Country

Nepal

Nepal

Name of law : Right to Information Act, 2064 Act to provide for Right to Information
First adopted : 2007

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 4
Scope 30 27
Requesting procedures 30 18
Exceptions 30 15
Appeals 30 24
Sanctions 8 6
Promotional measures 16 10
TOTAL 150 104

Introduction:
One thing to note regarding the Right of Access for this country is that Nepal's constitution is still changing. The current interim version protects a fundamental right of access, and we hope that this is maintained when the text is finalized. This itself illustrates one of the difficulties of this project, as the constitution that our reviewer had originally been working from was outdated (thanks to our expert for providing a link to the more recent one). Generally this is a relatively strong law. Its biggest weaknesses are its lack of public interest override and failure to trump conflicting legislation. The law also limits information requests such that they can only be made by citizens, which is an unnecessary restriction.
Right of Access

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1 The legal framework (including jurisprudence) recognises a fundamental right of access to information.Score 0 for no constitutional right to information, 1 point for a limited constitutional right, 2 points for full constitutional recognition of a public right of access to information.2 YES Article 27 of the Interim Constitution: "Every citizen shall have the right to demand or [sic] obtain information on any matters of concern to himself or herself or to the public. Provided that nothing in this Article shall be deemed to compel any person to provide information on any matter about which confidentiality is to be maintained by law." Article 27 of the Interim Constitution guarantees right to information as a fundamental right.
2 The legal framework creates a specific presumption in favour of access to all information held by public authorities, subject only to limited exceptions.No=0, Partially=1, Yes=22 Partially 3(3): "Notwithstanding anything provided in the sub-section 1 & 2, the information held in the public agencies on the following subject matters will not be released; a. Information which seriously jeopardizes the sovereignty, integrity, national security, public peace, stability and international relations of Nepal. b. Information which directly affects the investigation, inquiry and prosecution of crimes. c. Information having serious impact on protection of economic, trade or monetary interest or intellectual property; or banking or trade privacy. d. Information that jeopardizes the harmonious relationship subsisted among various casts or communities. e. Information that interferes on individual privacy and security of body, life, property or health of a person. Provided that, public agency shall not refrain from the responsibility of flowing information without appropriate and adequate reason not to flow information." Provison of Article 3(3) states that: a public Body shall not refrain from the responsibility of dissemination of information without appropriate and adequate reason not to flow the 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 Partially Preamble of the Constitution: "<...> Recognizing the mandate of the NEPALI PEOPLE expressed, from time to time, since before 1951 until now, through historical struggles and people's movements for democracy, peace and progress; Having determined upon the progressive restructuring of the state in order to resolve the existing problems of the country relating to class, caste, region and gender; Expressing our full commitment to democratic norms and values including a system of competitive multiparty democratic rule, civil liberties, fundamental rights, human rights, adult franchise, periodic elections, full freedom of the press, independence of the judiciary and concepts of the rule of law; To guarantee the basic rights of the Nepali people to frame a Constitution for themselves and to participate in the free and impartial election of the Constituent Assembly in a fear-free environment; AND keeping democracy, peace, prosperity, progressive economic-social changes and sovereignty, integrity, in dependence and dignity of the country at the centre of our concerns; <...> 0 ---- 1 - Preamble




Scope

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4 Everyone (including non-citizens and legal entities) has the right to file requests for information.Score 0 point if only residents/citizens; 1 point for all natural persons; 1 point for legal persons. 2 NO 3(1): "Every Nepali Citizen shall have the right to information subject to this Act." 3(1) - only citizens
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 NO 2(b): ""Information" denotes any written document, material or information related to the functions, proceedings thereof or decisions of public importance made by the public agencies." 2(b) defines information as anything related to the functions or proceedings of public agencies. Seems broad enough to me.
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 2(b): ""Information" denotes any written document, material or information related to the functions, proceedings thereof or decisions of public importance made by the public agencies."
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 2(a)(1) : "Agencies under the Constitution." 2(1)(a) - all agencies under the constitution. This includes the Crown, the executive, as well as all agencies formed by law and by the government. So everything is covered.
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 2(a)(1) : "Agencies under the Constitution."
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 2(a)(1) : "Agencies under the Constitution."
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 2(a)(6) : "Organized institution under the full or partial ownership or under control of the Nepal Government; or organized body receiving grants from Nepal Government."
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 2(a)(3) : "Agencies formed by the Nepal Government." 2(a)(4) : "Organizations and Foundations established by the law to provide public services."
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 Partially 2(a)(6) : "Organized institution under the full or partial ownership or under control of the Nepal Government; or organized body receiving grants from Nepal Government." 2(a)(8) : "Non-governmental organization or institution operated obtaining money directly or indirectly from the Nepal government or foreign government or international organizations or institutions;" 2(a)(6) and 2(a)(8) - apply the law to organizations receiving public money, but not those performing a public function.

