Country

Estonia

Estonia

Name of law : Public Information Act
First adopted : 2000
RTI Rating last updated : 23 June 2016

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 5
Scope 30 20
Requesting procedures 30 24
Exceptions 30 22
Appeals 30 16
Sanctions 8 1
Promotional measures 16 8
TOTAL 150 96

Right of Access

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
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 44 of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia states: \"(1) Everyone has the right to freely obtain information disseminated for public use. (2) All state agencies, local governments, and their officials have a duty to provide information about their activities, pursuant to procedure provided by law, to an Estonian citizen at his or her request, except information the disclosure of which is prohibited by law, and information intended exclusively for internal use. (3)An Estonian citizen has the right to access information about himself or herself held in state agencies and local governments and in state and local government archives, pursuant to procedure provided by law. This right may be restricted pursuant to law to protect the rights and freedoms of others or the confidentiality of a child\'s parentage, and in the interests of preventing a criminal offence, apprehending a criminal offender, or ascertaining the truth in a criminal proceeding. (4)Citizens of foreign states and stateless persons who are in Estonia have the rights specified in paragraphs two and three of this section equally with Estonian citizens, unless otherwise provided by law.\" Constitution of the Republic of Estonia (English version): http://www.president.ee/en/republic-of-estonia/the-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 Partially § 4. Principles of granting access to public information: \"(1) In order to ensure democracy, to enable public interest to be met and to enable all persons to exercise their rights and freedoms and perform their obligations, holders of information are required to ensure access to the information in their possession under the conditions and pursuant to the procedure provided by law.\" Is not a principle of publicity but establishes the obligation of public authorities to ensure access.
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 § 1. Purpose of Act \"The purpose of this Act is to ensure that the public and every person has the opportunity to access information intended for public use, based on the principles of a democratic and social rule of law and an open society, and to create opportunities for the public to monitor the performance of public duties.\"




Scope

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
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 § 4. Principles of granting access to public information \"(2) Access to information shall be ensured for every person in the quickest and easiest manner possible.\"
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 YES § 3. Public information \"(1) Public information (hereinafter information) is information which is recorded and documented in any manner and on any medium and which is obtained or created upon performance of public duties provided by law or legislation issued on the basis thereof.\"
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 § 1. Purpose of Act \"The purpose of this Act is to ensure that the public and every person has the opportunity to access information intended for public use, based on the principles of a democratic and social rule of law and an open society, and to create opportunities for the public to monitor the performance of public duties.\" § 3. Public information \"(1) Public information (hereinafter information) is information which is recorded and documented in any manner and on any medium and which is obtained or created upon performance of public duties provided by law or legislation issued on the basis thereof.\"
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 YES § 5. Holders of information \"(1) The following are holders of information: 1) state and local government agencies; 2) legal persons in public law; 3) legal persons in private law and natural persons under the conditions provided for in subsection (2) of this section. (2) The obligations of holders of information extend to legal persons in private law and natural persons if the persons perform public duties pursuant to law, administrative legislation or contracts, including the provision of educational, health care, social or other public services, – with regard to information concerning the performance of their duties.\"
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 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 Not mentioned
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 § 5. Holders of information: \"<...> 3) The following are deemed to be equal to holders of information: 1) undertakings which have a dominant position in the market or special or exclusive rights or which are natural monopolies – with regard to information concerning the conditions and prices of the supply of goods and services and changes thereto; 2) sole proprietors, non-profit associations, foundations and companies – with regard to information concerning the use of funds allocated from the state or a local government budget for the performance of public duties or as support.\"
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 NO Not mentioned.
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 YES § 5. Holders of information: \"<...> 3) The following are deemed to be equal to holders of information: 1) undertakings which have a dominant position in the market or special or exclusive rights or which are natural monopolies – with regard to information concerning the conditions and prices of the supply of goods and services and changes thereto; 2) sole proprietors, non-profit associations, foundations and companies – with regard to information concerning the use of funds allocated from the state or a local government budget for the performance of public duties or as support.\"

