Country

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Name of law : Freedom of Information Act
First adopted : 2003

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 2
Scope 30 21
Requesting procedures 30 17
Exceptions 30 18
Appeals 30 2
Sanctions 8 2
Promotional measures 16 8
TOTAL 150 70

Introduction:
Unfortunately we were unable to obtain expert help for this country, and since the appeals process is run through the court system our score under "Appeals" is less reliable than we would like, and it is fair to say that St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a whole deserves at least a few more points than it received. Other than the lack of a specialised independent appeals body, major weaknesses include the fact that the act does not apply to the judiciary and overly vague exceptions.
Right of Access

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
1 The legal framework (including jurisprudence) recognises a fundamental right of access to information.Score 0 for no constitutional right to information, 1 point for a limited constitutional right, 2 points for full constitutional recognition of a public right of access to information.2 NO Not in the constitution - "information" as protected in Art 10(1) only applies to seeking and receiving information broadly, not to accessing government information.
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.(1) "The object of this Act is to extend the right of members of the public to access information in the possession of public authorities by(...) b) creating a general right of access to information in documentary form in the possession of public authorities limited only by exceptions and exemptions necessary for the protection of essential public interests and the private and business affairs of persons it respect of whom information is collected and held by public authorities;(...)" Art 3(1)(b) - access to information, but not access to ALL 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 3(2). The provisions of this Act shall be interpreted so as to further the object set out in subsection (1) and any discretion conferred by this Act shall be exercised as far as possible so as to facilitate and promote, promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost, the disclosure of information