Requesting Procedures

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13 Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.Y/N answer 0 or 2 points2 NO 7(1): "Nepali citizen who seeks to obtain any information pursuant to this Act shall submit an application to the related information officer mentioning the reason."
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 7: "Procedures of acquiring information: 1) Nepali citizen who seeks to obtain any information pursuant to this Act shall submit an application to the related information officer mentioning the reason. 2) If an application is received pursuant to Subsection 1, Information officer shall provide the information immediately if the information by its nature could be provided immediately and the officer shall have to provide within fifteen days from the date of application if the information by its nature could not be provided immediately. 3) If it is not possible to provide information immediately pursuant to Subsection 2, Information officer shall instantly provide a notice with the reason to the applicant. 4) Notwithstanding anything provided in Subsection 3, if information which is requested is related to security of life of any person, the Information officer shall provide information within 24 hours of such request. 5) Information Officer shall have to provide the information in the format demanded by the applicant as much as possible. 6) Notwithstanding anything provided in Subsection (5), If any possibility exists that the source of information may be damaged or destroyed or spoilt if it is provided in the format as requested by the applicant, the Information Officer shall mentioning the reason thereof and provide such information in appropriate format. 7) If any person submits an application to study or observe written document, materials or activities pursuant of Sub section (1), Information officer shall provide an appropriate time to the applicant for the study and observation of such written document, materials or activities. 8) If it is found after examining the application received pursuant to Subsection 1 that the information is not related to the agency, the Information Officer shall have to provide notification to the applicant immediately." Art7 application procedure is vague.
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 7: "Procedures of acquiring information: 1) Nepali citizen who seeks to obtain any information pursuant to this Act shall submit an application to the related information officer mentioning the reason. 2) If an application is received pursuant to Subsection 1, Information officer shall provide the information immediately if the information by its nature could be provided immediately and the officer shall have to provide within fifteen days from the date of application if the information by its nature could not be provided immediately. 3) If it is not possible to provide information immediately pursuant to Subsection 2, Information officer shall instantly provide a notice with the reason to the applicant. 4) Notwithstanding anything provided in Subsection 3, if information which is requested is related to security of life of any person, the Information officer shall provide information within 24 hours of such request. 5) Information Officer shall have to provide the information in the format demanded by the applicant as much as possible. 6) Notwithstanding anything provided in Subsection (5), If any possibility exists that the source of information may be damaged or destroyed or spoilt if it is provided in the format as requested by the applicant, the Information Officer shall mentioning the reason thereof and provide such information in appropriate format. 7) If any person submits an application to study or observe written document, materials or activities pursuant of Sub section (1), Information officer shall provide an appropriate time to the applicant for the study and observation of such written document, materials or activities. 8) If it is found after examining the application received pursuant to Subsection 1 that the information is not related to the agency, the Information Officer shall have to provide notification to the applicant immediately." Art 7 application procedure is vague, but our expert assures us that this is not interpreted restrictively, and that the lack of procedure in this case means that requests can be submitted by any means of communication, in requesters' own words. Nonetheless, they lose a point for not spelling the procedure out in the law.
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 Partially National Information Commission has issued a Guidelines for the Implementation of RTI has, which contains provision requiring Information Officer to provide assistance, but no requirements to contact for clarification.