Requesting Procedures

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
13 Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.Y/N answer 0 or 2 points2 NO Reasons are not mentioned in the law.
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 § 14. Requirements applicable to requests for information \"(1) A request for information shall set out the following information orally or in writing: 1) the given name and surname of the person making the request for information; 2) the name of the legal person or agency in the case of a request for information made on behalf of an agency or legal person; 3) the details of the person making the request for information (postal or electronic mail address, or fax or telephone number), through which the holder of information could release the information or contact the person making the request for information; 4) the content of the information or the type, name and content of the document requested, or the requisite information on the document known to the person making the request for information; 5) the manner of complying with the request for information.\"
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 YES § 13. Manners of making requests for information \"A person making a request for information shall make the request for information either: 1) orally, addressing a holder of information directly or by telephone, or 2) in writing, delivering a request for information personally or communicating it by post, fax or electronic mail.\"
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 § 13. Manners of making requests for information \"A person making a request for information shall make the request for information either: 1) orally, addressing a holder of information directly or by telephone, or 2) in writing, delivering a request for information personally or communicating it by post, fax or electronic mail.\"
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 § 9. Obligations of holders of information \"(2) Upon granting access to information, a holder of information is required: <...>5) to assist persons making requests for information; <...> § 15. Obligation of holders of information to assist persons making requests for information \"(1) Holders of information are required to clearly explain the procedure for and the conditions and manners of access to information to persons making requests for information. (2) Officials and employees of holders of information are required to assist persons making requests for information in every way during the making of requests for information and the identification of the information necessary for the persons making requests for information, the location of the information and the most suitable manners of access thereto.\"
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 YES § 15.(3) \"An official or employee of a holder of information who is not competent to comply with a request for information is required promptly to send the person making the request for information to an official or employee who has the corresponding competence, or promptly to communicate the request for information in writing to the specified official or employee.\"
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 § 14. Requirements applicable to requests for information \"(1) A request for information shall set out the following information orally or in writing: <...> 5) the manner of complying with the request for information.\" The requesters can say how they want to have access to the information but the law does not establish the obligation of the public authority to obey such preference.
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 YES § 4. Principles of granting access to public information \"(2) Access to information shall be ensured for every person in the quickest and easiest manner possible.\"
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 § 18. Terms for compliance with requests for information and calculation of terms for processing \"(1) A request for information shall be complied with promptly, but not later than within five working days. (2) If a request for information cannot be complied with due to the insufficiency of the information submitted by the person making the request for information, the holder of information shall notify the person making the request for information thereof within five working days in order to specify the request for information. (3) The terms for processing requests for information provided for in this Act shall be calculated as of the working day following registration of the requests for information.\"
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 § 19. Extension of terms for compliance with requests for information \"If a holder of information needs to specify a request for information or if identification of the information is time-consuming, the holder of information may extend the term for compliance with the request for information for up to fifteen working days. The holder of information shall notify the person making the request for information of extension of the term together with the reasons therefor within five working days.\"
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 YES § 4. Principles of granting access to public information \"(4) Access to information shall be granted without charge unless payment for the direct expenses relating to the release of the information is prescribed by law.\" § 25. Covering expenses relating to compliance with requests for information \"(1) A holder of information shall cover the expenses relating to compliance with requests for information unless otherwise prescribed by law. (2) A person making a request for information shall pay up to 3 kroons per page for copies on paper starting from the twenty-first page, unless a state fee for the release of information is prescribed by law. (3) Holders of information shall cover the expenses relating to compliance with requests for information made by state or local government agencies.\"
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 YES § 4. Principles of granting access to public information \"(4) Access to information shall be granted without charge unless payment for the direct expenses relating to the release of the information is prescribed by law. (4 1) A holder of information must publish the conditions for accessing the information and the amount to be charged for access and, if a person making a request for information so requires, provide explanations concerning the cost-orientation of the charges.\" § 25. Covering expenses relating to compliance with requests for information \"(1) A holder of information shall cover the expenses relating to compliance with requests for information unless otherwise prescribed by law. (2) A person making a request for information shall pay up to 0.19 euros per page for printouts and copies on paper starting from the twenty-first page, unless a state fee for the release of information is prescribed by law. (3) Holders of information shall cover the expenses relating to compliance with requests for information made by state or local government agencies. (4) Any income received for supplying information for re-use must not exceed the cost of supplying that information for re-use, to which a reasonable depreciation cost may be added which is intended to ensure the sustainability of the service.\"
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 YES § 26. Exemption from covering expenses \"A holder of information may exempt a person making a request for information from covering expenses provided for in subsection 25 (2) of this Act if: 1) collection of the expenses is economically inefficient; 2) the person making the request for information needs the information for research; 3) the person making the request for information needs the information in order to exercise the rights and freedoms of the person or to perform obligations and if the person making the request does not have the financial capacity to cover the expenses.\"
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 Not mentioned.


