Country

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

Name of law : Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Access to Information
First adopted : 2015
Last modified : 01 January 1970
RTI Rating last updated : 12 July 2016

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 1
Scope 30 30
Requesting procedures 30 21
Exceptions 30 1
Appeals 30 7
Sanctions 8 0
Promotional measures 16 1
TOTAL 150 61

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 Partially Constitution Art. 20(2). Everyone shall have the right to freely receive and disseminate information by any means not prohibited by law. The list of items constituting state secrets of the Republic of Kazakhstan shall be determined by law.
2 The legal framework creates a specific presumption in favour of access to all information held by public authorities, subject only to limited exceptions.No=0, Partially=1, Yes=22 NO
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 NO \"4 Providing access to information is based on the following principles: 1) legality; 2) openness and transparency of the activity of information holders; 3) truthfulness and completeness; 4) relevance and timeliness; 5) equal access to information; 6) nondisclosure of state secrets and other types of secrets protected by law; 7) protection of private life, personal and family secrets; 8) respect for rights and legal interests of individuals and legal entities. \"




Scope

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4 Everyone (including non-citizens and legal entities) has the right to file requests for information.Score 0 point if only residents/citizens; 1 point for all natural persons; 1 point for legal persons. 2 YES Art.1. 3) an information user – an individual or a legal entity, requesting and (or) using information;
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 1. 1) information – data on persons, objects, facts, events and processes, which is received or created by an information holder, recorded on any device and which possesses prerequisites that allow to identify such data; 8) information with limited access – information that is classified as state secrets, personal, family, medical, banking, commercial and other types of secrets protected by law, and also official information noted as “for official use only”; 3 1. This Law applies throughout the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan and regulates public relationships created by providing access to information, the latter not related to information with limited access.
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. 1) information – data on persons, objects, facts, events and processes, which is received or created by an information holder, recorded on any device and which possesses prerequisites that allow to identify such data; 8) information with limited access – information that is classified as state secrets, personal, family, medical, banking, commercial and other types of secrets protected by law, and also official information noted as “for official use only”; 3 1. This Law applies throughout the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan and regulates public relationships created by providing access to information, the latter not related to information with limited access.
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 8 1) bodies and institutions of legislative, executive branches of state power and court system, as well as local state administration and self−administration;
8 The right of access applies to the legislature, including both administrative and other information, with no bodies excluded. Score 1 point if the law only applies to administrative documents, 2-3 points if some bodies excluded, 4 points if all legislative branch at all levels of government4 YES 8 1) bodies and institutions of legislative, executive branches of state power and court system, as well as local state administration and self−administration;
9 The right of access applies to the judicial branch, including both administrative and other information, with no bodies excluded. Score 1 point if the law only applies to administrative documents, 2-3 points if some bodies excluded, 4 points if all judicial branch at all levels of government4 YES 8 1) bodies and institutions of legislative, executive branches of state power and court system, as well as local state administration and self−administration;
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 \"8 2) state institutions which are not state bodies; 3) subjects of quasi− state sector; 4) legal entities – receivers of budget funds, in respect to information concerning the usage of funds received from state budgets; \"
11 The right of access applies to other public authorities, including constitutional, statutory and oversight bodies (such as an election commission or information commission/er). Score 1 point if some bodies, 2 points if all2 YES \"8 2) state institutions which are not state bodies; 3) subjects of quasi− state sector; 4) legal entities – receivers of budget funds, in respect to information concerning the usage of funds received from state budgets; \"
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 \"8 4) legal entities – receivers of budget funds, in respect to information concerning the usage of funds received from state budgets; 5) legal entities – subjects of the market which enjoy a dominant or monopoly status in the market, in respect to information concerning prices for goods (works, services) produced (sold) by them; 6) legal entities possessing information concerning ecological situation, emergency situations, natural and techno genic catastrophes, their forecast and consequences, fire security, sanitary-epidemiological and radiation conditions and food security and other factors which create a negative impact on health and security of people, settlements and industrial objects. \"

