Country

Latvia

Latvia

Name of law : Freedom of Information Law
First adopted : 1998

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 4
Scope 30 30
Requesting procedures 30 18
Exceptions 30 14
Appeals 30 4
Sanctions 8 2
Promotional measures 16 0
TOTAL 150 72

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 100. "Everyone has the right to freedom of expression which includes the right to freely receive, keep and distribute information and to express their views. Censorship is prohibited." Article 104. "Everyone has the right to address submissions to State or local government institutions and to receive a materially responsive reply. Article 115. The State shall protect the right of everyone to live in a benevolent environment by providing information about environmental conditions and by promoting the preservation and improvement of the environment." Link to the Constitution of Latvia (English version): http://www.saeima.lv/en/legislation/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 Section 2.3 "<...> Information shall be accessible to the public in all cases, when this law does not specify otherwise."
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 Not mentioned.




Scope

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MAX score
Findings

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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 Section 2. Purpose and Scope of Application of this Law: "(1) The purpose of this Law is to ensure that the public has access to information, which is at the disposal of institutions or which an institution in conformity with its competence has a duty to create. This Law determines uniform procedures by which private persons are entitled to obtain information from an institution and to utilise it. (2) This Law applies to documented information, which is within the circulation of information of institutions. (3) Information shall be accessible to the public in all cases, when this Law does not specify otherwise. (4) This Law does not apply to the exchange of information between institutions."
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 Section 1. Terms Used in this Law "The following terms are used in this Law: 1) information – information or compilations of information, in any technically possible form of fixation, storage or transfer;<...>" Section 2. Purpose and Scope of Application of this Law: "(1) The purpose of this Law is to ensure that the public has access to information, which is at the disposal of institutions or which an institution in conformity with its competence has a duty to create. This Law determines uniform procedures by which private persons are entitled to obtain information from an institution and to utilise it. (2) This Law applies to documented information, which is within the circulation of information of institutions. (3) Information shall be accessible to the public in all cases, when this Law does not specify otherwise. (4) This Law does not apply to the exchange of information between institutions."
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 Section 1. Terms Used in this Law "The following terms are used in this Law: 1) information – information or compilations of information, in any technically possible form of fixation, storage or transfer;<...>" Section 2. Purpose and Scope of Application of this Law: "(1) The purpose of this Law is to ensure that the public has access to information, which is at the disposal of institutions or which an institution in conformity with its competence has a duty to create. This Law determines uniform procedures by which private persons are entitled to obtain information from an institution and to utilise it. (2) This Law applies to documented information, which is within the circulation of information of institutions. (3) Information shall be accessible to the public in all cases, when this Law does not specify otherwise. (4) This Law does not apply to the exchange of information between institutions."
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 Section 2. Purpose and Scope of Application of this Law "(1) The purpose of this Law is to ensure that the public has access to information, which is at the disposal of institutions or which an institution in conformity with its competence has a duty to create. This Law determines uniform procedures by which private persons are entitled to obtain information from an institution and to utilise it. (2) This Law applies to documented information, which is within the circulation of information of institutions. (3) Information shall be accessible to the public in all cases, when this Law does not specify otherwise. (4) This Law does not apply to the exchange of information between institutions. <...>" Section 1. Terms Used in this Law "The following terms are used in this Law: <...> 4) institution – every institution, as well as persons who implement administration functions and tasks if such person in the circulation of information is associated with the implementation of the relevant functions and tasks; <...>".
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 Section 2. Purpose and Scope of Application of this Law "(1) The purpose of this Law is to ensure that the public has access to information, which is at the disposal of institutions or which an institution in conformity with its competence has a duty to create. This Law determines uniform procedures by which private persons are entitled to obtain information from an institution and to utilise it. (2) This Law applies to documented information, which is within the circulation of information of institutions. (3) Information shall be accessible to the public in all cases, when this Law does not specify otherwise. (4) This Law does not apply to the exchange of information between institutions. <...>" Section 1. Terms Used in this Law "The following terms are used in this Law: <...> 4) institution – every institution, as well as persons who implement administration functions and tasks if such person in the circulation of information is associated with the implementation of the relevant functions and tasks; <...>".
