Country

Russia

Russia

Name of law : Federal Law on Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government
First adopted : 2009

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 1
Scope 30 30
Requesting procedures 30 20
Exceptions 30 12
Appeals 30 26
Sanctions 8 1
Promotional measures 16 8
TOTAL 150 98

Right of Access

Indicator

Description

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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 NO Not mentioned Link to constitution (English version) http://www.constitution.ru/en/10003000-01.htm
2 The legal framework creates a specific presumption in favour of access to all information held by public authorities, subject only to limited exceptions.No=0, Partially=1, Yes=22 NO
3 3.1 The legal framework contains a specific statement of principles calling for a broad interpretation of the RTI law
3.2 The legal framework emphasises the benefits of the right to information?
3.1(Y/N - max 1 point)
3.2 (Y/N - max 1 point)
2 Partially Article 4. (Basic Principles of Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government): "The basic principles of providing access to information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government are: a) openness and accessibility of information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government, except for the cases stipulated by federal law; b) reliability of information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government and timeliness of its granting; c) freedom of search, receipt, transmission and dissemination of information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government by any legal means; d) observance of rights of citizens to the inviolability of private life, to personal and family secrets, to protection of their honor and business reputation, and the right of organizations to the protection of their business reputation, in the granting of information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government." The legal framework does not emphasise the benefits of the right to information




Scope

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4 Everyone (including non-citizens and legal entities) has the right to file requests for information.Score 0 point if only residents/citizens; 1 point for all natural persons; 1 point for legal persons. 2 YES Article 1. (Basic Definitions Used in the Present Federal Law). Section 3: "information user – the citizen (natural person), organization (legal entity), or public association, carrying out a search for information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government. Information users are also government bodies and bodies of local self-government, which are carrying out a search of the above-specified information in accordance with the present Federal Law;" Legal entities are included directly. The law wording is not fully clear but contains a clarification that a "citizen" can be a "natural person" not obliged to have Russian citizenship.
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 1. (Basic Definitions Used in the Present Federal Law). Section 1: "information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government – information (including documented), created by government bodies, their territorial bodies, bodies of local self-government or organizations subordinate to government bodies, bodies of local self-government (hereinafter referred to as the subordinate organizations), acting within their competence, or received by the above-specified bodies and organizations. Information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government also includes laws and other normative legal acts concerning information on the activities of bodies of local self-government – municipal legal acts defining structure, competence, formation and operating procedures of the above-specified bodies and organizations, and other information concerning their activity;" Article 2. (Scope of the Present Federal Law). Section 1: "The scope of the present Federal Law extends to relations arising in connection with providing access for information users to information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government."
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 7. (Form for Granting Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 1: "Information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government can be granted in oral form and in the form of documented information, including in the form of the electronic document."
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 2. (Scope of the Present Federal Law): Section 1: "The scope of the present Federal Law extends to relations arising in connection with providing access for information users to information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government." Section 4. "The scope of the present Federal Law extends to relations arising in connection with the granting, by government bodies and bodies of local self-government, of information on their activities, upon the request of an editorial board of a mass media entity, in areas which remain unregulated by the legislation of the Russian Federation on mass media."
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 1. (Basic Definitions Used in the Present Federal Law). Section 1: "information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government – information (including documented), created by government bodies, their territorial bodies, bodies of local self-government or organizations subordinate to government bodies, bodies of local self-government (hereinafter referred to as the subordinate organizations), acting within their competence, or received by the above-specified bodies and organizations. Information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government also includes laws and other normative legal acts concerning information on the activities of bodies of local self-government – municipal legal acts defining structure, competence, formation and operating procedures of the above-specified bodies and organizations, and other information concerning their activity;"
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 1. (Basic Definitions Used in the Present Federal Law). Section 1: "information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government – information (including documented), created by government bodies, their territorial bodies, bodies of local self-government or organizations subordinate to government bodies, bodies of local self-government (hereinafter referred to as the subordinate organizations), acting within their competence, or received by the above-specified bodies and organizations. Information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government also includes laws and other normative legal acts concerning information on the activities of bodies of local self-government – municipal legal acts defining structure, competence, formation and operating procedures of the above-specified bodies and organizations, and other information concerning their activity;" Article 20, Section 2: "The grounds excluding possibility of granting of information on the activities of courts in the Russian Federation are defined by the Federal Law “On providing of access to information on the activity of courts in the Russian Federation”. There is an special law on access to information held by the Courts or the Judicial branch. It can be inferred that the administrative information will be included under the scope, but it can be assured about all information. The list of information available about courts is regulated by this law. Federal Law #262-FZ from Dec 22, 2008, "On Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Courts in the Russian Federation", Article 1, Paragraph 2 We are analyzing not only the FOI Act, but a number of legal acts. There are specific acts providing obligation for specific organization categories (for instance, housing management companies or natural monopolies) to provide access o information on their activities.
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 1. Basic definitions used in the present Federal Law "For the present Federal Law the following basic definitions have been used: 1) information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government - information (including documented), created by government bodies, their territorial bodies, bodies of local self-government or organizations subordinate to government bodies, bodies of local self-government (hereinafter referred to as the subordinate organizations), acting within their competence, or received by the above-specified bodies and organizations.<...>"
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 1. (Basic Definitions Used in the Present Federal Law). Section 1: "information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government – information (including documented), created by government bodies, their territorial bodies, bodies of local self-government or organizations subordinate to government bodies, bodies of local self-government (hereinafter referred to as the subordinate organizations), acting within their competence, or received by the above-specified bodies and organizations. Information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government also includes laws and other normative legal acts concerning information on the activities of bodies of local self-government – municipal legal acts defining structure, competence, formation and operating procedures of the above-specified bodies and organizations, and other information concerning their activity;"
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 1. Basic definitions used in the present Federal Law "For the present Federal Law the following basic definitions have been used: 1) information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government - information (including documented), created by government bodies, their territorial bodies, bodies of local self-government or organizations subordinate to government bodies, bodies of local self-government (hereinafter referred to as the subordinate organizations), acting within their competence, or received by the above-specified bodies and organizations.<...>"

