Country

Slovenia

Slovenia

Name of law : Access to Public Information Act
First adopted : 2003
Last modified : 24 March 2014
RTI Rating last updated : 05 May 2015

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 3
Scope 30 30
Requesting procedures 30 26
Exceptions 30 25
Appeals 30 28
Sanctions 8 4
Promotional measures 16 13
TOTAL 150 129

Right of Access

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1 The legal framework (including jurisprudence) recognises a fundamental right of access to information.Score 0 for no constitutional right to information, 1 point for a limited constitutional right, 2 points for full constitutional recognition of a public right of access to information.2 YES Article 39: \"[…] Except in such cases as are provided by law, everyone has the right to obtain information of a public nature in which he has a well founded legal interest under law.\" Link to the Constitution of Slovenia (English version): http://www.us-rs.si/en/about-the-court/legal-basis/
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 Not mentioned. Reviewer: There is no written presumption, but public information is all information held by public authorities (originating from the field of work of the bodies and occurring in the form of a document, drawn up by the body, by the body in cooperation with other body, or acquired from other persons; Art. 4/1) and access to public information can only be restricted on the grounds of an existing exemption (Art. 6/1).
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 2.1 \"The aim of this Act is to ensure that the work of the bodies is public and open, and to enable natural and legal entities to exercise their rights to acquire information held by public authorities.\"




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 Art.5 \"(1)Legal entities or natural persons (hereinafter referred to as \"the applicants\") have free access to public information.\"
5 The right of access applies to all material held by or on behalf of public authorities which is recorded in any format, regardless of who produced it.Score 1-3 points if limited definition of information information such as not "internal documents" or databases excluded, 4 points for all information with no exceptions.4 YES Art 4. \"(1) Public information shall be deemed to be information originating from the field of work of the bodies and occurring in the form of a document, a case, a dossier, a register, a record or other documentary material (hereinafter referred to as \"the document\") drawn up by the body, by the body in cooperation with other body, or acquired from other persons.\"
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 Art 5. \"(2)Each applicant shall have, at his request, the right to acquire information from the body by acquiring such information for consulting it on the spot, or by acquiring a transcript, a copy or an electronic record of such information.\"
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 Art 1. \"(1)This Act governs the procedure which ensures everyone free access to and re-use of public information held by state bodies, local government bodies, public agencies, public funds and other entities of public law, public powers holders and public service contractors (hereinafter referred to as \"the bodies\").\"
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 Art 1. \"(1)This Act governs the procedure which ensures everyone free access to and re-use of public information held by state bodies, local government bodies, public agencies, public funds and other entities of public law, public powers holders and public service contractors (hereinafter referred to as \"the bodies\").\"
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 Art 1. \"(1)This Act governs the procedure which ensures everyone free access to and re-use of public information held by state bodies, local government bodies, public agencies, public funds and other entities of public law, public powers holders and public service contractors (hereinafter referred to as \"the bodies\").\"
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 Art 1.a \"(1) This Act also governs the procedure which ensures everyone free access to and re-use of public information held by companies and other legal entities of private law and subject to direct or indirect dominant influence, individually or jointly, of the Republic of Slovenia, self-governing local communities and other entities of public law. (Hereinafter: business entities subject to dominant influence of entities of public law).\"
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 Art 1. \"(1)This Act governs the procedure which ensures everyone free access to and re-use of public information held by state bodies, local government bodies, public agencies, public funds and other entities of public law, public powers holders and public service contractors (hereinafter referred to as \"the 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 YES Art 1.a \"(1) This Act also governs the procedure which ensures everyone free access to and re-use of public information held by companies and other legal entities of private law and subject to direct or indirect dominant influence, individually or jointly, of the Republic of Slovenia, self-governing local communities and other entities of public law. (Hereinafter: business entities subject to dominant influence of entities of public law).\"