17     Public officials are required to provide assistance to requesters who require it because of special needs, for example because they are illiterate or disabled.Score Yes=2 point, No=02 YES National Information Commission has issued a Guidelines for the Implementation of RTI has, which contains provision requiring Information Officer to provide assistance to persons unable to do so themselves due to disability, illiteracy, etc.
18 Requesters are provided with a receipt or acknowledgement upon lodging a request within a reasonable timeframe, which should not exceed 5 working daysScore 1 point for receipt, 1 point for max 5 working days2 YES 7(3): "f it is not possible to provide information immediately pursuant to Subsection 2, Information officer shall instantly provide a notice with the reason to the applicant." 7(3) qualifies.
19 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for situations where the authority to which a request is directed does not have the requested information. This includes an obligation to inform the requester that the information is not held and to refer the requester to another institution or to transfer the request where the public authority knows where the information is held.Score: 1 point for information not held, 1 for referrals or 2 for transfers2 Partially 7(8): "If it is found after examining the application received pursuant to Subsection 1 that the information is not related to the agency, the Information Officer shall have to provide notification to the applicant immediately." Art 7(8) 7 (8) While examining the application received in pursuant to Sub-Section (1), it is found that the information demanded by the applicant is not related to such Body, the Information Officer should give notification to the applicant immediately.
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 7(5): "Information Officer shall have to provide the information in the format demanded by the applicant as much as possible." 7(6): "Notwithstanding anything provided in Subsection (5), If any possibility exists that the source of information may be damaged or destroyed or spoilt if it is provided in the format as requested by the applicant, the Information Officer shall mentioning the reason thereof and provide such information in appropriate format." 7(5) - though "as much as possible" provides a little too much wiggle room, but the 7(6) requirement for explanation suggests a narrow interpretation, so I awarded 2 points.
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 YES 7(2): "If an application is received pursuant to Subsection 1, Information officer shall provide the information immediately if the information by its nature could be provided immediately and the officer shall have to provide within fifteen days from the date of application if the information by its nature could not be provided immediately."
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 7(2): "If an application is received pursuant to Subsection 1, Information officer shall provide the information immediately if the information by its nature could be provided immediately and the officer shall have to provide within fifteen days from the date of application if the information by its nature could not be provided immediately." 15 days
23 There are clear limits on timeline extensions (20 working days or less), including a requirement that requesters be notified and provided with the reasons for the extension.---2 YES No extensions.
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 NO All applications to government offices in Nepal must be filed with a 10 rp postage stamp attached,
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 The RTI Regulation, Rule 4(3): "Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-Rule (1), if cost would be incurred more than as stated in the sub-rule herein above, the concerned body shall determine the fee based on actual cost." Fees for information is set in the RTI regulation. First five page of information is free. The law explicitely says that fee shall have to be determined based on actual cost. (Regulation, Rule 4(3). Find the rule at http://www.lawcommission.gov.np/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=2&func=fileinfo&id=494&lang=en
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 Partially 31: "Information not to be misused 1) Any person who obtains any information from any public agency shall not misuse the information not using it for the purpose that is acquired. 2) The concerned public agency may complain to the Commission against any person who misuse the information against Subsection (1)." Art 31 prohibits "misuse" of acquired information. Although our expert informs us that in practice there are no such restrictions, the fact that it is enumerated in the law cannot be ignored.