Requesting Procedures

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13 Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.Y/N answer 0 or 2 points2 YES Article 18: "2. The request should specify the mailing address, telephone number and (or) fax number or e-mail address for forwarding the response to the request or clarification of the contents of the request, as well as the surname, name and patronymic of the citizen (natural person) or name of the organization (legal entity), public association, government body, or body of local self-government requesting information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government. Anonymous requests are not considered. The written request should also include the name of the government body or body of local self-government to which the request is forwarded, or surname and initials or position of the corresponding official."
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 Partially Article 18. (Request for Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 2: "The request should specify the mailing address, telephone number and (or) fax number or e-mail address for forwarding the response to the request or clarification of the contents of the request, as well as the surname, name and patronymic of the citizen (natural person) or name of the organization (legal entity), public association, government body, or body of local self-government requesting information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government. Anonymous requests are not considered. [...]" The telephone number is asked in order to access to the pretended information (1 point loss).
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 6. (Methods of Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies Of Local Self-Government): "Access to information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government can be provided through the following methods: [...] 6. granting to information users, at their request, information on the activities of , government bodies and bodies of local self-government;" Article 7. (Form for Granting Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government): "1. Information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government can be granted in oral form and in the form of documented information, including in the form of the electronic document." Article 18. (Request for Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 3: "In drafting the request, the official language of the Russian Federation must be used. In drafting a request to the government body or body of local self-government of a republic that is part of the Russian Federation, use of the official language of this republic is determined by the legislation of such republic. [...]" Article 19. (Procedure for Granting Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government by Request): "1. Information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government is granted by request in the form of response to the request, which contains the requested information or to which the requested information is attached, or which according to Article 20 of the present Federal Law contains a justified refusal to grant the above-specified information. [...]."
16 Public officials are required provide assistance to help requesters formulate their requests, or to contact and assist requesters where requests that have been made are vague, unduly broad or otherwise need clarification. Score 1 point for help in formulation and 1 point for clarification procedures2 Partially Article 18. (Request for Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 8: "Government bodies and bodies of local self-government have the right to clarify the content of the request for the purpose of granting the information user necessary information on activities of the above-specified bodies." Only clarification procedures listed.
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 18. (Request for Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 5: "A written request is subject to registration within three days from the date of its receipt by the government body or body of local self-government. An oral request is subject to registration on the day of its receipt, stating the date and time of receipt." The time extension listed is 3 days. No mention about the receipt (1 point loss).
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 18. (Request for Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 7: "If the request does not concern the activity of the government body or body of local self-government to which it is forwarded, within seven days from the date of registration of the request it is forwarded to the government body or body of local self-government which is authorized to grant the requested information. The requesting information user shall be notified of the readdressing of the request within the same time period. If the government body or body of local self-government has no data on the availability of the requested information in another government body or body of local self-government, the information user shall also be notified of this within seven days from the date of registration of the request."
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 6. (Methods of Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies Of Local Self-Government): "Access to information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government can be provided through the following methods: [...] 6. granting to information users, at their request, information on the activities of , government bodies and bodies of local self-government;" Article 7( Form for Granting Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 2: " If the form for granting information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government is not defined, the form can be determined according to the request of the information user. If it is impossible to grant the above-specified information in the requested form, the information is granted in the form in which it exists within the government body or the body of local self-government." There is a large list of forms of access to the information held by public authorities.
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 NO Not specifically mentioned.
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 18 (Request for Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 6: " The request is subject to consideration within thirty (30) days from the date of its registration unless otherwise stipulated in the legislation of the Russian Federation." The timeframe to respond a request is 30 days from its registration.
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 18 (Request for Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 6: "The request is subject to consideration within thirty (30) days from the date of its registration unless otherwise stipulated in the legislation of the Russian Federation. If granting of the requested information is not possible within the specified term, the information user shall be notified, within seven days from the date of registration of the request, of the delay of response to his request, including the reason for the delay and the time period in which the requested information will be granted, which cannot be more than fifteen (15) days in excess of the period defined by the present Federal Law for a response to a request." The timeline extension is 15 days.
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 YES Article 21. (Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government Given Free of Charge): "1. The information user is granted free of charge the following information on activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government which are: a) transferred in oral form; b) placed by the government body or body of local self-government on the “Internet”, as well as in places designated for placement of information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government; c) touching upon rights and duties of the concerned information user defined by the legislation of the Russian Federation; d) other information, defined by law, on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government, as well as other information, defined by municipal legal acts, on the activities of bodies of local self-government."
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 Article 22. (Payment for Granting of Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government): "1. Payment for granting information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government is levied if in granting this information by request, the volume of the requested and received information exceeds the volume of information given free of charge, as defined by the Government of the Russian Federation. [...]. 2. Upon occurrence of the case provided in part 1 of the present Article, the information user pays expenses for manufacturing of copies of the requested documents and (or) materials, as well as the expenses connected with their sending by mail. 3. Funds received as payment for granting information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government are subject to transfer to corresponding budgets of the budgetary system of the Russian Federation. 4. The government body or body of local self-government which has given information containing incorrect data is obliged to eliminate such discrepancies, free of charge, upon received a justified written statement from the information user." Rules are set centrally. There is a volume of information given free of charge, but it´s not mentioned. The fee will be limited to the cost of reproducing. Electronic copies are not for free.
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 NO Not specifically 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 There are no limitations.