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 Art 17. \"(3) The applicant is not required to give the legal grounds for the request or expressly characterize it as a request for the access to public information. If it is evident from the nature of the request that the latter concerns access to public information under this Act, the body shall consider the request pursuant to this Act.\"
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 Art 17. \"(2) In his request for access to public information, the applicant must specify:1. The information he wishes to get acquainted with, 2. The way he wishes to get acquainted with the contents of the requested information (consultation on the spot, a transcript, a copy, an electronic record).\"
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 Art. 12 \"The applicant requests access to public information by way of written request for access to or the re-use of public information, he can also issue an informal request.\"
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 Art 18. \"(2)Official referred to in Article 9 of this Act is obliged to provide the applicant with the appropriate assistance in supplementing the request.\"
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 Partially Article 62/7 of the General Administrative Procedure Act (which is directly used in FOI proceedings) states that those who cannot use a language due to a disability have the right to follow the process using an interpreter (it is understood also a sign language interpreter and others). The body is obliged to inform the party of this right. There is also a special act, Act on the Use of Slovene Sign Language, that governs the right to be informed in the sign language, and a Supreme Court decision that recognised a right of the blind and partially sighted to get court documents in Braille text. Article 15 of the Decree on communication and re-use of information of public character (2007) establishes that the body has to ensure that the information, communicated on the internet is available also to people with special needs. Provisions only for language disabilities.
18 Requesters are provided with a receipt or acknowledgement upon lodging a request within a reasonable timeframe, which should not exceed 5 working daysScore 1 point for receipt, 1 point for max 5 working days2 YES Comment of the IC: According to Decree on administrative operations, which is used by all administrative bodies, each application, received by e-mail, is automatically confirmed by information system.
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 Art 20. \"If the body, which has received the request, does not hold the requested information, it must immediately, and at the latest within the time limit of 3 working days beginning from the day of receiving the request, assign the request to the body which is, in relation to the contents of the request, competent for resolving the request, and notify (about that) the applicant.\"
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 Art 17. \"(2) In his request for access to public information, the applicant must specify:1. The information he wishes to get acquainted with, 2. The way he wishes to get acquainted with the contents of the requested information (consultation on the spot, a transcript, a copy, an electronic record).\"
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 YES Art 23. \"The body shall decide about the applicant’s request immediately, and at the latest within the time limit of 20 working days beginning from the day of receiving the complete request.\"
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 23. \"The body shall decide about the applicant’s request immediately, and at the latest within the time limit of 20 working days beginning from the day of receiving the complete request.\"
23 There are clear limits on timeline extensions (20 working days or less), including a requirement that requesters be notified and provided with the reasons for the extension.---2 Partially Art 24. \"(1) In cases when the body requires more time for the transmission of requested information due to the implementation of partial access to public information in accordance with the provisions laid down in Article 7 of this Act, or due to comprehensive documentation, it may extend the time limit laid down in the preceding Article for not more than 30 working days.\" Clear procedure for extension but too long, 30 days
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 YES Art 34. \"(1) Consultation on the spot of the requested information shall be free of charge.\"
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 Art 34. \"(2) The body may charge the applicant the material costs for the transmission of a transcript, copy or electronic record of the requested information.\" Article 34a \"Price and other requirements for re-use of information) (1) The body can charge for the re-use of information for commercial purposes, except in case of re-use for the purpose of providing information, ensuring the freedom of expression, culture and art and media\'s re-use of information.(2) The price may not exceed the costs of collecting, producing, reproducing, and disseminating, together with a reasonable return on investment. The price must be adjusted for cost-effectiveness, set within a common accounting period and consistent with applicable accounting principles of the body concerned. The cost calculation method for the price is itself public information, and the body must in accordance with this Act, transmit it to every applicant which so requests. (3) The body does not charge for the re-use of information if it transmits the same information to the internet free of charge.\"
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 Partially Decree on the communication and re-use of public information This is a partial right for access to some information free of charge and for appeal to the Information Commissioner for fee waivers on grounds of financial position. Reviewer: Decree on communication and re-use of information of public character states that, on the grounds of economy, the body may not charge material costs for providing information which do not exceed 10 EUR. This means that approximately 166 photocopies of requested documents per application are free. Appeal to Information Commissioner is free and in administrative disputes there is a right of the party to ask for dismiss of costs due to her financial position.
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 Art 3. \"(3) Every applicant has the right, under the same conditions as all other persons, to acquire the right to re-use information for commercial or noncommercial purposes.\"