Scope

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
4 Everyone (including non-citizens and legal entities) has the right to file requests for information.Score 0 point if only residents/citizens; 1 point for all natural persons; 1 point for legal persons. 2 Partially 4. In this Act; applicant" means a person who has made a request in accordance with section 13 and shall include a person who is acting on behalf of a minor or of a person under a disability; "chief executive officer" includes the officer for the tine being exercising the highest level of administrative functio is within any public authority; "document" means information recorded in any form, whether printed or on tape or film or by electronic means or otherwise and includes any map, diagram, photograph, film, microfilm, videotape, sound recording, or machine-readable record or any record which i s c apable of being produced from a machine-readable record b y means o f equipment o r a programme (or a combination of both) which is used for that purpose by the public authority which holds the record; "enactment" means an Act or an Instrument (including rules, regulations or by-laws) made under an Act; "exempt document" means a document which, by virtue of any provision of Part IV, is an exempt document. "exempt information" means information the inclusion of which in a document causes the document to be an exempt document; "Minister" means the Minister who has been assigned responsibility for information under the Constitution; "personal information" means information about an identifiable individual that is recorded in any form including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing - (a) information relating to the race, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age or marital status of the individual; (b) information relating to the education or the medical, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved; (c) any identifying number, symbol o r other particular assigned to the individual; (d) the address, fingerprints or blood type of the individual; (e) the name of the individual where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name itself would reveal information about the individual; (f)correspondence sent to a public authority by the individual that is explicitly or implicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to such correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence; o r (g)the views or opinions of any other person about the individual; "prescribed" means prescribed by the Minister by regulations made under this Act; "public authority" includes a) Parliament, or any committee of Parliament; (b) the Cabinet as constituted under the Constitution; (c) a Ministry or a department or division of a Ministry; (d) a local authority; (e) a public statutory corporation or body; (f) a body corporate or an incorporated body established for a public purpose, which is owned or controlled by the State; (g)an embassy, consulate or mission of the State or any office of the State situated outside of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines whose functions include the provision of diplomatic or consular services for or on behalf of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (h)any other body designated by the Minister by regulation made under this Act, to be a public authority for the purposes of this Act; "responsible Minister" in relation to a public authority means the Minister of Government to whom responsibility for the public authority is assigned. 10. Subject to this Act, every person shall have a right of ~ ccess in accordance with this Act, to an official document other than an exempt document S 4 definition of applicant - no citizenship requirement, but no reference to legal persons. Also see s 10.
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 4. In this Act; applicant" means a person who has made a request in accordance with section 13 and shall include a person who is acting on behalf of a minor or of a person under a disability; "chief executive officer" includes the officer for the tine being exercising the highest level of administrative functio is within any public authority; "document" means information recorded in any form, whether printed or on tape or film or by electronic means or otherwise and includes any map, diagram, photograph, film, microfilm, videotape, sound recording, or machine-readable record or any record which i s c apable of being produced from a machine-readable record b y means o f equipment o r a programme (or a combination of both) which is used for that purpose by the public authority which holds the record; "enactment" means an Act or an Instrument (including rules, regulations or by-laws) made under an Act; "exempt document" means a document which, by virtue of any provision of Part IV, is an exempt document. "exempt information" means information the inclusion of which in a document causes the document to be an exempt document; "Minister" means the Minister who has been assigned responsibility for information under the Constitution; "personal information" means information about an identifiable individual that is recorded in any form including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing - (a) information relating to the race, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age or marital status of the individual; (b) information relating to the education or the medical, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved; (c) any identifying number, symbol o r other particular assigned to the individual; (d) the address, fingerprints or blood type of the individual; (e) the name of the individual where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name itself would reveal information about the individual; (f)correspondence sent to a public authority by the individual that is explicitly or implicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to such correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence; o r (g)the views or opinions of any other person about the individual; "prescribed" means prescribed by the Minister by regulations made under this Act; "public authority" includes a) Parliament, or any committee of Parliament; (b) the Cabinet as constituted under the Constitution; (c) a Ministry or a department or division of a Ministry; (d) a local authority; (e) a public statutory corporation or body; (f) a body corporate or an incorporated body established for a public purpose, which is owned or controlled by the State; (g)an embassy, consulate or mission of the State or any office of the State situated outside of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines whose functions include the provision of diplomatic or consular services for or on behalf of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (h)any other body designated by the Minister by regulation made under this Act, to be a public authority for the purposes of this Act; "responsible Minister" in relation to a public authority means the Minister of Government to whom responsibility for the public authority is assigned. S 4 definition of document as information recorded in any form.
