Country

Moldova

Moldova

Name of law : The Law on Access to Information
First adopted : 2000

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 5
Scope 30 28
Requesting procedures 30 23
Exceptions 30 23
Appeals 30 17
Sanctions 8 4
Promotional measures 16 10
TOTAL 150 110

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 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA. CHAPTER II. FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS. Article 34 (The Right of Access to Information): "Having access to any information of public interest is everybody's right that may not be curtailed. According with their established level of competence, public authorities shall ensure that citizens are correctly informed both on public affairs and matters of personal interest. The right of access to information may not prejudice either the measures taken to protect the citizens or the national security.[...]" Link to constitution (english version) http://www.presedinte.md/const.php?lang=eng
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 Article 4 (Principles of state policy on access to official information). Section 1: "Under the present law, any person has the right to seek, obtain and disseminate official information."
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 Article 2 (Objectives of the present law): "The present law aims: a) to create and establish a general normative framework on access to official information; b) to increase the effectiveness of the process of informing the public, and control on the part of citizens over the activity of public authorities/institutions; c) to stimulate the formation of opinions and active participation of people in the decision making activities in a democratic way."




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 NO Article 5 (Subjects of the present law). Section 3: "Official information may be requested, under conditions defined in the present law, by: a) any citizen of the Republic of Moldova; b) foreign citizens that reside in the Republic of Moldova; c) stateless persons that reside in the Republic of Moldova." Only citizens and residents are allowed to request 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 Article 6 (Official information): "1. Under the present law, the official information is defined as all information held and administered by information providers, which has been developed, selected, processed, systematized and/or adopted by official bodies or persons, or that is presented to them in conformity with the law by other subjects. 2. Under the present law, documents containing information are considered: 1. any of the following (or a part thereof): a) any piece of paper or other material, which carries an inscription; b) a map, chart, drawing, photograph; c) any paper or other material, which carries markings, figures, symbols or perforation that have a meaning to people qualified to interpret them; d) any object or material that can be used to reproduce sound, images or inscriptions with or without the help of another object or device; e) any other register of information that appeared as a result of the technological progress. [...]" Article 10 (Rights of requesting parties): "The person has the right to request, in person or through his/her representatives, from information providers, any information held by them, with the exception of cases specified by legislation."
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 Article 12 (Requesting access to official information) Section 1: "Official information and documents may be obtained by the requesting party on the basis of a written or verbal request." Article 13 (Means of accessing official information). Section 1: "The means of accessing information are: a) listening to the information that can be presented verbally; b) examining the document or information (or parts thereof) on the institution's premises; c) releasing a copy of the requested document or information (or parts 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 Article 5 (Subjects of the present law) Section 2: "Information providers, that is holders of official information required under the present law to provide such information to applicants, are: a) local and central public authorities - state administration bodies, as stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, and namely: Parliament, President, Government, Public Administration, Judicial Authorities; b) local and central public institutions - organizations founded by the state represented by public authorities that are financed by the state budget, who are responsible for activities of administration, those in social-cultural domains or other non-commercial activities; c) individuals and legal entities that, under the law or contract with public authorities, are empowered to provide some public services and to collect, select, preserve and hold official information, including data with private character." Article 9 (Access to information stored in the Archives of the Republic of Moldova): "Access to information stored in the State Archive Fund of the Republic of Moldova is regulated by the Law on the Archive Fund of the Republic of Moldova and by the present law. In cases of discrepancies between the provisions of the present law and of the Law on the Archive Fund of the Republic of Moldova, priority will be given to the provisions of the present law." All bodies are included under the scope of the act. All archives are included too.
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 Article 5 (Subjects of the present law) Section 2: "Information providers, that is holders of official information required under the present law to provide such information to applicants, are: a) local and central public authorities - state administration bodies, as stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, and namely: Parliament, President, Government, Public Administration, Judicial Authorities;" Article 6 (Official information). Section 1: "Under the present law, the official information is defined as all information held and administered by information providers, which has been developed, selected, processed, systematized and/or adopted by official bodies or persons, or that is presented to them in conformity with the law by other subjects." The Parliament is included. All information is included, with no exclusions.