Exceptions

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

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 Petitions Act (RT I 1994, 51, 857; 1996, 49, 953; 2000, 49, 304; 92, 597; 2001, 58, 354) if responding requires the analysis and synthesis of the recorded information or the collection and documentation of additional information; 4) to restrictions on access to information and to special conditions for, the procedure for and methods of access if these are otherwise provided for in specific Acts or international agreements. (3) The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (RT I 2001, 58, 354; 2002, 53, 336; 61, 375; Other laws prevale to RTI law.
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 § 35. Grounds for classification of information as internal \"(1) A holder of information is required to classify the following as information intended for internal use: 1) information collected in criminal or misdemeanour proceedings, except for the information subject to disclosure under the conditions provided by the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure and the Code of Criminal Procedure; 2) information collected in the course of state supervision proceedings until the entry into force of a decision made thereon; 3) information the disclosure of which would damage the foreign relations of the state; 4) information concerning tables reflecting the armament and equipment, and the quantities of armament and equipment of the Defence Forces, unless such information is a state secret or classified foreign information; [RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009] 5) information concerning the state assets to be transferred, in the event of mobilisation or increasing of military preparedness, into the possession of the Defence Forces; 51) information concerning the methods and tactics utilised by the Police in its activities, if the disclosure of such information could hinder detection of criminal offences or facilitate committing thereof; [RT I 2009, 62, 405 - entry into force 01.01.2010] 52) information concerning the quantity of armament of the Police, unless such information is a state secret or classified foreign information; [RT I, 22.03.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.04.2011] 6) information concerning national defence duty; 7) information the disclosure of which would endanger objects protected under heritage conservation or museum objects belonging to a museum collection; 8) information the disclosure of which would endanger the protected areas or the preservation of protected species and their habitats; 9) information including a description of security systems, security organisations or security measures; 10) information on technological solutions if disclosure of such information would damage the interests of the holder of information or if classification of such information as internal is prescribed in a contract entered into with a person in private law; 11) information which contains sensitive personal data; 12) information which contains personal data if enabling access to such information significantly breaches the inviolability of private life of the data subject; 13) information which contains data revealing details of family life; 14) information concerning application for social assistance or social services; 15) information revealing mental or physical suffering endured by a person; 16) data collected on a person during the process of taxation, except data concerning tax arrears; 17) information whose disclosure may violate a business secret; 18) reports of an internal audit before approval thereof by the head of the agency; 181) the risk assessment of vitally important services and information concerning the operational continuity plan; [RT I 2009, 39, 262 - entry into force 24.07.2009] 19) any other information provided by law. [RT I 2007, 68, 420 - entry into force 01.01.2008] (11) [Repealed - RT I, 19.12.2012, 2 - entry into force 29.12.2012] (2) The head of a state or local government agency or a legal person in public law may classify the following as information intended for internal use: 1) draft legislation of general application before it is sent for approval or submitted for passage; 2) draft documents and accompanying documents before receipt or signature thereof; [RT I 2007, 12, 66 - entry into force 01.01.2008] 3) in justified cases, documents addressed to persons within the agency which are not registered in the document register (opinions, notices, memoranda, certificates, advice, etc.); 4) information which may damage the interests of the state acting as a participant in the proceedings in a civil proceeding, until the court decision is made. [RT I 2007, 12, 66 - entry into force 01.01.2008]\" Public safety is not mentioned.
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 § 38. Access to information classified as internal only \"(1) A holder of information shall disclose information concerning facts which arouse public interest and which are related to an offence or accident before the final clarification of the circumstances of the offence or accident to an extent which does not hinder the investigation or supervision or clarification of the reasons for the accident. The competent official who organises the investigation or supervision or who clarifies the circumstances of the accident shall decide on the extent of disclosure of such information.\"
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 YES § 38. Access to information classified as internal only \"(1) A holder of information shall disclose information concerning facts which arouse public interest and which are related to an offence or accident before the final clarification of the circumstances of the offence or accident to an extent which does not hinder the investigation or supervision or clarification of the reasons for the accident. The competent official who organises the investigation or supervision or who clarifies the circumstances of the accident shall decide on the extent of disclosure of such information.\"
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 YES § 40. Terms of restrictions on access \"(1) A restriction on access to information intended for internal use applies as of the preparation or receipt of the documents for as long as necessary or until the arrival of the event, but not for longer than five years. The head of an agency may extend the term by up to five years if the reason for establishment of the restriction on access continues to exist. [RT I 2007, 12, 66 - entry into force 01.01.2008] (2) A restriction on access to documents pertaining to state supervision, supervisory control and preparation of individual decisions of executive power applies until adoption of a decision unless another reason to restrict access to the information exists. (3) A restriction on access to information classified as internal which contains private personal data applies for 75 years as of the receipt or documentation thereof or for 30 years as of the death of the person or, if it is impossible to establish death, for 110 years as of the birth of the person.\"
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 § 14. Requirements applicable to requests for information \"(2)If a person requests information which contains restricted personal data concerning him or her or third persons, the holder of information shall identify the person making the request for information. If a person requests restricted private personal data concerning a third person, he or she shall inform the holder of information of the basis and purpose of accessing the information.\"
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 § 38. Access to information classified as internal only \"<...>(2) If the grant of access to information may cause the disclosure of restricted information, it shall be ensured that only the part of the information or document to which restrictions on access do not apply may be accessed.\"
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 NO Not mentioned.