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 4. In this Act; applicant" means a person who has made a request in accordance with section 13 and shall include a person who is acting on behalf of a minor or of a person under a disability; "chief executive officer" includes the officer for the tine being exercising the highest level of administrative functio is within any public authority; "document" means information recorded in any form, whether printed or on tape or film or by electronic means or otherwise and includes any map, diagram, photograph, film, microfilm, videotape, sound recording, or machine-readable record or any record which i s c apable of being produced from a machine-readable record b y means o f equipment o r a programme (or a combination of both) which is used for that purpose by the public authority which holds the record; "enactment" means an Act or an Instrument (including rules, regulations or by-laws) made under an Act; "exempt document" means a document which, by virtue of any provision of Part IV, is an exempt document. "exempt information" means information the inclusion of which in a document causes the document to be an exempt document; "Minister" means the Minister who has been assigned responsibility for information under the Constitution; "personal information" means information about an identifiable individual that is recorded in any form including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing - (a) information relating to the race, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age or marital status of the individual; (b) information relating to the education or the medical, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved; (c) any identifying number, symbol o r other particular assigned to the individual; (d) the address, fingerprints or blood type of the individual; (e) the name of the individual where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name itself would reveal information about the individual; (f)correspondence sent to a public authority by the individual that is explicitly or implicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to such correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence; o r (g)the views or opinions of any other person about the individual; "prescribed" means prescribed by the Minister by regulations made under this Act; "public authority" includes a) Parliament, or any committee of Parliament; (b) the Cabinet as constituted under the Constitution; (c) a Ministry or a department or division of a Ministry; (d) a local authority; (e) a public statutory corporation or body; (f) a body corporate or an incorporated body established for a public purpose, which is owned or controlled by the State; (g)an embassy, consulate or mission of the State or any office of the State situated outside of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines whose functions include the provision of diplomatic or consular services for or on behalf of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (h)any other body designated by the Minister by regulation made under this Act, to be a public authority for the purposes of this Act; "responsible Minister" in relation to a public authority means the Minister of Government to whom responsibility for the public authority is assigned. S 4 definition of document as information recorded in any form, including records that can be produced. 13(4) explicitly gives the right to ask questions
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 Partially 4. In this Act; applicant" means a person who has made a request in accordance with section 13 and shall include a person who is acting on behalf of a minor or of a person under a disability; "chief executive officer" includes the officer for the tine being exercising the highest level of administrative functio is within any public authority; "document" means information recorded in any form, whether printed or on tape or film or by electronic means or otherwise and includes any map, diagram, photograph, film, microfilm, videotape, sound recording, or machine-readable record or any record which i s c apable of being produced from a machine-readable record b y means o f equipment o r a programme (or a combination of both) which is used for that purpose by the public authority which holds the record; "enactment" means an Act or an Instrument (including rules, regulations or by-laws) made under an Act; "exempt document" means a document which, by virtue of any provision of Part IV, is an exempt document. "exempt information" means information the inclusion of which in a document causes the document to be an exempt document; "Minister" means the Minister who has been assigned responsibility for information under the Constitution; "personal information" means information about an identifiable individual that is recorded in any form including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing - (a) information relating to the race, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age or marital status of the individual; (b) information relating to the education or the medical, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved; (c) any identifying number, symbol o r other particular assigned to the individual; (d) the address, fingerprints or blood type of the individual; (e) the name of the individual where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name itself would reveal information about the individual; (f)correspondence sent to a public authority by the individual that is explicitly or implicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to such correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence; o r (g)the views or opinions of any other person about the individual; "prescribed" means prescribed by the Minister by regulations made under this Act; "public authority" includes a) Parliament, or any committee of Parliament; (b) the Cabinet as constituted under the Constitution; (c) a Ministry or a department or division of a Ministry; (d) a local authority; (e) a public statutory corporation or body; (f) a body corporate or an incorporated body established for a public purpose, which is owned or controlled by the State; (g)an embassy, consulate or mission of the State or any office of the State situated outside of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines whose functions include the provision of diplomatic or consular services for or on behalf of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (h)any other body designated by the Minister by regulation made under this Act, to be a public authority for the purposes of this Act; "responsible Minister" in relation to a public authority means the Minister of Government to whom responsibility for the public authority is assigned. 5. (1) This Act does not apply to (a) the Governor-General; or (b) a commission of inquiry issued by the Governor-General (2) For the purposes of this Act (a) a court, or the holder of a judicial office or other office pertaining to a court in his capacity as the holder of that office, shall not be regarded as a public authority; (b) except in a judicial capacity a registry or other office of court administration, and the staff of such a registry or other office of court administration in their capacity as members of that staff in relation to those matters which relate to court administration, shall be regarded as part of a public authority. Art 4: Cabinet, Ministries, local authorities, and bodies corporate established for a public purpose. But excludes Governor General and related commissions (Art 5).