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 Article 5 (Subjects of the present law) Section 2: "Information providers, that is holders of official information required under the present law to provide such information to applicants, are: a) local and central public authorities - state administration bodies, as stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, and namely: Parliament, President, Government, Public Administration, Judicial Authorities;" Article 6 (Official information). Section 1: "Under the present law, the official information is defined as all information held and administered by information providers, which has been developed, selected, processed, systematized and/or adopted by official bodies or persons, or that is presented to them in conformity with the law by other subjects." The Judicial branch is included under the scope of the Act. All information is included, with no exclusions.
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 Article 5 (Subjects of the present law) Section 2: "Information providers, that is holders of official information required under the present law to provide such information to applicants, are: c) individuals and legal entities that, under the law or contract with public authorities, are empowered to provide some public services and to collect, select, preserve and hold official information, including data with private character."
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 Article 5 Subjects of the present law (1) The subjects of the present law are information providers and information seekers. (2) Information providers, that is holders of official information required under the present law to provide such information to applicants, are: a) local and central public authorities - state administration bodies, as stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, and namely: Parliament, President, Government, Public Administration, Judicial Authorities;
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 Article 5 (Subjects of the present law) Section 2: "Information providers, that is holders of official information required under the present law to provide such information to applicants, are: b) local and central public institutions - organizations founded by the state represented by public authorities that are financed by the state budget, who are responsible for activities of administration, those in social-cultural domains or other non-commercial activities;

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 Article 10 (Rights of requesting parties). Section 3: "Any person requesting access to information in accordance with the present law is under no obligation to justify his/her interest for the requested information."
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 Article 12 (Requesting access to official information) Section 2: "The written request will include: a) sufficient and conclusive details for the identification of the requested information (or of parts thereof); b) the acceptable form in which the requested information may be received; c) identification data of the requesting party." No personal details are asked in order to request 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 Article 12 (Requesting access to official information): "Official information and documents may be obtained by the requesting party on the basis of a written or verbal request. The written request will include: a) sufficient and conclusive details for the identification of the requested information (or of parts thereof); b) the acceptable form in which the requested information may be received; c) identification data of the requesting party." Article 13 (Means of accessing official information. Section 1: "The means of accessing information are: a) listening to the information that can be presented verbally; b) examining the document or information (or parts thereof) on the institution's premises; c) releasing a copy of the requested document or information (or parts thereof); d) releasing a copy of the document's or information's translation (or parts thereof) into a language different from the original one, for an additional fee; e) sending by mail (including e-mail) the copy of the document or information (or parts thereof), a copy of the document's or information's translation into another language, upon the applicant's request, for a corresponding fee." The application must be submitted in an "acceptable form" (I do not consider this as a requirement of an official form).
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 Article 11. Section 2 (In order to guarantee free access to official information, the information provider) Subsection d): "will grant necessary assistance and help to information solicitors for the search and identification of information;"
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 specifically 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 Partially Article 15 (Responding to requests regarding access to information). Section 3: "Decisions made according to the present law will be communicated to the requesting party in such a way as to guarantee their receipt and acknowledgment." No mention about the timeframe.
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 Article 17 (Referrals): "The request for information can be readdressed to another provider, after the mandatory notification of the information solicitor within three working days from the moment the request is received, on his/her approval, in the following cases: a) the requested information is not possessed by the notified provider; b) the requested information, held by another provider, would satisfy completely the interest for information of the information solicitor."
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 Article 13 (Means of accessing official information): "The means of accessing information are: a) listening to the information that can be presented verbally; b) examining the document or information (or parts thereof) on the institution's premises; c) releasing a copy of the requested document or information (or parts thereof); d) releasing a copy of the document's or information's translation (or parts thereof) into a language different from the original one, for an additional fee; e) sending by mail (including e-mail) the copy of the document or information (or parts thereof), a copy of the document's or information's translation into another language, upon the applicant's request, for a corresponding fee. Excerpts from registers, documents, information (or parts thereof) may be made available to the applicant, upon the applicant's request, in a reasonable and acceptable form that allows its: a) examination on the institution's premises; b) retyping, photocopying or copying by another method that would ensure the safety of the original; c) recording onto an electronic carrier, recording on audio or video tape or on any other bearer resulting form technological progress."