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 Section 2. Purpose and Scope of Application of this Law "(1) The purpose of this Law is to ensure that the public has access to information, which is at the disposal of institutions or which an institution in conformity with its competence has a duty to create. This Law determines uniform procedures by which private persons are entitled to obtain information from an institution and to utilise it. (2) This Law applies to documented information, which is within the circulation of information of institutions. (3) Information shall be accessible to the public in all cases, when this Law does not specify otherwise. (4) This Law does not apply to the exchange of information between institutions. <...>" Section 1. Terms Used in this Law "The following terms are used in this Law: <...> 4) institution – every institution, as well as persons who implement administration functions and tasks if such person in the circulation of information is associated with the implementation of the relevant functions and tasks; <...>".
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 Section 2. Purpose and Scope of Application of this Law "(1) The purpose of this Law is to ensure that the public has access to information, which is at the disposal of institutions or which an institution in conformity with its competence has a duty to create. This Law determines uniform procedures by which private persons are entitled to obtain information from an institution and to utilise it. (2) This Law applies to documented information, which is within the circulation of information of institutions. (3) Information shall be accessible to the public in all cases, when this Law does not specify otherwise. (4) This Law does not apply to the exchange of information between institutions. <...>" Section 1. Terms Used in this Law "The following terms are used in this Law: <...> 4) institution – every institution, as well as persons who implement administration functions and tasks if such person in the circulation of information is associated with the implementation of the relevant functions and tasks; <...>". Section 88 of State administrative Structure law provided for pre-conditions when public persons can undertake commercial activities (State owned commercial entities). When doing that the activities are considered as public function. These two articles cannot be regarded separately (Section 8 of the Administrative procedure law , Section 8. Principle of Reasonable Application of Norms of Law "Institutions and courts, in applying the norms of law, shall use the basic methods of the interpretation of the norms of law (grammatical, systemic, historical and teleological methods) in order to achieve the most equitable and useful result (Section 17)" ) With regard to commercial entities, such interpretation has been expressly used by the Supreme Court.
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 Section 2. Purpose and Scope of Application of this Law "(1) The purpose of this Law is to ensure that the public has access to information, which is at the disposal of institutions or which an institution in conformity with its competence has a duty to create. This Law determines uniform procedures by which private persons are entitled to obtain information from an institution and to utilise it. (2) This Law applies to documented information, which is within the circulation of information of institutions. (3) Information shall be accessible to the public in all cases, when this Law does not specify otherwise. (4) This Law does not apply to the exchange of information between institutions. <...>" Section 1. Terms Used in this Law "The following terms are used in this Law: <...> 4) institution – every institution, as well as persons who implement administration functions and tasks if such person in the circulation of information is associated with the implementation of the relevant functions and tasks; <...>". Section 88 of State administrative Structure law provided for pre-conditions when public persons can undertake commercial activities (State owned commercial entities). When doing that the activities are considered as public function. These two articles cannot be regarded separately (Section 8 of the Administrative procedure law , Section 8. Principle of Reasonable Application of Norms of Law "Institutions and courts, in applying the norms of law, shall use the basic methods of the interpretation of the norms of law (grammatical, systemic, historical and teleological methods) in order to achieve the most equitable and useful result (Section 17)" ) With regard to commercial entities, such interpretation has been expressly used by the Supreme Court.
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 Section 2. Purpose and Scope of Application of this Law "(1) The purpose of this Law is to ensure that the public has access to information, which is at the disposal of institutions or which an institution in conformity with its competence has a duty to create. This Law determines uniform procedures by which private persons are entitled to obtain information from an institution and to utilise it. (2) This Law applies to documented information, which is within the circulation of information of institutions. (3) Information shall be accessible to the public in all cases, when this Law does not specify otherwise. (4) This Law does not apply to the exchange of information between institutions. <...>" Section 1. Terms Used in this Law "The following terms are used in this Law: <...> 4) institution – every institution, as well as persons who implement administration functions and tasks if such person in the circulation of information is associated with the implementation of the relevant functions and tasks; <...>".