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 4. In this Act; applicant" means a person who has made a request in accordance with section 13 and shall include a person who is acting on behalf of a minor or of a person under a disability; "chief executive officer" includes the officer for the tine being exercising the highest level of administrative functio is within any public authority; "document" means information recorded in any form, whether printed or on tape or film or by electronic means or otherwise and includes any map, diagram, photograph, film, microfilm, videotape, sound recording, or machine-readable record or any record which i s c apable of being produced from a machine-readable record b y means o f equipment o r a programme (or a combination of both) which is used for that purpose by the public authority which holds the record; "enactment" means an Act or an Instrument (including rules, regulations or by-laws) made under an Act; "exempt document" means a document which, by virtue of any provision of Part IV, is an exempt document. "exempt information" means information the inclusion of which in a document causes the document to be an exempt document; "Minister" means the Minister who has been assigned responsibility for information under the Constitution; "personal information" means information about an identifiable individual that is recorded in any form including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing - (a) information relating to the race, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age or marital status of the individual; (b) information relating to the education or the medical, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved; (c) any identifying number, symbol o r other particular assigned to the individual; (d) the address, fingerprints or blood type of the individual; (e) the name of the individual where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name itself would reveal information about the individual; (f)correspondence sent to a public authority by the individual that is explicitly or implicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to such correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence; o r (g)the views or opinions of any other person about the individual; "prescribed" means prescribed by the Minister by regulations made under this Act; "public authority" includes a) Parliament, or any committee of Parliament; (b) the Cabinet as constituted under the Constitution; (c) a Ministry or a department or division of a Ministry; (d) a local authority; (e) a public statutory corporation or body; (f) a body corporate or an incorporated body established for a public purpose, which is owned or controlled by the State; (g)an embassy, consulate or mission of the State or any office of the State situated outside of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines whose functions include the provision of diplomatic or consular services for or on behalf of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (h)any other body designated by the Minister by regulation made under this Act, to be a public authority for the purposes of this Act; "responsible Minister" in relation to a public authority means the Minister of Government to whom responsibility for the public authority is assigned. Art 4
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 NO 5(2) For the purposes of this Act (a) a court, or the holder of a judicial office or other office pertaining to a court in his capacity as the holder of that office, shall not be regarded as a public authority; (b) except in a judicial capacity a registry or other office of court administration, and the staff of such a registry or other office of court administration in their capacity as members of that staff in relation to those matters which relate to court administration, shall be regarded as part of a public authority. Art 5(2)
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 4. In this Act; applicant" means a person who has made a request in accordance with section 13 and shall include a person who is acting on behalf of a minor or of a person under a disability; "chief executive officer" includes the officer for the tine being exercising the highest level of administrative functio is within any public authority; "document" means information recorded in any form, whether printed or on tape or film or by electronic means or otherwise and includes any map, diagram, photograph, film, microfilm, videotape, sound recording, or machine-readable record or any record which i s c apable of being produced from a machine-readable record b y means o f equipment o r a programme (or a combination of both) which is used for that purpose by the public authority which holds the record; "enactment" means an Act or an Instrument (including rules, regulations or by-laws) made under an Act; "exempt document" means a document which, by virtue of any provision of Part IV, is an exempt document. "exempt information" means information the inclusion of which in a document causes the document to be an exempt document; "Minister" means the Minister who has been assigned responsibility for information under the Constitution; "personal information" means information about an identifiable individual that is recorded in any form including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing - (a) information relating to the race, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age or marital status of the individual; (b) information relating to the education or the medical, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved; (c) any identifying number, symbol o r other particular assigned to the individual; (d) the address, fingerprints or blood type of the individual; (e) the name of the individual where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name itself would reveal information about the individual; (f)correspondence sent to a public authority by the individual that is explicitly or implicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to such correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence; o r (g)the views or opinions of any other person about the individual; "prescribed" means prescribed by the Minister by regulations made under this Act; "public authority" includes a) Parliament, or any committee of Parliament; (b) the Cabinet as constituted under the Constitution; (c) a Ministry or a department or division of a Ministry; (d) a local authority; (e) a public statutory corporation or body; (f) a body corporate or an incorporated body established for a public purpose, which is owned or controlled by the State; (g)an embassy, consulate or mission of the State or any office of the State situated outside of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines whose functions include the provision of diplomatic or consular services for or on behalf of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (h)any other body designated by the Minister by regulation made under this Act, to be a public authority for the purposes of this Act; "responsible Minister" in relation to a public authority means the Minister of Government to whom responsibility for the public authority is assigned. Art 4