Exceptions

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28 The standards in the RTI Law trump restrictions on information disclosure (secrecy provisions) in other legislation to the extent of any conflict.Score 4 points for a resounding "yes" and 1/2/3 points if only for some classes of information or for some exceptions. If the state secrets law is not trumped by the RTI law max score is 2 points. 4 NO 37: "To be in accordance with this Act: All the matters written in this Act shall be carried out according to this Act, while other matters shall be dealt in accordance with prevalent laws." Not mentioned - and Art 37 implies that this is not the case. RTI advocates claim that Art. 37 provides that the RTI law is specific legislation and primary on RTI matters so that it supersedes other laws on RTI matter, however at the moment this is unclear and so points cannot be awarded here.
29 The exceptions to the right of access are consistent with international standards. Permissible exceptions are: national security; international relations; public health and safety; the prevention, investigation and prosecution of legal wrongs; privacy; legitimate commercial and other economic interests; management of the economy; fair administration of justice and legal advice privilege; conservation of the environment; and legitimate policy making and other operations of public authorities. It is also permissible to refer requesters to information which is already publicly available, for example online or in published form.Score 10 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which either (a) falls outside of this list and/or (b) is more broadly framed10 NO 3(3)(d) : "Information that jeopardizes the harmonious relationship subsisted among various casts or communities." 3(3)(d) Information that jeopardizes the harmonious relationship subsisted among various casts or communities.
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 3(3)(b) : "Information which directly affects the investigation, inquiry and prosecution of crimes." 3(3)(b) - Information which directly affects the investigation, inquiry and prosecution of crimes.
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 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 Partially 27(5): "The information classified pursuant to Subsection (2) may be kept confidential for maximum 30 years, according to the nature of the information." 27(6): "Notwithstanding anything contained in Subsection (5), the committee shall review in every ten years if any information classified as confidential is necessary to keep confidential or not." 27(5) and (6) - information will be reviewed every 10 years, but can be classified for up to 30 years.
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 28: "Protection of Information: 1) Public agency shall protect the information of personal nature held in for preventing unauthorized publication and broadcasting. 2) Personal information held in public agency, except in following situation, shall not be used without written consent of concerned person. a) In case of preventing a serious threat to life and body of any persons or public health or security; b) if required to be disclosed pursuant to prevailing laws; c) if related to investigation of offence of Corruption." Art 28 - no mechanisms
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 3(4): "If a public agency has both the information in its record that can be made public and that cannot be made public pursuant to this Act, The information officer shall have to provide information to the applicant after separating the information which can be made public."
35 When refusing to provide access to information, public authorities must a) state the exact legal grounds and reason(s) for the refusal and b) inform the applicant of the relevant appeals procedures.Score Y/N: 1 point for a and 1 point for b2 NO Not mentioned.