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 Partially Article 2.( Scope of the Present Federal Law): Section 2: "If federal constitutional laws, federal laws, and other normative legal acts of the Russian Federation adopted according to the above-specified laws stipulate distinctions in the granting of specific types of information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government, the provisions of the present Federal Law shall be applied, taking into account the distinctions stipulated by such federal constitutional laws, federal laws and other normative legal acts of the Russian Federation." Section 3: "If laws and other normative legal acts of subjects of the Russian Federation, adopted under the jurisdiction of subjects of the Russian Federation, stipulate distinctions in the granting of specific types of information on the activities of government bodies of subjects of the Russian Federation and bodies of local self-government, the provisions of the present Federal Law shall apply, taking into account the distinctions stipulated in such laws and other normative legal acts of subjects of the Russian Federation." Article 3. (Legal Regulation of Relations Arising in Connection with Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government): "Legal regulation of relations arising in connection with providing access to information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government is carried out according to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal constitutional laws, the present Federal Law, Federal Law [...]“On providing access to information on the activity of courts in the Russian Federation” [...] other federal laws, and other normative legal acts of the Russian Federation. Legal regulation of relations arising in connection with providing access to information on the activities of government bodies of subjects of the Russian Federation and bodies of local self-government is also carried out according to laws and other normative legal acts of subjects of the Russian Federation, and, with respect to bodies of local self-government, by municipal legal acts. If an international treaty of the Russian Federation defines other rules than those stipulated in the present Federal Law, the rules of such international treaty shall apply." State secrets law is not trumped by the RTI law in Russia.
29 The exceptions to the right of access are consistent with international standards. Permissible exceptions are: national security; international relations; public health and safety; the prevention, investigation and prosecution of legal wrongs; privacy; legitimate commercial and other economic interests; management of the economy; fair administration of justice and legal advice privilege; conservation of the environment; and legitimate policy making and other operations of public authorities. It is also permissible to refer requesters to information which is already publicly available, for example online or in published form.Score 10 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which either (a) falls outside of this list and/or (b) is more broadly framed10 Partially Article 2. (Scope of the Present Federal Law) Section 5: "The scope of the present Federal Law does not extend to: a) relations arising in connection with providing access to personal data, the processing of which is carried out by government bodies and bodies of local self-government; b) procedures for consideration by government bodies and bodies of local self-government of applications of citizens; c) procedures for granting by government bodies and bodies of local self-government to other government bodies and bodies of local self-government of information on their activity arising in connection with the carrying out, by the above-specified bodies, of their competence." Article 5. (Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government, Access to Which is Restricted): "Access to information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government is restricted in cases in which the above-specified information refers to data which, according to procedures defined by federal law, constitutes government or other secrets protected by law. The list of the data referring to information to which access is restricted, as well as the procedure of referring the above-specified data to the status of information of restricted access, are defined by federal law." The procedures for consideration of applications of citizens; procedures for granting by government bodies and bodies of local self-government to other similar bodies of information on their activity, both falls outside the list. "Data which constitutes government or other secrets protected by law", under my consideration, is broadly framed.(3 point loss).
30 A harm test applies to all exceptions, so that it is only where disclosure poses a risk of actual harm to a protected interest that it may be refused. Score 4 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which is not subject to the harm test 4 NO No harm test listed.
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 No public interest override listed.
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 NO No procedures of this kind listed.
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 19. (Procedure for Granting Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government by Request): "If the requested information pertains to information of restricted access, the response to the request should specify the type, name, number and date of issue of the act, according to which access to this information is restricted. If part of the requested information relates to information of restricted access, and the remaining information is of public domain, the government body or body of local self-government is obliged to provide the required information, except for information of restricted access."
35 When refusing to provide access to information, public authorities must a) state the exact legal grounds and reason(s) for the refusal and b) inform the applicant of the relevant appeals procedures.Score Y/N: 1 point for a and 1 point for b2 Partially Article 19. Procedure for granting information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government by request "1. Information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government is granted by request in the form of response to the request, which contains the requested information or to which the requested information is attached, or which according to article 20 of the present Federal Law contains a justified refusal to grant the above-specified information.<...>" A justified refusal has to be provided by public authorities.