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 4. In this Act; applicant" means a person who has made a request in accordance with section 13 and shall include a person who is acting on behalf of a minor or of a person under a disability; "chief executive officer" includes the officer for the tine being exercising the highest level of administrative functio is within any public authority; "document" means information recorded in any form, whether printed or on tape or film or by electronic means or otherwise and includes any map, diagram, photograph, film, microfilm, videotape, sound recording, or machine-readable record or any record which i s c apable of being produced from a machine-readable record b y means o f equipment o r a programme (or a combination of both) which is used for that purpose by the public authority which holds the record; "enactment" means an Act or an Instrument (including rules, regulations or by-laws) made under an Act; "exempt document" means a document which, by virtue of any provision of Part IV, is an exempt document. "exempt information" means information the inclusion of which in a document causes the document to be an exempt document; "Minister" means the Minister who has been assigned responsibility for information under the Constitution; "personal information" means information about an identifiable individual that is recorded in any form including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing - (a) information relating to the race, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age or marital status of the individual; (b) information relating to the education or the medical, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved; (c) any identifying number, symbol o r other particular assigned to the individual; (d) the address, fingerprints or blood type of the individual; (e) the name of the individual where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name itself would reveal information about the individual; (f)correspondence sent to a public authority by the individual that is explicitly or implicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to such correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence; o r (g)the views or opinions of any other person about the individual; "prescribed" means prescribed by the Minister by regulations made under this Act; "public authority" includes a) Parliament, or any committee of Parliament; (b) the Cabinet as constituted under the Constitution; (c) a Ministry or a department or division of a Ministry; (d) a local authority; (e) a public statutory corporation or body; (f) a body corporate or an incorporated body established for a public purpose, which is owned or controlled by the State; (g)an embassy, consulate or mission of the State or any office of the State situated outside of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines whose functions include the provision of diplomatic or consular services for or on behalf of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (h)any other body designated by the Minister by regulation made under this Act, to be a public authority for the purposes of this Act; "responsible Minister" in relation to a public authority means the Minister of Government to whom responsibility for the public authority is assigned. Art 4 - statutory corporations or bodies
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 NO 4. In this Act; applicant" means a person who has made a request in accordance with section 13 and shall include a person who is acting on behalf of a minor or of a person under a disability; "chief executive officer" includes the officer for the tine being exercising the highest level of administrative functio is within any public authority; "document" means information recorded in any form, whether printed or on tape or film or by electronic means or otherwise and includes any map, diagram, photograph, film, microfilm, videotape, sound recording, or machine-readable record or any record which i s c apable of being produced from a machine-readable record b y means o f equipment o r a programme (or a combination of both) which is used for that purpose by the public authority which holds the record; "enactment" means an Act or an Instrument (including rules, regulations or by-laws) made under an Act; "exempt document" means a document which, by virtue of any provision of Part IV, is an exempt document. "exempt information" means information the inclusion of which in a document causes the document to be an exempt document; "Minister" means the Minister who has been assigned responsibility for information under the Constitution; "personal information" means information about an identifiable individual that is recorded in any form including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing - (a) information relating to the race, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age or marital status of the individual; (b) information relating to the education or the medical, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved; (c) any identifying number, symbol o r other particular assigned to the individual; (d) the address, fingerprints or blood type of the individual; (e) the name of the individual where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name itself would reveal information about the individual; (f)correspondence sent to a public authority by the individual that is explicitly or implicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to such correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence; o r (g)the views or opinions of any other person about the individual; "prescribed" means prescribed by the Minister by regulations made under this Act; "public authority" includes a) Parliament, or any committee of Parliament; (b) the Cabinet as constituted under the Constitution; (c) a Ministry or a department or division of a Ministry; (d) a local authority; (e) a public statutory corporation or body; (f) a body corporate or an incorporated body established for a public purpose, which is owned or controlled by the State; (g)an embassy, consulate or mission of the State or any office of the State situated outside of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines whose functions include the provision of diplomatic or consular services for or on behalf of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (h)any other body designated by the Minister by regulation made under this Act, to be a public authority for the purposes of this Act; "responsible Minister" in relation to a public authority means the Minister of Government to whom responsibility for the public authority is assigned. No - art 4 mentions bodies that serve a public purpose AND are controlled by the state.