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 7 1. Information user has the right to: 5) receive information without an obligation to explain the necessity;
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 \"11. 5. A written request should contain following information: 1) last name, name and patronymic (if it is indicated in an ID), individual identification number of an individual who is sending a request for information; 2) if applying on behalf of a legal entity – full name of a legal entity, business identification number, outgoing number and date, last name, initials and a position of a person who signed a request. A request has to contain postal and electronic addresses, telephone or telefax number and other means of communication. A written request has to be signed by an individual or a representative of a legal entity. A request in an electronic form has to be authorized by an electronic digital signature. A request made electronically on a blog platform of the heads of state bodies is considered as a written request. A request made electronically on a blog platform of the heads of state bodies does not have to be signed by an information user, if the latter has an account on the “electronic government” web portal and a registration user number, assigned by a mobile phone provider. \" Requirements for an identification number, and the requirement for additional verifications for electronic requests, are problematic. Also, note that oral requests seem to operate on a parallel system, with limited types of information available.
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 1 12) request – an application in an oral or written form, including an electronic document, requesting an access to information, verbalized or addressed to an information holder in accordance with the order stipulated by this Law. 11. 3. A request can be made in an oral or written form, including electronically.
16 Public officials are required provide assistance to help requesters formulate their requests, or to contact and assist requesters where requests that have been made are vague, unduly broad or otherwise need clarification. Score 1 point for help in formulation and 1 point for clarification procedures2 NO 9 1. Information holder has the right to:2) clarify content of a request with a person applied with such a request;
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 Partially 9 2. Information holder is obliged to: 7) create necessary conditions for disabled people who receive information;
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 YES 11. 6. An information user who applied to an information holder directly and made his/her request in a written form, receives a receipt which indicates the date and time, last name and initials of a person, who accepted the request.
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 NO
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 11. 12. A response to a written request should be given in hard copy or electronically as per information user’s choice and in a language of the request.
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 NO
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 9 2. Information holder is obliged to: 5) make sure to respect the deadline for providing access to information; 11. 10. A response to a written request should be given within 15 days from the moment it was received by an information holder.
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 11. 10. In cases, when requested information is within competence of several information holders and in order to give a response it’s necessary to receive information from other information holders, the period of time for consideration can be once extended for another 15 days by the head of an information holder. An information user should be informed about it within three working days from the moment of extension.
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 YES 11 1. Information upon a request is provided free of charge.
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 \"11 1. Information upon a request is provided free of charge. 13. In case if a response to a written request necessitates copying or printing costs, then an information user must compensate these actual costs to an information holder. The amount of actual costs for copying or printing and the order of compensating costs are determined by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The tariffs for copying or printing and the order of compensating them have to be published in periodicals distributed throughout the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan and placed on the web sites of information holders. Socially deprived people are released from compensating actual costs for copying or printing according to the order set by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan. \"
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 YES \"11. 13. In case if a response to a written request necessitates copying or printing costs, then an information user must compensate these actual costs to an information holder. The amount of actual costs for copying or printing and the order of compensating costs are determined by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The tariffs for copying or printing and the order of compensating them have to be published in periodicals distributed throughout the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan and placed on the web sites of information holders. Socially deprived people are released from compensating actual costs for copying or printing according to the order set by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan. \"
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 YES


Exceptions

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28 The standards in the RTI Law trump restrictions on information disclosure (secrecy provisions) in other legislation to the extent of any conflict.Score 4 points for a resounding "yes" and 1/2/3 points if only for some classes of information or for some exceptions. If the state secrets law is not trumped by the RTI law max score is 2 points. 4 NO \"2 2. If an international agreement, ratified by the Republic of Kazakhstan, sets out other rules than those stipulated by the present Law, then the rules of the international agreement would apply. 3. This Law does not apply to the order of considering requests made according to the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On National archive foundation and archives”. 4. This Law does not apply to the order of providing information to mass media outlets according to the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On mass media”. \"
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 NO \"Art 1.8 information with limited access – information that is classified as state secrets, personal, family, medical, banking, commercial and other types of secrets protected by law, and also official information noted as “for official use only”; 3.2. This Law does not apply to appeals by individuals and legal entities, the order of which is stipulated by legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on administrative violations, criminal and civil procedural legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 16. An access to information is denied: 3) if requested information is considered to be information with limited access; 4) if a request contains questions of legal evaluation of acts adopted by an information holder, analysis of activities of an information holder or its subordinate bodies and organizations or conducting any other type of analytical work before its completion; 5) before a decision is made on the results of checkups, conducted in the framework of the state control and supervision; 6) before a final decision is taken on the basis of interdepartmental and interagency correspondence or on the basis of discussions held in state bodies; 7) before reaching a mutual agreement about conditions of releasing documents received from foreign states or international organizations. \"
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 NO \"Article 5. Limitation of the right for access to information Right for access to information may be limited only by laws and only to the extent as necessary in order to protect constitutional and public order, human rights and freedoms, health and human morals.\" Note that the exceptions listed under I29 also lack harm tests.
31 There is a mandatory public interest override so that information must be disclosed where this is in the overall public interest, even if this may harm a protected interest. There are ‘hard’ overrides (which apply absolutely), for example for information about human rights, corruption or crimes against humanity.Consider whether the override is subject to overarching limitations, whether it applies to only some exceptions, and whether it is mandatory.4 NO
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
33 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for consulting with third parties who provided information which is the subject of a request on a confidential basis. Public authorities shall take into account any objections by third parties when considering requests for information, but third parties do not have veto power over the release of information.Score: 1 point for consultation, 1 further point if original time frames must be respected and the law allows for expedited appeals.2 NO
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 NO
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 Partially \"11. 16. An access to information is denied: 1) if a content of a request does not allow to determine which information is being requested; 2) if a request does not comply with the requirements of this Law; 3) if requested information is considered to be information with limited access; 4) if a request contains questions of legal evaluation of acts adopted by an information holder, analysis of activities of an information holder or its subordinate bodies and organizations or conducting any other type of analytical work before its completion; 5) before a decision is made on the results of checkups, conducted in the framework of the state control and supervision; 6) before a final decision is taken on the basis of interdepartmental and interagency correspondence or on the basis of discussions held in state bodies; 7) before reaching a mutual agreement about conditions of releasing documents received from foreign states or international organizations. 17. A reasoned response to a written request denying access to information is delivered to an information user within five working days from the moment of registering the request. \"