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 YES Section 10. Duty to Provide Information "<...> (3) Generally accessible information shall be provided also on the basis of an application from a private person. Such information shall be provided to anyone who wishes to receive it, subject to the equal rights of persons to obtain information. The applicant shall not be required to specially justify his or her interest in generally accessible information, and he or she may not be denied it because such information does not apply to the applicant.<...>"
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 Section 11 "<...> (3) A written request for information shall indicate the name, surname or designation (firm name), the place of domicile, place of residence in Latvia or legal address of the applicant, and the applicant shall sign it. The request for information shall be formulated as precisely as possible.<...>"
15 There are clear and relatively simple procedures for making requests. Requests may be submitted by any means of communication, with no requirement to use official forms or to state that the information is being requested under the access to information law.Max 2 points. Considerations include that there is no requirement to state that the request is under the RTI law, nor to use an official form, nor to identify the document being sought. 2 Partially Section 11. Form for Requesting Information and Registration Procedures "(1) Information may be requested in writing or orally. (2) All written requests for information shall be registered. An institution may prescribe procedures for also registering oral requests and the content of the information provided. (3) A written request for information shall indicate the name, surname or designation (firm name), the place of domicile, place of residence in Latvia or legal address of the applicant, and the applicant shall sign it. The request for information shall be formulated as precisely as possible. (4) Restricted access information shall be requested in writing. In requesting restricted access information, a person shall provide grounds for his or her request and specify the purpose for which the information will be used. If restricted access information is provided, the recipient shall undertake the duty to use this information solely for the purposes for which it was requested. (5) An institution may refuse to grant the request if it has not been prepared pursuant to the provisions of Paragraphs three and four of this Section, or does not provide a description according to which it is possible to identify the information. (6) Correspondence between an institution and an applicant and information regarding this person shall be deemed to be restricted access information."
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 The principle of good administration requires that institution strives to clarify all issues, which may hinder realization of the interests of a submitter. Which is normally done. But is not a legal obligation.
17     Public officials are required to provide assistance to requesters who require it because of special needs, for example because they are illiterate or disabled.Score Yes=2 point, No=02 NO Not mentioned.
18 Requesters are provided with a receipt or acknowledgement upon lodging a request within a reasonable timeframe, which should not exceed 5 working daysScore 1 point for receipt, 1 point for max 5 working days2 NO Not mentioned.
19 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for situations where the authority to which a request is directed does not have the requested information. This includes an obligation to inform the requester that the information is not held and to refer the requester to another institution or to transfer the request where the public authority knows where the information is held.Score: 1 point for information not held, 1 for referrals or 2 for transfers2 YES Section 12. Refusing Requested Information and Procedures by which a Statement is Provided regarding the Requested Information [22 December 2005] "(1) If an institution refuses to provide information which has been requested in writing, it shall specify in its written refusal on what grounds the request has been, wholly or in part, refused, and where and within what time period this refusal may be appealed. (2) If the institution does not have the requested information, the institution shall provide a statement regarding the location of the information and if such is known to the institution, it shall indicate by which procedures the information is accessible. (3) If the information has been published in the newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis [the official Gazette of the Government of Latvia], the institution having evaluated whether this newspaper is accessible to the applicant, may refuse to provide the requested information indicating when and where the information was published in the newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis. (4) In the case referred to in Section 11.2, Paragraph four of this Law, the institution shall draw up a refusal to provide information if after the receipt of a notification regarding the possible manner in which the information shall be provided, the applicant for the information informs the institution in writing that he or she does not agree with offered manner in which the information shall be provided."
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 See 17 above + (3) An institution may refuse to fulfill an information request or the fulfillment conditions thereof if the information request or the fulfillment conditions thereof are not commensurate with the resources at the disposal of the institution, to wit, as a result of the fulfillment of the information request or the fulfillment conditions thereof the work of the institution or the rights of another person are threatened.