Requesting Procedures

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
13 Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.Y/N answer 0 or 2 points2 Partially 13. (1) A person who wishes to obtain access to a document of a public authority shall make a request in writing to the public authority for access to the document (2) A request shall identify the document or shall provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the public authority to identify the document. (3) A request may specify in which of the forms of access set out in section 20 the applicant wishes to be given access. (4) Subject to section 22, a request maybe made for access to all documents of a particular description that contain information of a specified kind or which relate to a particular subject matter. Art 13 seems to only require information sufficient to identify the document, but users are also not protected from having to give reasons so I only awarded 1 point.
14 Requesters are only required to provide the details necessary for identifying and delivering the information (i.e. some form of address for delivery).Score Max 2 points and deduct if requesters are required to give any of the following: ID number, telephone number, residential address, etc.2 YES 13. (1) A person who wishes to obtain access to a document of a public authority shall make a request in writing to the public authority for access to the document (2) A request shall identify the document or shall provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the public authority to identify the document. (3) A request may specify in which of the forms of access set out in section 20 the applicant wishes to be given access. (4) Subject to section 22, a request maybe made for access to all documents of a particular description that contain information of a specified kind or which relate to a particular subject matter. Art 13 seems to only require information sufficient to identify the document.
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 13. (1) A person who wishes to obtain access to a document of a public authority shall make a request in writing to the public authority for access to the document (2) A request shall identify the document or shall provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the public authority to identify the document. (3) A request may specify in which of the forms of access set out in section 20 the applicant wishes to be given access. (4) Subject to section 22, a request maybe made for access to all documents of a particular description that contain information of a specified kind or which relate to a particular subject matter. Art 13 - just says that requests must be made in writing and must contain information sufficient to identify document. Without expert verification on how it works in practice I can't give a full score, but the fact that there are some clear procedures is worth a point.
16 Public officials are required provide assistance to help requesters formulate their requests, or to contact and assist requesters where requests that have been made are vague, unduly broad or otherwise need clarification. Score 1 point for help in formulation and 1 point for clarification procedures2 YES 14. (1) A public authority shall take reasonable steps to assist any person who (a) wishes to make a request under section 13; or (b) has made a request which does not comply with the requirements of subsection 13(2), to make a request in a manner which complies with that section. (2) Where a request in writing is made to a public authority for access to a document, the public authority shall not refuse to comply with the request on the ground that the request does not apply with subsection 13(2), without first giving the applicant a reasonable opportunity o f consultation with the public authority with a view to the making of a request in a form that complies with that section.
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 14. (1) A public authority shall take reasonable steps to assist any person who (a) wishes to make a request under section 13; or (b) has made a request which does not comply with the requirements of subsection 13(2), to make a request in a manner which complies with that section. (2) Where a request in writing is made to a public authority for access to a document, the public authority shall not refuse to comply with the request on the ground that the request does not apply with subsection 13(2), without first giving the applicant a reasonable opportunity o f consultation with the public authority with a view to the making of a request in a form that complies with that section. Art 14 - not specifically required, but implied under general duty to assist.
18 Requesters are provided with a receipt or acknowledgement upon lodging a request within a reasonable timeframe, which should not exceed 5 working daysScore 1 point for receipt, 1 point for max 5 working days2 NO No mentioned
19 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for situations where the authority to which a request is directed does not have the requested information. This includes an obligation to inform the requester that the information is not held and to refer the requester to another institution or to transfer the request where the public authority knows where the information is held.Score: 1 point for information not held, 1 for referrals or 2 for transfers2 YES 15. (1) Where a request is made to a public authority for access to a document and the request has not been directed to the appropriate public authority, the public authority to which the request is made shall transfer the request t o the appropriate public authority and inform the person making the request accordingly.
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 20(2) Subject t o subsection ( 3) and to section 18, where the applicant has requested access in a particular form, access shall be given in that form. (3) If the form of access requested by the applicant (a) would interfere unreasonably with the operations of the public authority; or (b) would be detrimental to the preservation of the document or, having regard to the physical nature of the document, would not be appropriate; or (c) would involve an infringement of copyright (o'. ier than copyright owned by the Government) subsisting in the document, access in that form may be refused and access given in another form.
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 YES Art 16 "A public authority shall take reasonable steps to enable an applicant to be notified of the decision on his request (including a decision or deferral of access under section (21) as soon as practicable <...>"
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 Art 16 "A public authority shall take reasonable steps to enable an applicant to be notified of the decision on his request (including a decision or deferral of access under section (21) as soon as practicable b it in any case not later than thirty days from the date on which the request is duly made." 30 day timeline
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 19. "The Minister may from time to time by regulation prescribe or alter (a) the fees t o be charged by a public authority for the making of a request for access to a do u ment;(...)"
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 NO 19. The Minister may from time to time by regulation prescribe or alter (a) the fees t o be charged by a public authority for the making of a request for access to a do u ment; (b) the fees payable where access to a document s to be given in the form of printed copies in some other form such, as on tape, disk, film, electronic means or other material; (c) the manner in which any fees payable under this Act is to be calculated and the maximum amount it shall not exceed; and (d) exempt any person or category of persons from paying any fees under this Act, where the information contained in the document for which access is requested is in the public interest. Art 19 provides that fees can be set centrally, but lacks guidance on how this should be done.
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 NO 19. "The Minister may from time to time by regulation prescribe or alter(...) (d) exempt any person or category of persons from paying any fees under this Act, where the information contained in the document for which access is requested is in the public interest." 19(d) mentions some exemptions - but this is not mandatory and does not apply to impecunious requesters.
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 NO Not mentioned.