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 YES § 46. Filing of challenges and actions concerning refusal to comply with request for information or unsatisfactory compliance with request for information \"A person whose rights provided for in this Act are violated may file a challenge with a supervisory body specified in § 44 of this Act or an action with an administrative court either personally or through a representative.\"
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 § 46. Filing of challenges and actions concerning refusal to comply with request for information or unsatisfactory compliance with request for information \"A person whose rights provided for in this Act are violated may file a challenge with a supervisory body specified in § 44 of this Act or an action with an administrative court either personally or through a representative.\" [RT I 2002, 61, 375 - entry into force 01.08.2002]
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 Personal Data Protection Act1 36. Appointment and release of head of Data Protection Inspectorate from office (1) The Government of the Republic shall appoint the head of Data Protection Inspectorate to office for a term of five years at the proposal of the Minister of Justice after having heard the opinion of the Constitutional Committee of the Riigikogu2. The head of Data Protection Inspectorate is appointed by the government
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 § 54. Report of Data Protection Inspectorate on compliance with this Act \"(1) The Data Protection Inspectorate shall submit a report on compliance, during the preceding year, with this Act to the Constitutional Committee of the Riigikogu and to the Legal Chancellor by 1 April each year. [RT I 2007, 12, 66 - entry into force 01.01.2008] (2) The report shall contain an overview of offences, the holders of information which committed the offences, challenges, precepts, misdemeanour proceedings initiated, punishments imposed, and other circumstances relating to the implementation of this Act. (3) Reports shall be published on the website of the Data Protection Inspectorate.\" No mention to the budget.
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 § 45. Supervisory competence of Data Protection Inspectorate \"(1) The Data Protection Inspectorate shall exercise state supervision over holders of information during compliance with requests for information and the disclosure of information. (2) The Data Protection Inspectorate may initiate supervision proceedings on the basis of a challenge or on its own initiative. (3) Upon the exercise of supervision, the Data Protection Inspectorate shall ascertain whether: 1) a request for information is registered pursuant to the procedure prescribed by law; 2) a request for information is complied with pursuant to the procedure, within the term and in a manner prescribed by law; 3) refusal to comply with a particular request for information is in accordance with law; 4) a restriction on access to particular information is established pursuant to the procedure provided by law; 5) a holder of information performs the obligation to disclose information; 6) a holder of information performs the obligation to maintain a website pursuant to the procedure provided by law. [RT I 2002, 61, 375 - entry into force 01.08.2002] (4) The Data Protection Inspectorate may give recommended instructions for the implementation of this Act. [RT I, 19.12.2012, 2 - entry into force 29.12.2012]\" § 50. Rights of Data Protection Inspectorate (1) Competent officials of the Data Protection Inspectorate who exercise supervision have the right to: 1) demand explanations and documents from holders of information; 2) examine documents concerning access to information held by holders of information and internal documents to which access is restricted; 3) issue precepts to holders of information to comply with legislation; 4) [Repealed] 5) make proposals to holders of information for the better organisation of access to information. (2) The Data Protection Inspectorate shall notify the person filing the challenge, the holder of information and the superior body or agency of the holder of information of the decision on the challenge. The supervision results shall be disclosed on the website of the Data Protection Inspectorate. [RT I 2002, 63, 387 - entry into force 01.09.2002]
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 YES § 52. Compliance with precepts of Data Protection Inspectorate (1) A holder of information shall, within five working days as of receipt of a precept, take measures to comply with the precept and shall notify the Data Protection Inspectorate thereof. The Data Protection Inspectorate shall publish the notice on its website. (2) [Repealed - RT I 2002, 61, 375 - entry into force 01.08.2002]
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 § 50. Rights of Data Protection Inspectorate \"(1) Competent officials of the Data Protection Inspectorate who exercise supervision have the right to: 1) demand explanations and documents from holders of information; 2) examine documents concerning access to information held by holders of information and internal documents to which access is restricted; 3) issue precepts to holders of information to comply with legislation; 4) [Repealed] 5) make proposals to holders of information for the better organisation of access to information. (2) The Data Protection Inspectorate shall notify the person filing the challenge, the holder of information and the superior body or agency of the holder of information of the decision on the challenge. The supervision results shall be disclosed on the website of the Data Protection Inspectorate.\" [RT I 2002, 63, 387 - entry into force 01.09.2002] The power of declassifiying information is not mentioned
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES § 46.Filing of challenges and actions concerning refusal to comply with request for information or unsatisfactory compliance with request for information \"A person whose rights provided for in this Act are violated may file a challenge with a supervisory body specified in § 44 of this Act or an action with an administrative court either personally or through a representative.\"
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 NO Not mentioned.
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 § 51. Precept of Data Protection Inspectorate \"(1) The Data Protection Inspectorate may issue a precept which requires a holder of information to bring its activities into accordance with law if the Inspectorate finds that the holder of information: 1) has refused illegally to comply with a request for information; 2) has not responded to a request for information within the prescribed term; 3) has not complied with a request for information as required; 4) has not processed a request for information as required; 5) has failed to disclose information subject to disclosure as required; 6) has not performed the obligation to maintain a website as required; 7) has established restrictions on access to information illegally; 8) has failed to establish restrictions on access to information provided by law; 9) has released information to which restrictions on access are established pursuant to this Act.\"
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 Not mentioned.
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