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 NO Not mentioned.State administration structure law. Section 10. Principles of State Administration (5) State administration in its activities shall observe the principles of good administration. Such principles shall include openness with respect to private individuals and the public, the protection of data, the fair implementation of procedures within a reasonable time period and other regulations, the aim of which is to ensure that State administration observes the rights and lawful interests of private individuals.
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 Section 14. Time Periods for the Provision of Information "(1) An institution, which has received a written request for information, shall perform one of the following operations: 1) within the period of seven days provide the answer referred to in Section 11.2, Paragraph four and Section 12, Paragraph two, three or four of this Law; 2) within a period of 15 days answer the applicant if the information requires no additional processing; or 3) within a period of 30 days answer the applicant if information requires additional processing, and not later than within a period of 15 days notify the applicant of this. (2) An answer to a collective information request shall be sent to the person who has first signed the relevant request for information, or to the person who is indicated by the collective applicants 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 Partially Section 14. Time Periods for the Provision of Information "(1) An institution, which has received a written request for information, shall perform one of the following operations: 1) within the period of seven days provide the answer referred to in Section 11.2, Paragraph four and Section 12, Paragraph two, three or four of this Law; 2) within a period of 15 days answer the applicant if the information requires no additional processing; or 3) within a period of 30 days answer the applicant if information requires additional processing, and not later than within a period of 15 days notify the applicant of this. (2) An answer to a collective information request shall be sent to the person who has first signed the relevant request for information, or to the person who is indicated by the collective applicants for information."
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 YES Section 13. Payment for the Provision of Information "(1) Generally accessible information which does not require any additional processing shall be provided free of charge. (2) Payment for the provision of information may not exceed the expenses of the searching for, additional processing and copying of documents or information. The payment may not include any other expenses, which have been incurred in respect of resolving legal or political issues, which are associated with the provision of answers to the request for information. (3) Every applicant for information may request exemption from the payment for the service. The Cabinet shall determine the cases where payment for the provision of information by a private person shall be reduced or shall be released from such payment. (4) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which payment is performed for the provision of information, as well as the paid services and the amounts thereof. (5) Commercial companies founded by public persons for the re-use of information in their commercial activities shall have applied the same payment and provision procedures as for other applicants for information."
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 Section 13. Payment for the Provision of Information "(1) Generally accessible information which does not require any additional processing shall be provided free of charge. (2) Payment for the provision of information may not exceed the expenses of the searching for, additional processing and copying of documents or information. The payment may not include any other expenses, which have been incurred in respect of resolving legal or political issues, which are associated with the provision of answers to the request for information. (3) Every applicant for information may request exemption from the payment for the service. The Cabinet shall determine the cases where payment for the provision of information by a private person shall be reduced or shall be released from such payment. (4) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which payment is performed for the provision of information, as well as the paid services and the amounts thereof. (5) Commercial companies founded by public persons for the re-use of information in their commercial activities shall have applied the same payment and provision procedures as for other applicants for information."
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 YES Section 13. Payment for the Provision of Information "(1) Generally accessible information which does not require any additional processing shall be provided free of charge. (2) Payment for the provision of information may not exceed the expenses of the searching for, additional processing and copying of documents or information. The payment may not include any other expenses, which have been incurred in respect of resolving legal or political issues, which are associated with the provision of answers to the request for information. (3) Every applicant for information may request exemption from the payment for the service. The Cabinet shall determine the cases where payment for the provision of information by a private person shall be reduced or shall be released from such payment. (4) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which payment is performed for the provision of information, as well as the paid services and the amounts thereof. (5) Commercial companies founded by public persons for the re-use of information in their commercial activities shall have applied the same payment and provision procedures as for other applicants for information."
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 There is no copyright on PSI in Latvia. Information received can be reused without any conditions. In case of continuous reuse of large amounts of data, some fines may be applied within the limits of re-use directive and covering the technical cost of processing data on the side of an institution. I am not sure what else is required to score yes in this question.