Exceptions

Indicator

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Scoring instructions
MAX score
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Article

Comments
28 The standards in the RTI Law trump restrictions on information disclosure (secrecy provisions) in other legislation to the extent of any conflict.Score 4 points for a resounding "yes" and 1/2/3 points if only for some classes of information or for some exceptions. If the state secrets law is not trumped by the RTI law max score is 2 points. 4 NO 43. Nothing in this Act shall be regarded as authorising any derogation from or n on-compliance with any provision o f the Privacy Act No - and s 43 specifically upholds the privacy act as overruling this legislation.
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 29. A document is an exempt document if it is a document tc which a prescribed provision of an enactment, being a provision prohibiting or restricting disclosure of the document or of information or other matter contained in the document, applies. 36. (1) The Minister may, in consultation with a public authority, by order, declare a document to which sections 25 to 35 are not applicable, to be an exempt document for the purposes of this Act on the grounds of national interest. (2) In considering whether or not to claim exemption under this Part, the public authority shall act in good faith and use its best endeavours to achieve the object of this Act to afford to members of the public maximum access to official documents consistent with national or public interest. Art 29: A document is an exempt document if it is a document tc which a prescribed provision of an enactment, being a provision prohibiting or restricting disclosure of the document or of information or other matter contained in the document, applies. Art 36 - general exemptions.
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 25. (1) A document is an exempt document if it is (a) a document that has been submitted to the Cabinet for its consideration or is proposed b y a Minister of Government to be so submitted, being a document that was brought into existence for the purpose of submission for consideration by the Cabinet; (b) an official record of any deliberation or decision of the Cabinet; (c) a document that is a draft of a copy of, or of a part of, or contains an extract from, a document referred to in para- graph (a) or (b); or (d) a document the disclosure of which would im olve the disclosure of any deliberation or decision of the Cabi- net, other than a document by which a decision of the Cabinet was officially published. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a document that contains purely statistical, technical or scientific material unless the disclosure of the document would involve the disclosure of any deliberation or decision of Cabinet. (3) For the purposes of this Act, a certificate signed by the Secretary to the Cabinet or a person performing the duties of the Secretary, certifying that a document is one of a kind referred to in a paragraph of subsection (1), establishes conclusively that it is an exempt document of that kind. (4) Where a document is a document referred to in paragraph (1) (c) or (d) by reason only of matter contained in a particular part or particular parts o f the document, a certificate under subsectic n (2) i n respect of the document shall identify that part or those part, oft he document as containing the matter by reason of which the certificate is given. (5) In this section, any reference to "Cabinet" shall be read as including a reference to a committee of the Cabinet. 31. (1) A document is an exempt document if its disclosure under this Act would disclose: (a) trade secrets; Art 25 - Cabinet documents. 31(1)(a) - trade secrets (shouldn't be necessary - the next provision already excludes information whose value would be diminished through disclosure).
31 There is a mandatory public interest override so that information must be disclosed where this is in the overall public interest, even if this may harm a protected interest. There are ‘hard’ overrides (which apply absolutely), for example for information about human rights, corruption or crimes against humanity.Consider whether the override is subject to overarching limitations, whether it applies to only some exceptions, and whether it is mandatory.4 YES 35. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a public authority shall give access to an exempt document where there is reasonable evidence that significant (a) abuse of authority or neglect i n the performance of official duty; (b) injustice to an individual; (c) danger to the health or safety of an individual or of the public; or (d) unauthorised use of public funds; Art 35 - at first glance this appears problematic since, rather than a general override, it provides a list of situations where info shall be disclosed anyway. But - the list is quite good - and covers every instance I can think of, so I'm giving them full marks.
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 No sunset clauses listed.
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 30. (1) A document is an exempt document if its disclosure under this Act would involve the unreasonable disclosure of personal information of any individual (including a deceased individual). (2) Subject to subsection (4), the provisions of subsection (1) do not have effect in r elation to a request by a person for access to a document by reason only of the inclusion in the document of matters relating to that person. (3) Where a request by a person other than a person referred to in subsection (2) is made to a public authority for access to a document containing personal information of any individual (including a deceased individual) and the public authority decides to g rant acces3 t o the document, the public authority shall, if practicable, notify the individual who i s the subject of that information ( or in the case o f a o eceased individual, that individual's next-of-kin) of the decision and of the right to apply to the High Court for judicial review of the decision and :the time within which the application for review is required to be made. No - Art 30 has a procedure, but it only entails notification rather than a mechanism for obtaining consent The decision remains up to the agency.
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 18. (1) Where (a) a decision is made not to grant a request for access to a document on the ground that it is an exempt document; and (b) it is practicable for the public authority to graft access to a copy of the document with such deletio,is as to make the copy not an exempt document; and (c) it appears from the request, or the applicant subsequently indicates, that the applicant would wish to have access to such a copy, the public authority shall give the applicant access to such a copy of the document. (2) Where access is granted to a copy of a document in accordance with subsection (1), the applicant shall be informed that it is such a copy and also be informed of the provisions of this Act by virtue of which any information deleted is exempt information.
35 When refusing to provide access to information, public authorities must a) state the exact legal grounds and reason(s) for the refusal and b) inform the applicant of the relevant appeals procedures.Score Y/N: 1 point for a and 1 point for b2 YES 24. (1) Where in relation to a request for access to a document of a public authority, a decision is made under this Part that the applicant is not be given entitled to access to the document in accordance with the requestor that provision of access to the document be deferred or that no such document exists, the public authority shall cause the applicant to be given notice in writing of the decision, and the notice shall (a) state the findings o n a ny material q uestion of f act, referring to the material on which those fmdings were based, and the reasons for the decision; (b) where the decision relates to a public authority, state the name and designation o f the person giving the decision; (c) where the decision does not relate to a request for access to a document which if it existed, would be an exempt document but access is given to a document in accordance with section 18, state that the document is a copy of a document from which exempt information has been deleted; (d) where the decision is to the effect that the document does not exist, state that a thorough and diligent search was made to locate the document; (e) inform the applicant of his right to apply to court for a review of the decision and the time within which the application for review is required to be made. (2) A public authority is not required to include in a notice under subsection (1) any matter that is not of such a nature that its inclusion in a document to be an exempt document.


