The fact that the Ombudsman's web page for annual reports contains only a paragraph of latin script (indicating that the site has not been touched since it was created in 2009) does not inspire confidence. The web page for "Publications" is also empty.