Appeals

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36 The law offers an internal appeal which is simple, free of charge and completed within clear timelines (20 working days or less).Score 2 points if the internal appeal fulfills these criteria, 1 point if an appeal is offered that does not fulfill this criteria, 0 for no internal appeals.2 Partially The RTI Regulations Rule 23(1) : "The Chief shall finalize the complaint registered pursuant to Sub-section (1) of Section 9 within seven days after necessary inquiry. Time-frame is regulated by the RTI Regulations. Rule 23: Duration for making decision or providing information: (1) The Chief shall finalize the complaint registered pursuant to Sub-section (1) of Section 9 within seven days after necessary inquiry. Find the rule at http://www.lawcommission.gov.np/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=2&func=fileinfo&id=494&lang=en
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 10: "Provision for Appeal: 1) A person aggrieved by the decision of the Chief pursuant to the Subsection (4) of Section 9 may appeal to the commission within 35 days of the notice of decision received. 2) Commission shall summon and take statement of the concerned Chief or Information Officer, order to submit written document, take statement of witness and evidence or demand any document from public agency while investigating and deciding the appeal received pursuant to Subsection (1). 3) While investigating and deciding the appeal pursuant to the Subsection (2), the commission shall do the following; a) May order the concerned Chief to provide information to the appellant without fee, if appeal is found reasonable. b) Dismiss the appeal if it is found not reasonable. 4) The commission has to give final verdict on the appeal within sixty days of appeal submission. 5) The other procedures to be followed by the commission during appeal pursuant to this Section shall be as prescribed."
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 11(3): "In order to appoint Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners there shall be a committee comprised as follows; a) The Speaker -Chairperson b) Minister or State Minister for Information and communication -Member c) President, Federation of Nepalese Journalist -Member" 11(3) appointments process is pretty good. Removal comes at the behest of 2/3 of the parliament.
39 The oversight body reports to and has its budget approved by the parliament, or other effective mechanisms are in place to protect its financial independence.Score 1 point for reports to parliament, 1 point for budget approved by parliament2 Partially 23: "Expenditure of the Commission: 1) The Nepal Government shall arrange budget necessary for the Commission. 2) The commission may obtain financial resources necessary for it from other sectors with prior permission of Nepal Government." No - Art 23 merely states that the money comes from the government. However, the Commission does report to parliament.
40 There are prohibitions on individuals with strong political connections from being appointed to this body and requirements of professional expertise.Score 1 point for not politically connected, 1 point for professional expertise2 YES 12: "Qualifications: To be appointed for the position of Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners should have following qualification: (a) Should be a Nepalese Citizen (b) Should hold a Bachelor's Degree from a recognized University (c) Should have more than 15 year of working experience in the field of Mass communication, Law and justice, public administration, information technology or management." 13(c) : "Incumbent employee of Government and Public Institution." 13(d) : "Incumbent in political position." Art 12 contains professional requirements. 13(c) and (d) prohibits politically connected individuals.
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 19(a) : "To observe and study the records and documents of public importance held in public agencies;" 27(3): "Person not satisfied with the classification made by the Committee pursuant to Subsection (2) may appeal the Commission for revision, demanding such information to be public." Art 19 (a) provides that the Commission has power to observe and study the records and documents of public importance held in Public Bodies. See Article 27 also, in which clasue 3 states that (3) A person, who is not satisfied with the classification made by the committee pursuant to Sub-section (2) may file a review petition before the commission to make the information public.
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 YES 19(c) : "To order concerned public agency to make information public for citizen's notification;" 27(4): "During the course of review of an appeal pursuant to Subsection (3), if the Commission finds that certain information need not be kept confidential, it shall order to make such information public." 19(c) implies that declassification orders are binding. 27(4) reinforces this.
43 In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the power to order appropriate remedies for the requester, including the declassification of information. 1 for partial, 2 for fully2 YES 19(c) : "To order concerned public agency to make information public for citizen's notification;" Can order declassificiation under 19(c)
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 Partially Requesters can only opt for Writ Jurisdiction (saying that their consititutional right is violated). Requesters can only opt for Writ Jurisdiction (saying that their consititutional right is violated).
45 Appeals to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such body exists) are free of charge and do not require legal assistance.1 for free, 1 for no lawyer required. 2 YES 10(2): "Commission shall summon and take statement of the concerned Chief or Information Officer, order to submit written document, take statement of witness and evidence or demand any document from public agency while investigating and deciding the appeal received pursuant to Subsection (1)." 10(2) - investigation seems largely driven by the Info Commission, meaning no lawyer should be required. Our expert mentions that the appeal is free, but must be registered with a 5 rs stamp attached (which I don't think merits docking them in this case).
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 8(3): "If the fee prescribed pursuant to Subsection (2) is deemed more than cost price, the concerned person may appeal to the Commission." 9(1): "If information officer do not provide information, deny providing information, partially provides information, provides wrong information or does not provide information denying the applicant as stakeholder, the concerned person may submit a complaint to Chief within 7 days from the date of information denied or partial information received." 8(3) allows for appealing excessive fees. 9(1) grounds are also relatively broad.
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 10: "Provision for Appeal: 1) A person aggrieved by the decision of the Chief pursuant to the Subsection (4) of Section 9 may appeal to the commission within 35 days of the notice of decision received. 2) Commission shall summon and take statement of the concerned Chief or Information Officer, order to submit written document, take statement of witness and evidence or demand any document from public agency while investigating and deciding the appeal received pursuant to Subsection (1). 3) While investigating and deciding the appeal pursuant to the Subsection (2), the commission shall do the following; a) May order the concerned Chief to provide information to the appellant without fee, if appeal is found reasonable. b) Dismiss the appeal if it is found not reasonable. 4) The commission has to give final verdict on the appeal within sixty days of appeal submission. 5) The other procedures to be followed by the commission during appeal pursuant to this Section shall be as prescribed." 10(4) timelines. Procedures in Art 10 seem clear enough.
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 YES 19(b) : "To order for maintaining list of information related with documents and records held in such agency orderly;" 19(b) gives them the power to order structural solutions in specific cases or related to issues in dispute.