Appeals

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
36 The law offers an internal appeal which is simple, free of charge and completed within clear timelines (20 working days or less).Score 2 points if the internal appeal fulfills these criteria, 1 point if an appeal is offered that does not fulfill this criteria, 0 for no internal appeals.2 NO No mentioned
37 Requesters have the right to lodge an (external) appeal with an independent administrative oversight body (e.g. an information commission or ombudsman). 1 for partial, 2 for yes2 NO No mentioned
38 The member(s) of the oversight body are appointed in a manner that is protected against political interference and have security of tenure so they are protected against arbitrary dismissal (procedurally/substantively) once appointed.Score: 1 point for appointment procedure, 1 point for security of tenure2 NO No mentioned
39 The oversight body reports to and has its budget approved by the parliament, or other effective mechanisms are in place to protect its financial independence.Score 1 point for reports to parliament, 1 point for budget approved by parliament2 NO No mentioned
40 There are prohibitions on individuals with strong political connections from being appointed to this body and requirements of professional expertise.Score 1 point for not politically connected, 1 point for professional expertise2 NO No mentioned
41 The independent oversight body has the necessary mandate and power to perform its functions, including to review classified documents and inspect the premises of public bodies.Score 1 point for reviewing classified documents, 1 point for inspection powers2 NO No mentioned
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 NO No mentioned
43 In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the power to order appropriate remedies for the requester, including the declassification of information. 1 for partial, 2 for fully2 NO No mentioned
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES 39. (1) Any person aggrieved by a decision of a public authority under this Act may apply to the High Court for judicial review of the decision. (2) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, where an application for judicial review of a decision of a public authority under this Act is made under subsection (1), that application shall be heard and determined by a Judge in Chambers, unless the Court directs otherwise. (3) In this section "decision of a public authority" includes the failure of a public authority to comply with provisions of this Act.
45 Appeals to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such body exists) are free of charge and do not require legal assistance.1 for free, 1 for no lawyer required. 2 NO No mentioned
46 The grounds for appeal to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such body exists) are broad (including not only refusals to provide information but also refusals to provide information in the form requested, administrative silence and other breach of timelines, charging excessive fees, etc.).Score 1 point for appealing refusals, additional points for appealing other violations.4 NO No mentioned
47 Clear procedures, including timelines, are in place for dealing with external appeals (oversight/judicial).Score 1 point for clear procedures, 1 point for timelines. 2 NO No mentioned
48 In the appeal process (oversight/judicial/) the government bears the burden of demonstrating that it did not operate in breach of the rules.Score Y/N and award 2 points for yes. 2 NO No mentioned
49 The external appellate body has the power to impose appropriate structural measures on the public authority (e.g. to conduct more training or to engage in better record management)1 for partial, 2 for fully. 2 NO No mentioned


Sanctions & Proteccions

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
50 Sanctions may be imposed on those who wilfully act to undermine the right to information, including through the unauthorised destruction of information.Score 1 point for sanctions for underming right, 1 point for destruction of documents 2 Partially 42(2) A person who wilfully destroys o r damages a record or document required to be maintained and preserved under subsection (1), commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years 42(2) - penalty for destroying records.
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 No 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 Partially Immunity is granted to people releasing information generally.
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 No mentioned


Promotional measures

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
54 Public authorities are required to appoint dedicated officials (information officers) or units with a responsibility for ensuring that they comply with their information disclosure obligations.Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO No mentioned
55 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, is given overall responsibility for promoting the right to information. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO No 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 7. (1) A public authority shall, with the approval of the Minister (a) cause to be published in the Gazette as soon as practicable, but not later than twelve months, after the date of availability of the forms approved by the Minister (i) a statement setting out the particulars of the organisation and functions of the public authority, indicating, as far as practicable, the decision-making powers and other powers affecting members of the public that are involved in those functions, and particulars o f any arrangement that exists for consultation with or representations by, bodies and persons outside the Government administration in relation to t he formulation o f policy in, or t he administration of, the public authority; (ii) a statement of categories of documents that are maintained in the possession of the public authority; (iii) a statement of the material that has been prepared by the public authority under this Part for publication or inspection by members of the public, and the places at which a person may inspect or obtain that material; (iv) a statement of the procedure to be followed by a person when a request for access to document is made to a public authority; during the year commencing on the first day of January next following the publication, in respect of a public authority, of the statement published under that subparagraph (a) that is the first statement published under that subparagraph, and during each succeeding year, cause to be published in the Gazette statements bringing up to date the information contained in the previous statement or statements published under that subparagraph. (2) A form approved by the Minister under subsection (1) shall be such as he considers appropriate for the purpose of assisting members of the public to exercise effectively their rights under this Act.
57 A system is in place whereby minimum standards regarding the management of records are set and applied. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 Partially 42. (1) A public authority shall maintain and preserve records or cause to be maintained and preserved records in relation to its functions and a copy of all official documents which are created by it or which come at any time into its possession, custody or power for such period of time as may be prescribed. 42(1) mentions the need for standards, but it's vague.
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 7. "(1) A public authority shall, with the approval of the Minister (a) cause to be published in the Gazette as soon as practicable, but not later than twelve months, after the date of availability of the forms approved by the Minister(...) (ii) a statement of categories of documents that are maintained in the possession of the public authority;(...)" Art 7(1)(a)(ii)
59 Training programs for officials are required Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO No 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 Partially 40(2) Each responsible Minister shall, in relation t o the public authorities within his portfolio, furnish to the Minister such information as he requires for the purposes of the preparation of any report under this section and shall comply with any prescribed requirements concerning the furnishing of that information and the keeping of records for the purposes of this section. 40(2) contains some such requirements, but only for ministers.
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 40. (1) The Minister shall, as soon as practicable after the thirty-first of December of each year, prepare a report on the c -)eration of this Act during that year and cause a copy of the report to be laid before Parliament. Art 40 requires the Minister to present such a report.