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 YES Article 16 (Time limits in which requests on accessing information are to be carried out). Section 1: "Information and documents requested will be presented to the applicant as soon as they become available, but not later than 15 working days from the day, on which the request to access information has been registered." The Information and documents requested will be presented to the applicant "as soon as they become available".
22 There are clear and reasonable maximum timelines (20 working days or less) for responding to requests, regardless of the manner of satisfying the request (including through publication).Score: 1 point for timeframes of 20 working days (or 1 month, 30 days or 4 weeks). Score 2 points for 10 working days (or 15 days, or two weeks) or less.2 Partially Article 16 (Time limits in which requests on accessing information are to be carried out). Section 1: "Information and documents requested will be presented to the applicant as soon as they become available, but not later than 15 working days from the day, on which the request to access information has been registered." Information and documents requested will be presented to the applicant not later than 15 working days from the day, on which the request to access information has been registered.
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 Article 16 (Time limits in which requests on accessing information are to be carried out). Section 2: "The manager of the public institution may extend by 5 working days the term, in which the information and documents are supplied, if: a) a very large amount of information has been requested, and it requires selection; b) additional consultations are necessary in order to carry out the request." Section 3. "The requesting party will be informed about any extension of the term and the reasons for that, five days before the initial term expires." The manager of the public institution may extend by 5 working days, the term in which the information and documents are supplied
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 YES Article 7. (Official information with limited access). Section 2: "According to para. 1 of the present article, free ccess to any kind of official information may not be restricted except for the ollowing cases" Article 11 (Obligations of information providers) Section 1. Subsection 2: "to provide free access to 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 Partially Article 20 (Fees for providing official information): "Fees will be levied for providing official information and documents, [...]. The fees will not exceed the costs incurred during the search for and processing of the information or parts thereof, copying, sending it to the applicant and/or translating it from the state language, based on the request of the information solicitor. [...] No fees will be levied for information requested by the information solicitor, if this information: a) influences directly the rights and freedoms of the information solicitor; b) is presented verbally; c) is solicited for examination on the institution's premises; d) contributes to the transparency of the public institution and is in the interest of society. If the information provided to the information solicitor contains inaccuracies or incomplete data, the public institution is under the obligation to make the corresponding corrections and additions free of charge, except for cases when such corrections require considerable efforts and costs not planned for and not taxed when the information was first provided. The public institution will inform the applicant in the most appropriate and detailed way possible about the rules for fees calculation for the information released." Fees are set individually by the public bodies. The fees will not exceed the costs incurred during the search for and processing of the information. No mention about pages allowed for free.
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 NO Not mentioned.
27 There are no limitations on or charges for reuse of information received from public bodies, except where a third party (which is not a public authority) holds a legally-protected copyright over the information. Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 YES Article 12, Section 5. Analytical or novel information, as well as information synopses, can be compiled and furnished to the information solicitor on the basis of a contract between the requesting party and the information provider, for a negotiable fee, if the corresponding institution is willing and has the right to meet such a request."