Exceptions

Indicator

Description

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MAX score
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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 Not mentioned.
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 Section 3. Classes of Information "Information to which this Law applies shall be classified as: 1) generally accessible information; or 2) restricted access information." Section 4. Generally Accessible Information "Generally accessible information is any information, which is not categorised as restricted access information." Section 5. Restricted Access Information "(1) Restricted access information is such information as is intended for a restricted group of persons in relation to the performance of their work or official duties and the disclosure or loss of which, due to the nature and content of such information, hinders or may hinder the activities of the institution, or causes or may cause harm to the lawful interests of persons. (2) As restricted access information shall be deemed information: 1) which has been granted such status by law; 2) which is intended and specified for internal use by an institution; 3) which is a commercial secret, except in the case where a purchase contract has been entered into in accordance with the Public Procurement Law or other type of contract regarding actions with State or local government financial resources and property; 4) which concerns the private life of natural persons; 5) which is related to certifications, examinations, submitted projects (except projects the financing of which is expected to be a guarantee provided by the State), invitations to tender (except invitations to tender, which are associated with procurement for State or local government needs or other type of contract regarding actions with State or local government funds and property) and other assessment processes of a similar nature; 6) which is for official use only; or 7) which are North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or European Union documents, which are designated as “NATO UNCLASSIFIED” or “LIMITE” respectively. (3) The author of information or the manager of an institution shall determine restricted access information status, indicating the basis therefore provided by this Law or by other laws. (4) The author of information or the manager of an institution shall determine restricted access information status for information for a time period, which is not longer than one year. The author of information or the manager of an institution may decide regarding the specification of a new time period, as well as regarding the removal of such status prior to the termination of the specified time period. If the time period has ended for any information for which restricted access information status has been specified, or if the restricted access information status has been removed prior to the time period specified by law, such information shall become generally accessible information. (5) Paragraphs three and four of this Section shall not apply to cases where the restricted access information status has been specified by law. (6) Information, which is accessible to the public without restrictions provided by law, or which has already been published, shall not be deemed to be restricted access information."
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 Administrative Procedure Law: "Section 13. Principle of Proportionality "The benefits which society derives from the restrictions imposed on an addressee must be greater than the restrictions on the rights or legal interests of the addressee (Section 66). Significant restrictions on the rights or legal interests of a private person are only justified by a significant benefit to society." Only a general principle of the administration
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 Administrative Procedure Law: "Section 13. Principle of Proportionality The benefits which society derives from the restrictions imposed on an addressee must be greater than the restrictions on the rights or legal interests of the addressee (Section 66). Significant restrictions on the rights or legal interests of a private person are only justified by a significant benefit to society." Not mentioned.
32 Information must be released as soon as an exception ceases to apply (for example, for after a contract tender process decision has been taken). The law contains a clause stating that exceptions to protect public interests do not apply to information which is over 20 years old.Score 1 point for each2 YES Article 6 "(3) The status of restricted access information may be applied to information for the internal use of institutions during the process of preparation of matters only up to the time when the institution takes a decision regarding the particular matter, or when a document which has not been classified as a restricted access document is sent to an addressee. "Article 8 (prim): "(3) The status “informācija dienesta vajadzībām” [information for official use only] shall be specified for one year. The institution, which has specified such a status, may decide regarding the specification of a new time period, as well as regarding the removal of such status prior to the termination of such status. If in relation to information for which the status of “informācija dienesta vajadzībām” has been specified the time period of such status specified by law has terminated or the status has been removed prior to the time period specified by law, such information created in Latvia shall become generally accessible information."
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 Not mentioned.
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 Article 10: "(4) If the entirety of the requested information also includes restricted access information, the institution shall provide only that part of the information, which is generally accessible. That part of the information, which includes restricted access information shall be provided taking into account the special procedures specified in this Law."
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 Section 12. Refusing Requested Information and Procedures by which a Statement is Provided regarding the Requested Information "(1) If an institution refuses to provide information which has been requested in writing, it shall specify in its written refusal on what grounds the request has been, wholly or in part, refused, and where and within what time period this refusal may be appealed. <...>"


Appeals

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Description

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MAX score
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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 Section 15. Decision of an Institution and Control of Actions "An administrative act issued by an institution or the actual actions performed may be disputed or appealed according to the procedures specified in the Administrative Procedure Law."
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 Not mentioned.
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 Not mentioned.
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 Not mentioned.
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 NO Not mentioned.
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
43 In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the power to order appropriate remedies for the requester, including the declassification of information. 1 for partial, 2 for fully2 NO Not mentioned.
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES Appeal pertains to both actual action and administrative acts. Tacit refusal, refusal to act in a certain form etc is considered Actual action (Chapter 7) or administrative act (Chapter 6). The process of dispute and appeal are described in detail in the Administrative procedure law (http://www.vvc.gov.lv/export/sites/default/docs/LRTA/Likumi/Administrative_Procedure_Law.doc).
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 NO Not mentioned.
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 YES Law on disciplinary responsibility of civil servants provides for disciplinary action/liability in such cases. In cases where administrative person is not a subject to the rules of civil service, disciplinary action is presupposed by the Labour law. Unauthorized destruction of information. The law On Archives (Art. 4) provides for the duty of institutions to ensure proper management of their information and provides for responsibility and liability accordingly (disciplinary and administrative)
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 NO not mentioned.
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 not 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 not mentioned.
57 A system is in place whereby minimum standards regarding the management of records are set and applied. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO not mentioned.
58 Public authorities are required to create and update lists or registers of the documents in their possession, and to make these public. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO not mentioned.
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 NO not mentioned.