Appeals

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Comments
36 The law offers an internal appeal which is simple, free of charge and completed within clear timelines (20 working days or less).Score 2 points if the internal appeal fulfills these criteria, 1 point if an appeal is offered that does not fulfill this criteria, 0 for no internal appeals.2 Partially Article 23. (Protection of the Right to Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 1: " Decisions and actions (omissions) of government bodies and bodies of local self-government, or by officials of these bodies, that violate the right to access information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government, can be appealed to a higher body or to higher official or in court." No mention about the timeframe. It can be inferred that the procedure will be free.
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 24 (Control and Supervision over Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government): "[...] Supervision of execution of the present Federal Law by government bodies and bodies of local self-government, and their officials is carried out by bodies of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation in the procedure defined by the Federal Law “On the Office of the Prosecutor of the Russian Federation”. Federal Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Article 10 (Examination and settlement by prosecution bodies of petitions, complaints and other applications): "1. Prosecution bodies shall examine and settle petitions, complaints and other applications containing information on violations of the law in accordance with their powers. Any decision taken by the prosecutor shall not prevent an individual from applying to a court for protection of his rights." Any oversight body is created by the law to defense the access information to public documents, but the Russian citizens may to appeal a complaint to the Russian Prosecutor.
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 Federal Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Article 12 (Appointment to the position of Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation): "1. The Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation shall be appointed and removed from office by the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on the recommendation of the President of the Russian Federation."
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 YES Federal Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Article 12 (Appointment to the position of Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation): "7. <..> The Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation shall present the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the President of the Russian Federation with an annual report on the current state of the rule of law and law and order in the Russian Federation and on the efforts made to strengthen them." Federal Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Article 12 (Appointment to the position of Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation "1. The Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation shall be appointed and removed from office by the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on the recommendation of the President of the Russian Federation.<...>" Besides for the budget, the Prosecutor General is to report to the parliament on law observance in the country. Also, the Prosecutor General is appointed/removed by the 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 Federal Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Article 4 (Principles governing the organization and operation of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation): "2. The prosecution bodies:shall exercise their powers independently of the federal state authorities, the state authorities of subjects of the Russian Federation, local self-government bodies and public associations and in strict accordance with the laws in force within the territory of the Russian Federation" The Federal Law "on State Civil Service" develops the legislation indicate and provides several prohibitions related to political connection.
41 The independent oversight body has the necessary mandate and power to perform its functions, including to review classified documents and inspect the premises of public bodies.Score 1 point for reviewing classified documents, 1 point for inspection powers2 YES Federal Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Article 22 (Prosecutor’s powers): "1. In exercising the functions assigned to him, the prosecutor shall be entitled: a) on presenting his official identity card, to freely enter the territory and premises of the bodies specified in Article 21, item 1, of the present Federal Law, to have access to their documents and material and to verify execution of the laws in connection with information received by the prosecution bodies concerning violations of the law; b)to require the heads and other officials of the said bodies to provide the necessary documents, material, statistical and other information; assign specialists to clarify any questions which may have arisen; c) conduct checks on the basis of material and applications received by the prosecution bodies and carry out reviews of the activities of any organizations under their control or jurisdiction; d) to summon officials and private individuals for the purpose of providing explanations concerning violations of the law."