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 Article 7 (Official information with limited access). Section 2: (2) According to para. 1 of the present article, free access to any kind of official information may not be restricted [...]." The right may be restricted if the information provider can successfully prove that such a restriction is regulated by an organic 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 YES Article 7 (Official information with limited access). Section 1: "The exercise of the right to information may be subject only to the restrictions defined by an organic law and meeting the following requirements: a) respecting other people's rights and reputation; b) protecting national security or public order, as well as public health or morals." Section 3: "If access to information, solicited documents, is partially limited, the information providers are required to present to the information seekers parts of the document, access to which is not prohibited by law, indicating in the places of omitted parts one of the following: "state secret", "commercial secret", "confidential information about the person". In these cases, the refusal of the access to the respective parts of the document, information, will be based on article 19 of the present law. (4) No restrictions may be imposed on the freedom of information, unless the information provider can successfully prove that such a restriction is regulated by an organic law and is necessary in a democratic society for the protection of rights and legitimate interests of the person or national security, and that the damage to those interests would be larger than the public interest for that kind of information. (5) No one can be punished for the fact that he or she made public information with limited access, if releasing this information does not damage or cannot damage legitimate interests related to national security, or if the public interest for knowing the information is larger than the damage that can result from its dissemination." The unique exception that falls outside the list is "information that represents the final or preliminary results of scientific and technical research, whose disclosure may deprive the researchers of their priority right of publication or have a negative impact on other rights protected by law". Under my consideration is included in the permissible ones.
30 A harm test applies to all exceptions, so that it is only where disclosure poses a risk of actual harm to a protected interest that it may be refused. Score 4 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which is not subject to the harm test 4 Partially Article 7 (Official information with limited access). Section 2. Subsection D: "information related to the investigative activity of the corresponding bodies, but only in cases when the disclosure of such information might affect the investigation, interfere with a lawsuit, deprive a citizen of his/her right to a fair and impartial trial, endanger the life or physical safety of any person; cases which are regulated by the current legislation;" Only the "investigative activity of the corresponding bodies" is subject to a harm test.
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 Article 7 (Official information with limited access). Section 4: "No restrictions may be imposed on the freedom of information, unless the information provider can successfully prove that such a restriction is regulated by an organic law and is necessary in a democratic society for the protection of rights and legitimate interests of the person or national security, and that the damage to those interests would be larger than the public interest for that kind of information" The public interest override applies to all exceptions.
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 Not mentioned.
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 YES Article 8. Section 7: "Information providers may disclose any information containing personal data, requested in accordance with the present law, in the following cases: a) the person, to whom the information refers, has agreed to its disclosure; b) the requested information has been made public (published in accordance with the current legislation) in full before the day of the request." Article 21 (General provisions on protection of right to information). Section 1: "When a person deems that one of his/her legitimate rights or interests has been violated by the information providers, he/she may contest these acts extrajudicially or directly in court." Section 4. "During dispute-solving concerning access to information, the competent bodies will undertake necessary measures for the protection of the rights of all interested persons that can possibly be violated by means of information disclosure, including the assuring of the participation of those in the proceedings as third persons."
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 7 (Official information with limited access). Section 3: "If access to information, solicited documents, is partially limited, the information providers are required to present to the information seekers parts of the document, access to which is not prohibited by law, indicating in the places of omitted parts one of the following: "state secret", "commercial secret", "confidential information about the person". In these cases, the refusal of the access to the respective parts of the document, information, will be based on article 19 of the present 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 Article 19 (Denial of access to information): "Refusal to provide a piece of official information or document will be explained in writing; such an explanation will include the date, on which the answer was made, the name of the officer in charge, the grounds for refusal with a mandatory reference to the normative act (title, number, adoption date, source of official publication) on which the refusal is based, as well as the procedure for contesting the refusal, including the prescription term. Information providers can not be forced to prove the nonexistence of undocumented information."


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 Partially Article 22 (Contesting information provider's actions extrajudicially): "When the party requesting information believes that his/her rights and legitimate interests to access information have been violated, he/she may contest the actions of the person in charge of receiving and examining information-access requests during a 30-day period form the date when he or she found out or was supposed to find out about the violation to the top management of the information provider or/and to the higher body in hierarchy. The top management of the information provider or/and the higher body in hierarchy will examine the information solicitor's petition during a period of 5 working days and will informhim/her about the results of the examination during 3 working days. Notifications, by which actions or lack of actions of the organizations that have no higher body are contested, are addressed directly to the judicial institution." The procedure is simple and has short timeframes but there are some public institutions that have no higher body to respond the appeal. In this case, the appeals will be addressed directly to the judicial institution. I´ve reduced 1 point.