Sanctions & Proteccions

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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 NO 32: "Punishment: 1) If the Commission finds that Chief of public agency or Information Officer has held back information without any valid reason; refused to part with information; provided partial or wrong information; or has destroyed information; it may impose a fine between Nrs. 1,000 to 25,000 to such Chief or Information Officer, and if such chief or Information officer is in a post to be punished by Department, it may write to the concerned agency for departmental punishment. (2) If the chief of public agency or information official delay to provide information to be provided on time without reason, they shall be punished with a fine of Nrs 200 for each day the information is delayed to provide. (3) If the Commission writes to the concerned agency for Departmental action in accordance with Subsection (1), the public agency shall have to take departmental action against that Chief or Information Officer within three months and notify commission about that. (4) The Commission may impose a fine between NRs. 5,000 to Nrs. 25,000 considering the seriousness of misuse of information if any person is found misusing the information acquired from public agency instead of using it for purpose it was obtained for. (5) The Commission may impose a fine of up to NRs.10,000 to the concerned person in case its decision or order pursuant to this Act is not obeyed." Art 32 provides stringent fines for those who undermine the right.
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 32: "Punishment: 1) If the Commission finds that Chief of public agency or Information Officer has held back information without any valid reason; refused to part with information; provided partial or wrong information; or has destroyed information; it may impose a fine between Nrs. 1,000 to 25,000 to such Chief or Information Officer, and if such chief or Information officer is in a post to be punished by Department, it may write to the concerned agency for departmental punishment. (2) If the chief of public agency or information official delay to provide information to be provided on time without reason, they shall be punished with a fine of Nrs 200 for each day the information is delayed to provide. (3) If the Commission writes to the concerned agency for Departmental action in accordance with Subsection (1), the public agency shall have to take departmental action against that Chief or Information Officer within three months and notify commission about that. (4) The Commission may impose a fine between NRs. 5,000 to Nrs. 25,000 considering the seriousness of misuse of information if any person is found misusing the information acquired from public agency instead of using it for purpose it was obtained for. (5) The Commission may impose a fine of up to NRs.10,000 to the concerned person in case its decision or order pursuant to this Act is not obeyed." Art 32 provides for structural sanctions, particularly 32(3), but no mention of remedial action being imposed upon the public body.
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 Partially 36: "Immunity for works done in good faith Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Act, no case shall be filed and no punishment shall be imposed against the Chief or Information Officer for his works regarding the information dissemination done in good faith." Art 36 - only for the information officer
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 YES 29: "Protection of Whistleblower: 1) it shall be a responsibility of employee of public agency to provide information on any ongoing or probable corruption or irregularities or any deed taken as offence under the prevailing laws. 2) It shall be the duty of information receiver to make the identity of whistleblower pursuant to Subsection (1) confidential. 3) No harm or punishment shall be made to bear any legal responsibility to the whistleblower for providing information pursuant to Subsection 1. 4) If any punishment or harm is done to the whistleblower against the Subsection 3, the whistleblower may complaint, along with demand for compensation, to the commission for revoking such decision. 5) While investigating the complaint pursuant to Subsection 4, the commission may make order including to revoke the decision of removal from the office if he is removed from office and for the compensation if any damages is occurred to the whistleblower."


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 6(1): "Public agency shall arrange for Information Officer with the purpose of disseminating information held in its office."
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 YES 11(1): "An independent National Information Commission shall be established for the protection, Promotion and practice of right to information."
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 Partially 5(3): "Public Agencies shall make a list of the following information relating to their agencies and publish them; (a) Structure and nature of agency (b) Duties, responsibilities and powers of agency (c) Number of employees and job description (d) Service to be provided by the Agency (e) Branch and responsible officer of the service providing Agency (f) Fee and time limit required for service (g) Decision making process and officer (i) Authority to hear appeal against decision (j) Description of functions performed (k) Name and designation of Chief and Information officer (l) List of Acts, Rules, By-laws or Guidelines, (m) Updated description of income and expenditures, financial transactions, (n) Other particulars as prescribed." 5(3) - though this does not specifically mention the need to publish particulars of the information requesting mechanism.
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 Partially 4: "Responsibility of Public Agency: 1) Every Public Agency shall respect and protect the right to information of citizen. 2) Public Agency shall have following responsibilities for the purpose of subsection (1); a) Classify and update information and make them public, publish and broadcast; b) Make the citizens' access to information simple and easy, c) Conduct its functions openly and transparently. d) Provide appropriate training and orientation to its staffs. <...>" 4(2)(a) - may cover this, but it's vague.
59 Training programs for officials are required Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES 4: "Responsibility of Public Agency: 1) Every Public Agency shall respect and protect the right to information of citizen. 2) Public Agency shall have following responsibilities for the purpose of subsection (1); a) Classify and update information and make them public, publish and broadcast; b) Make the citizens' access to information simple and easy, c) Conduct its functions openly and transparently. d) Provide appropriate training and orientation to its staffs. <...>" 4(2)(d)
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 Public authorities are requires to cooperate with the information commissioner - but this responsibility is not specifically enumerated.
61 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, has an obligation to present a consolidated report to the legislature on implementation of the law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES 25: "Annual Report: 1) The Commission shall have to submit annual report on its activities to the Legislature-Parliament through Prime Minister every year. 2) The Commission shall publish the Annual Report pursuant to Subsection (1) publicly for public notification."