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 YES Reviewer : According to the principle lex specialis posterior derogat legi generali priori the only legitimate restrictions to access to information are the 11 exemptions in the Slovene Act on the Access to Information of Public Character which must be, as limitations to a human right, interpreted restrictively. There is also an absolute positive exemption – access to information on the use of public funds may not be restricted. New laws adopted after the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) may exclude the APIA (for certain documents or for a certain period of time), but such a derogation should be clear and this does not create a conflict between such a provision and the APIA as it is considered as a part of the RTI 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 Art 6.5 \"Information the disclosure of which would constitute an infringement of the tax procedure confidentiality or of tax secret in accordance with the Act governing tax procedure;\"
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 YES Article 6 (Exceptions): \"(1) The body shall deny the applicant access to requested information if the request relates to: 1. Information which, pursuant to the Act governing classified data, is defined as classified; <...> 10. Information on natural or cultural value which, in accordance with the Act governing the conservation of nature or cultural heritage, is not accessible to public for the purpose of protection of (that) natural or cultural value; <...>\" Reviewer : It needs to be added that harm test is actually applied to the exemption on classified data (Art. 6/1/1), because it refers to the Classified Information Act. This Act prescribes formal and substantive criteria to mark information as classified. The substantive criterion is given only if it is obvious that harm could be caused to certain protected state interest by releasing information. Harm test is therefore prescribed in the Classified Information Act. Also, exemption on natural or cultural value (Art. 6/1/10) according to the Nature Conservation Act and Ministerial Decree is only applied if it is reasonably expected that the release of the information would cause illegitimate use of natural values or increased observations.
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 Partially Article 6.2 \"Without prejudice to the provisions in the preceding paragraph, the access to the requested information is sustained, if public interest for disclosure prevails over public interest or interest of other persons not to disclose the requested information, except in the next cases: - for information which, pursuant to the Act governing classified data, is denoted with one of the two highest levels of secrecy; - for information which contain or are prepared based on classified information of other country or international organization, with which the Republic of Slovenia concluded an international agreement on the exchange or transmitting of classified information. - For information which contain or are prepared based on tax procedures, transmitted to the bodies of the Republic of Slovenia by a body of a foreign country; - For information from point 4 of paragraph 1 of this Article; - For information from point 5 of paragraph 1 of this Article, unless the tax procedure is final or the person liable for tax discovered the liability in the tax return and did not pay the tax in the prescribed time.\" Art 6.2 establishes Public Interest test and some exeptions were it would not be applied.
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 Some laws provide for this but it is not a general rule. Reviewer : In relation to the exemption of trade secrets, the Public Procurement Act states in Art. 22 that full documentation on awarded public procurement is public after the day of awarding the procurement (that means also potential trade secrets when information is public according to provisions of the Public Procurement Act and especially when the absolute positive exemption \"the use of public funds\" applies). Therefore, there is a provision that after a contract tender process decision has been taken, the information must be released. In every case, information on the use of public funds trumps the exemption of trade secrets (and most others).
33 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for consulting with third parties who provided information which is the subject of a request on a confidential basis. Public authorities shall take into account any objections by third parties when considering requests for information, but third parties do not have veto power over the release of information.Score: 1 point for consultation, 1 further point if original time frames must be respected and the law allows for expedited appeals.2 YES Reviewer : Access to Public Information Act explicitly refers to the use of the General Administrative Procedure Act for the questions which are not governed by this Act. This is an absolute rule with all administrative procedures, enacted in the General Administrative Procedure Act. The latter provides for clear rules about engaging third party intervenes in the procedure (if they wish to protect their legitimate interests they can join in the administrative procedure) and consulting their opinion. The decision on the release of information, concerning interveners, is in full discretion of the body (they do not have the power of veto). In Slovenian legislation, such questions, common to all administrative procedures, would not be enacted in the RTI law, but General Administrative Procedure Act.
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 Art 7 (Partial access): \"If a document or a part of a document contains only a part of the information referred to in the preceding Article, which may be excluded from the document without jeopardizing its confidentiality, an authorized person of the body shall exclude such information from the document and refer the contents or enable the re-use of the rest of the document to the applicant.\"
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 Art 22. \"(4) The decision to refuse shall also contain, among other components, the explanation of grounds for the refusal of the request, as well as a caution on legal remedy.\"