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 YES Federal Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Article 6 (Binding nature of prosecutor’s requests): "1. Any requests made by the prosecutor pursuant to his powers, as specified in Articles 22, 27, 30 and 33 of the present Federal Law, shall be subject to unconditional execution within the prescribed time."
43 In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the power to order appropriate remedies for the requester, including the declassification of information. 1 for partial, 2 for fully2 Partially Federal Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Article 6 (Binding nature of prosecutor’s requests): "1. Any requests made by the prosecutor pursuant to his powers, as specified in Articles 22, 27, 30 and 33 of the present Federal Law, shall be subject to unconditional execution within the prescribed time." The prosecution bodies have right to issue prescriptions to fix offenses but they contain no specific directions how a public body should act; also, prosecution bodies have no right to require remedy or data declassification since only court has right to decide while classification is grounded or no.
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES Article 23. (Protection of the Right to Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 1: " Decisions and actions (omissions) of government bodies and bodies of local self-government, or by officials of these bodies, that violate the right to access information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government, can be appealed to a higher body or to higher official or in court."
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 Expert says - Appeal to an oversight body (a prosecutor's office) is free (it is appealed to court that requires state duty payment); legal assistance not required.
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 24 (Control and Supervision over Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government): "[...] Supervision of execution of the present Federal Law by government bodies and bodies of local self-government, and their officials is carried out by bodies of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation in the procedure defined by the Federal Law “On the Office of the Prosecutor of the Russian Federation”. Federal Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Article 10 (Examination and settlement by prosecution bodies of petitions, complaints and other applications): "1. Prosecution bodies shall examine and settle petitions, complaints and other applications containing information on violations of the law in accordance with their powers. Any decision taken by the prosecutor shall not prevent an individual from applying to a court for protection of his rights."
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 Federal Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Article 23 (Prosecutor’s appeal):"1. The prosecutor or his deputy shall file an appeal against any legal instrument which is contrary to the law with the body or official which issued this instrument or with a higher body or official or shall apply to a court of law in accordance with the procedure laid down in the procedural legislation of the Russian Federation. 2. The appeal shall be heard within a period of not more than ten days after the date on which it was received, and in the case of an appeal against a decision of a representative (legislative) body of a subject of the Russian Federation or local self-government body, at the next session. In exceptional circumstances requiring immediate action to eliminate a violation of the law, the prosecutor may set a shorter time-limit for hearing the appeal. The outcome of the hearing of the appeal shall be notified to the prosecutor immediately in writing. 3. Where an appeal is to be heard by a collegiate body, the date of the hearing shall be notified to the prosecutor who filed the appeal."
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 YES The Civil Procedural Code of the Russian Federation, Article 249 ( Distribution of the Duties Involved in Proving the Cases Arising from Public Legal Relations): "1. The duties involved in proving the circumstances which have served as the grounds for the acceptance of a legal normative act, and of proving its legality, as well as of the legality of the disputed decisions and actions (of inaction) of the state power bodies and of the local self-government bodies, of official persons and of government and municipal employees, shall be imposed upon the body which has adopted the legal normative act, and upon the bodies and the persons which (who) have adopted the disputed decisions or have performed the disputed actions (inaction)." In the judicial appeal process, the government does bear the burden of demonstrating that it did not operate in breach of the rules.
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