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 § 54.1 Violation of requirements for disclosure and release of public information \"(1) Knowing release of incorrect public information or knowing disclosure or release of information intended for internal use or failure to comply with a precept of the Data Protection Inspectorate is punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units. (2) The provisions of the General Part of the Penal Code and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure apply to the misdemeanours provided for in this section. (3) The Data Protection Inspectorate is the extra-judicial body which conducts proceedings in matters of misdemeanours provided for in this section. [RT I 2003, 26, 158 - entry into force 01.10.2003]\"
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 YES § 10. Organisation of access to information by holders of information \"<...>(2) A holder of information may, using an operations procedure or other documents, designate the structural units and officials or employees responsible for complying with requests for information and disclosing information, and the procedure for the internal processing of requests for information or of information subject to disclosure. <...>\"
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 § 55. Access to public computer network in public libraries \"The state and local governments shall ensure that there is the opportunity to access public information through the data communication network in public libraries by 2002.\"
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 Partially § 58. Bringing of records management procedures into accordance with this Act \"(1) The Government of the Republic shall establish the bases for the records management procedures of state and local government agencies and legal persons in public law by 1 March 2001. (2) Holders of information shall bring their records management procedures into accordance with this Act by 1 June 2001.\"
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 YES § 11. Document register of agency (1) The document register of an agency is a digital database which is maintained by a state or local government agency or a legal person in public law in order to register documents received by the agency and prepared in the agency and to ensure access thereto. (2) The Government of the Republic may establish requirements for document registers. § 12. Requirements for document registers
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 § 54. \"Report of Data Protection Inspectorate on compliance with this Act \"(1) Knowing release of incorrect public information or knowing disclosure or release of information intended for internal use or failure to comply with a precept of the Data Protection Inspectorate is punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units. (2) The provisions of the General Part of the Penal Code and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure apply to the misdemeanours provided for in this section. (3) The Data Protection Inspectorate is the extra-judicial body which conducts proceedings in matters of misdemeanours provided for in this section.\"