Appeals

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36 The law offers an internal appeal which is simple, free of charge and completed within clear timelines (20 working days or less).Score 2 points if the internal appeal fulfills these criteria, 1 point if an appeal is offered that does not fulfill this criteria, 0 for no internal appeals.2 Partially \"Article 18. Appealing unlawful limitation of the right for access to information 1. Unlawful limitation of the right for access to information may be appealed to a higher state body (a higher rank official) or to a court. 2. An appeal of actions (inactions) of state officials and also state bodies’ decisions is to be addressed to a higher rank official or an body or a court not later than three months from the day when a person learnt that an action was done or decision taken by a relevant state official or an body. Missing a deadline for bringing an appeal will not serve as a reason to deny the admittance of the appeal by a state body or a state official or a court. The reasons for missing the deadline will be revealed during the consideration of the appeal and may become one of the basis for denying the appeal.\" Little information available about the procedures for internal appeals.
37 Requesters have the right to lodge an (external) appeal with an independent administrative oversight body (e.g. an information commission or ombudsman). 1 for partial, 2 for yes2 NO
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
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 NO
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
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 NO
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 NO
43 In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the power to order appropriate remedies for the requester, including the declassification of information. 1 for partial, 2 for fully2 NO
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES \"Article 18. Appealing unlawful limitation of the right for access to information 1. Unlawful limitation of the right for access to information may be appealed to a higher state body (a higher rank official) or to a court. 2. An appeal of actions (inactions) of state officials and also state bodies’ decisions is to be addressed to a higher rank official or an body or a court not later than three months from the day when a person learnt that an action was done or decision taken by a relevant state official or an body. Missing a deadline for bringing an appeal will not serve as a reason to deny the admittance of the appeal by a state body or a state official or a court. The reasons for missing the deadline will be revealed during the consideration of the appeal and may become one of the basis for denying the 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 NO
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 7 1. Information user has the right to: 6) appeal an illegal limitation of the right for access to information and action (inaction) of state officials;
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 Note that the only timelines in place, under Art 18, restrict the timeline for requesters to file an appeal. There are no restrictions for resolving these appeals.
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
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


Sanctions & Proteccions

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50 Sanctions may be imposed on those who wilfully act to undermine the right to information, including through the unauthorised destruction of information.Score 1 point for sanctions for underming right, 1 point for destruction of documents 2 NO \"Article 20. Responsibility for violating the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on access to information Violation of the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on access to information results in responsibility established by laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan. \" Sanctions provisions are far too vague to merit points.
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
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
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


Promotional measures

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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
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
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
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
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 NO
59 Training programs for officials are required Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO
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 9. 2. Information holder is obliged to: 10) conduct an internal control over quality and timeliness of providing information;
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 9 3. In addition to obligations, listed under paragraph (2) above, the heads of central executive bodies (except for the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan), a designated body on state service and anti-corruption issues, akims and heads of national highest educational institutions are obliged to report to population about the work performed.