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 Article 21 (General provisions on protection of right to information) Section 2: "The person can turn to the ombudsman for protection of his or her legal rights and interests." The independent administrative oversight body in charge of this will be the Ombudsman.
38 The member(s) of the oversight body are appointed in a manner that is protected against political interference and have security of tenure so they are protected against arbitrary dismissal (procedurally/substantively) once appointed.Score: 1 point for appointment procedure, 1 point for security of tenure2 YES Law on Parliamentary Advocates. Article 12: "The personality of Parliamentary Advocate is inviolable for the whole period of authority. Inviolability of Parliamentary Advocates also extends to their residence, offices, transportation and communication means, correspondence, documents and personal property. The Parliamentary Advocates cannot be convicted by criminal or administrative court, cannot be confined, arrested, searched, their property cannot be searched without prior consent of the Parliament, except in case of arrest on the scene of crime"
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 YES Article 11. "When performing their duties the Parliamentary Advocates are independent of the parliamentarians, President of the Republic of Moldova, central and local public administration bodies and officials of all levels. The activity of the Parliamentary Advocates is based on principles of legality and transparency according to their conscience. Along with the additional personnel the Parliamentary Advocates form an independent institution - the Centre for Human Rights."
41 The independent oversight body has the necessary mandate and power to perform its functions, including to review classified documents and inspect the premises of public bodies.Score 1 point for reviewing classified documents, 1 point for inspection powers2 Partially Article 24. "When examining a complaint the Parliamentary Advocate has the right to: a) freely visit all the central and local public administration bodies, attend their sessions, including sessions of their collegiate bodies; b) freely visit institutions, organisations and enterprises, irrespective of type of ownership, military units, penitentiaries; c) require and obtain from central and local public administration bodies and officials data, documents and materials necessary for the examination of the complaint; d) receive explanations from officials regarding issues to be elucidated in the course of the complaint examination; e) delegate to the respective state agencies the performance of expert investigations and preparation of reports in issues needing elucidation in the course of complaint examination."
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 Partially Article 28: "Based on the results of complaint examination the Parliamentary Advocate has also the right to: a) apply to court with a statement defending the interests of the Complainant, whose constitutional rights and freedoms have been infringed; b) apply to the respective bodies with the requirement for initiating a disciplinary or administrative action or an action in criminal court in respect to the official who has admitted the action resulting in significant infringement of human rights and freedoms; c) notify the respective officials or civil servants at all levels about the neglect of duties, unethical conduct in performing the duties, procrastination and bureaucracy." 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 Article 23. (Legal appeal of the information provider's actions): "When the person, who considers that his/her rights and legitimate interests to access information have been violated, or he/she is not satisfied with the solution provided by the top management of the information provider or by the hierarchically superior body, he/she may contest the actions or lack of actions of the information provider in an appropriate court of law. The notification of the court must be done during one month after the communication of the answer by the information provider or, if the information solicitor did not receive an answer, from the day when he had to receive the answer. If the information solicitor contests the actions of the information provider extrajudicially, the term of one month begins from the day when the top management of the information provider or of the hierarchically superior body communicate their resolution, or if he/she does not receive an answer - from the day when he/she was supposed to receive it."
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 No mention about the cost of the procedure or the need of a lawyer, but it can be understood that the process will be free of charge. Despite this, I will not score any point because of the non mentioning.