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50 Sanctions may be imposed on those who wilfully act to undermine the right to information, including through the unauthorised destruction of information.Score 1 point for sanctions for underming right, 1 point for destruction of documents 2 Partially Article 8. (Rights of the Information User) : "The information user has the right: [...] 5). to demand, in accordance with the procedure defined by law, compensation for damage caused by violation of the right to access information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government." Article 23. (Protection of the Right to Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 2: "If as a result of wrongful refusal in access to information on activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government, or its untimely granting, or granting of intentionally misleading information or information not corresponding to the content of the request, the information user was caused damages, such damages are subject to compensation according to the civil legislation of the Russian Federation." Article 25. (Liability for Violation of the Right to Access Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government): "Officials of government bodies and bodies of local self-government and government and municipal employees, guilty of violation of the right access to information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government, bear disciplinary, administrative, civil and criminal liability according to the legislation of the Russian Federation." There are sanctions for document destruction only for some specific information categories, e.g. for archive documents.
51 There is a system for redressing the problem of public authorities which systematically fail to disclose information or underperform (either through imposing sanctions on them or requiring remedial actions of them).Score 1 point for either remedial action or sanctions, 2 points for both 2 NO Not mentioned.
52 The independent oversight body and its staff are granted legal immunity for acts undertaken in good faith in the exercise or performance of any power, duty or function under the RTI Law. Others are granted similar immunity for the good faith release of information pursuant to the RTI Law.Score 1 for oversight body, 1 for immunity for others2 NO Federal Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Article 5 (Impermissibility of interference in the exercise of prosecutorial supervision): "1. Any influence whatsoever exercised by federal state authorities, state authorities of subjects of the Russian Federation, local self-government bodies, public associations, the media, representatives thereof and officials on a prosecutor or investigator with a view to influencing their decisions or any hindering of their activities shall give rise to the liability provided for by law."
53 There are legal protections against imposing sanctions on those who, in good faith, release information which discloses wrongdoing (i.e. whistleblowers).Score 2 for strong protections, 1 for moderate protections2 NO Not mentioned.