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 Article 21 (General provisions on protection of right to information) Section 3: "When the party requesting information believes that his/her rights and legitimate interests have been violated, he/she may contest the actions of the person in charge of receiving and examining requests for access to information, and especially in matters regarding: a) unjustified refusal to accept and register the request; b) refusal to provide free and unconditional access to public records held by the information provider; c) violation of terms and procedures of responding to an information-access request; d) failure to provide adequately, or not providing at all the requested information; e) groundless refusal to provide the requested information; f) groundless claims by public officers to consider information state secret, trade secret or confidential information; g) unjustified declaration of some information secret; h) the establishment of a fee and its amount for the provided information; i) causing of material and/or moral damages by an illegal deed of the information provider"
47 Clear procedures, including timelines, are in place for dealing with external appeals (oversight/judicial).Score 1 point for clear procedures, 1 point for timelines. 2 YES Article 21 (General provisions on protection of right to information): "1. When a person deems that one of his/her legitimate rights or interests has been violated by the information providers, he/she may contest these acts extrajudicially or directly in court. 2. The person can turn to the ombudsman for protection of his or her legal rights and interests [...]" Article 22 (Contesting information provider's actions extrajudicially): "1. When the party requesting information believes that his/her rights and legitimate interests to access information have been violated, he/she may contest the actions of the person in charge of receiving and examining information-access requests during a 30-day period form the date when he or she found out or was supposed to find out about the violation to the top management of the information provider or/and to the higher body in hierarchy 2. The top management of the information provider or/and the higher body in hierarchy will examine the information solicitor's petition during a period of 5 working days and will inform him/her about the results of the examination during 3 working days. [...]" Article 23 (Legal appeal of the information provider's actions): 1. When the person, who considers that his/her rights and legitimate interests to access information have been violated, or he/she is not satisfied with the solution provided by the top management of the information provider or by the hierarchically superior body, he/she may contest the actions or lack of actions of the information provider in an appropriate court of law. [...]"
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 Article 24 (Consequences of information-access violation): "Depending on the severity of the consequences caused by an illegal refusal, on the part of the public officer in charge, to provide official information and documents, to provide access to requested information, the court of law will impose sanctions in accordance with the current legislation, the reparation of the damage caused by an unjustified refusal to provide information, or by other actions violating the right to free access to information, as well the undelayed fulfillment of the applicant's request. "
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 Partially Article 24 (Consequences of information-access violation): "Depending on the severity of the consequences caused by an illegal refusal, on the part of the public officer in charge, to provide official information and documents, to provide access to requested information, the court of law will impose sanctions in accordance with the current legislation, the reparation of the damage caused by an unjustified refusal to provide information, or by other actions violating the right to free access to information, as well the undelayed fulfillment of the applicant's request. " No mention about remedial actions.
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 Partially Article 7(Official information with limited access) Section 5: "No one can be punished for the fact that he or she made public information with limited access, if releasing this information does not damage or cannot damage legitimate interests related to national security, or if the public interest for knowing the information is larger than the damage that can result from its dissemination." No mention about the legal protections for the people who releases public information in good faith, but the article establishes that the people who do it "can´t be punished". I considered this a moderate protection.


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 Article 11. Section 2 (In order to guarantee free access to official information, the information provider) Subsection b): "will appoint and train officers who will be in charge of providing official information;" Article 15, Section 2: "The requests will be examined and carried out by the corresponding public officers."
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 There is an administrative independent body, but there´s no mention about this.
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 YES Article 11 (Obligations of information providers) Section 5: "In order to make the institution's activity transparent, facilitate access to information, create conditions for timely search for and identification of documents and information, public authorities/institutions will publish at least once every year guides with the list of ordinances, resolutions, other official documents issued by the corresponding institution, as well as guides describing the areas, in which it can provide information; the institutions will provide to the mass media official data about their activity, including areas, in which they can provide information. Section 6. "Information providers will also take other steps to inform actively citizens and the mass media."
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 YES Article 11. Section 2(In order to guarantee free access to official information, the information provider) Subsection e): "will provide effective access to the registers of information providers, which will be kept in accordance with the legislation on registers;"
59 Training programs for officials are required Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES Article 11, Section 2 (In order to guarantee free access to official information, the information provider). Subsection a): "will provide office space appropriately equipped for research, which will be made available to information solicitors;"
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 YES Article 11. Section 5: "In order to make the institution's activity transparent, facilitate access to information, create conditions for timely search for and identification of documents and information, public authorities/institutions will publish at least once every year guides with the list of ordinances, resolutions, other official documents issued by the corresponding institution, as well as guides describing the areas, in which it can provide information; the institutions will provide to the mass media official data about their activity, including areas, in which they can provide 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 NO Not mentioned.