Promotional measures

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54 Public authorities are required to appoint dedicated officials (information officers) or units with a responsibility for ensuring that they comply with their information disclosure obligations.Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES Article 9. (Organizing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government). Section 2: "Government bodies and bodies of local self-government, for the purpose of organization of access to information on their activities, determine corresponding structural divisions or authorized officials. The rights and duties of the above-specified divisions and officials are defined by regulations of government bodies and (or) other normative legal acts, and by regulations of bodies of local self-government and (or) other municipal legal acts, governing the activities of corresponding government bodies and bodies of local self-government."
55 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, is given overall responsibility for promoting the right to information. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
56 Public awareness-raising efforts (e.g. producing a guide for the public or introducing RTI awareness into schools) are required to be undertaken by law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES Article 11. (Basic Requirements for Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government): "The basic requirements for providing access to information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government are: [...] 4. creation by government bodies and bodies of local self-government, according to the limits of their competence, of organizational, technical and other conditions necessary for the realization of the right to access information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government, as well as creation of governmental and municipal information systems for assisting information users;" Article 16. (Placing of Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government in the Premises Occupied by the Above-Specified Bodies, and Other Places Designated for These Purposes): "Government bodies and bodies of local self-government, in the premises occupied by the above-specified bodies, and other places designated for these purposes, place information boards and (or) other technical means of analogous function, for familiarizing information users with current information on the activities of the corresponding government body or body of local self-government. [...]" No specific mention about guidance, but it can be inferred.
57 A system is in place whereby minimum standards regarding the management of records are set and applied. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES Federal Law "On Information, Information Technologies, and Information Protection", Article 11. Documenting of information "<...> 2.In the federal executive authorities documenting of information is carried out according to the procedure established by the Government of the Russian Federation. The rules of the office work and document turnover established by other state authorities, local self-government bodies within their competence should correspond to the requirements set by the Government of the Russian Federation in the part of office work and document turnover for federal executive authorities.<...>" There are no unified standards but various bodies approve such rules for management of records in accordance with the Federal Law #149-FZ from July 27, 2006, "On Information, Information Technologies, and Information Protection", Article 11, Part 2.
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 13. (Information on the Activities of Government Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government, Placed on the “Internet”) "Information on the activities of government bodies and bodies of local self-government, placed by the above-specified bodies on the “Internet”, depending on the field of activity of the government body or body of local self-government, contains: a) general information on the government body or body of local self-government, [...]; b) information on the norm-creating activity of the government body or body of local self-government, [...]; d) texts of official appearances and statements of heads and deputy heads of the government body, its territorial bodies, and body of local self-government; e) statistical information on the activities of the government body or body of local self-government [...]; f) the information on staffing of the government body or body of local self-government[...];"
59 Training programs for officials are required Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
60 Public authorities are required to report annually on the actions they have taken to implement their disclosure obligations. This includes statistics on requests received and how they were dealt with. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
61 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, has an obligation to present a consolidated report to the legislature on implementation of the law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.