Appeals

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36 The law offers an internal appeal which is simple, free of charge and completed within clear timelines (20 working days or less).Score 2 points if the internal appeal fulfills these criteria, 1 point if an appeal is offered that does not fulfill this criteria, 0 for no internal appeals.2 YES Art 27.1 \"(1) The applicant has the right of appeal against the decision by which the body has refused the request, as well as against the order by which the body has dismissed the request.\"
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 Art 27.3 \"(3) The Commissioner for Access to Public Information shall decide on the appeal.\"
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 Art. 29 9Status of the Commissioner and dismissal of the Commissioner from office) \"- Deleted; See the Information Commissioner Act -\"
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 Information Commissioner Act Article 2. \"(1) The Information Commissioner is an autonomous and independent state body, competent for: - deciding on the appeal against the decision with which a body refused or dismissed the applicant\'s request for access or violated the right to access or re-use of public information in some other way, and within the frame of appellate proceedings also for supervision over implementation of the Act regulating the access to public information and regulations adopted there under, - inspection supervision over implementation of the Act and other regulations, governing protection or processing of personal data or the transfer of personal data from Slovenia, as well as carrying out other duties, defined by these regulations, - deciding on the appeal of an individual when the data controller refuses his request for data, extract, list, examination, confirmation, information, explanation, transcript or copy in accordance with provisions of the Act governing personal data protection. (2) The Information Commissioner is a violations body, competent for supervision over this Act and the Act governing personal data protection. (3) The Information Commissioner has the following competencies: - organizes and manages the work of all employees, including the national supervisors for personal data protection; - carries out other competencies of the head of the state body; - conducts supervision in accordance with the Act governing personal data protection.\" Article 5 (Budgetary funds) \"Funds for Information Commissioner\'s operation are provided from the Budget of the Republic of Slovenia and shall be determined by the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia on proposal of the Information Commissioner.\" Article 6. (Appointment of the Information Commissioner) \"(1) Information Commissioner is appointed by the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia on proposal of the president of the Republic of Slovenia. (2) For the appointment as Information Commissioner, a person must fulfil the following conditions: - be a citizen of the Republic of Slovenia; - hold a university degree; - have at least five years of working experience; - must not have been convicted by a final decision of a criminal offence punishable by an unconditional punishment of deprivation of liberty. (3) Information Commissioner is appointed for a five year\'s term and can be reappointed once.\" Article 7 (Status of the Information Commissioner and his dismissal) \"(1) Information Commissioner has the status of officer of state. (2) Information Commissioner may be subject to early dismissal by the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia only if: - he himself so demands, - if he no longer fulfils the conditions for execution of the function determined in the Article 6(2) of this Act. - if he becomes permanently incapable of performing his function, - if he neglects to execute his powers in accordance with the Law and Constitution. (3) The procedure for the dismissal of the Information Commissioner shall be started on proposal of the president of the Republic of Slovenia. (4) With regard to incompatibility of the Information Commissioner\'s function with other functions and activities the Human Rights Ombudsman Act applies by analogy.\" Article 14. (Reports of the Information Commissioner) \"(1) Information Commissioner sends an annual report on his work to the National Assembly at the latest until 31. May for the previous year and publishes the report on his web site. (2) The annual report consists of data on previous year’s activities as well as estimates and recommendations in the area of personal data protection and access to public information.\" Reviewer: The Information Commissioner is an autonomous and independent state body (Art. 2 of the Information Commissioner Act). The Commissioner is appointed by the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia on proposal of the president of the Republic of Slovenia for a five year\'s term (Art. 6). He/she may be subject to early dismissal by the National Assembly only in cases, provided by law (Art. 7). The Commissioner sends an annual report on his work to the National Assembly (Art 14).
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 Information Commissioner Act Article 7. 4 \"(4) With regard to incompatibility of the Information Commissioner\'s function with other functions and activities the Human Rights Ombudsman Act applies by analogy.\" Article 19 (Information Commissioner\'s salary) \"Until the entry into validity of the ordinance governing the salaries of holders of public functions, the Information Commissioner\'s salary is determined according to the salary of the National Review Commission president.\" Reviewer: Art 7/4 of the Information Commissioner Act refers to the Human Rights Ombudsman Act with regard to incompatibility of the Information Commissioner\'s function with other functions and activities. The latter prescribes in Art. 19 that Ombudsman\'s (and consequently Commissioner\'s) office is incompatible with the holding of any office in the state bodies, local self-government bodies, political parties and trade unions. As for professional expertise, there is no provision, requiring expertise in the freedom of information field, but there is a requirement that the Commissioner holds a university degree and has at least five years of working experience.
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 Information Commissioner Act Article 10.2 \"(2) If, when dealing with a complaint in a case of access to public information the Information Commissioner suspects that the first level body holds the requested information, but does not entirely or partially reveal it to the Information Commissioner, the Commissioner can use powers in accordance with the Act governing inspections.\" Reviewer: The Information has both the power to review classified documents and to inspect the premises of public bodies. The power to inspect premises is vested to the Commissioner by Article 10/2 of the Information Commissioner Act. According to the Inspection Act, the inspector has the power to \"inspect premises, buildings, installations, facilities, means of work, fittings, objects, goods, substances, books of account, contracts, papers and other documents as well as the business operations and documents of state authorities, companies, institutions, other organisations and communities and private persons\", \"enter the property and land of natural and legal persons\", \"examine papers disclosing the identity of persons\", copy and seize papers, objects, documents etc. Article 3 of the Classified Information Act, explicitly includes the Information Commissioner as a person with access to classified information without a prior permission.
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 YES Comment of the IC: The decisions of the Information Commissioner, an independent administrative body, are legally fully binding. The decisions are formal and are issued in accordance with the General Administrative Procedure Act. They may be enforced and penalties for not complying with the decision are prescribed (Art. 15/3 states that penalty from 417 to 1043 may be imposed for not complying with Commissioner\'s decision to ensure the requested documents). Commissioner\'s decisions are final and the only legal remedy against such decision is administrative dispute (Art. 31 of the Access to Public Information Act).
43 In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the power to order appropriate remedies for the requester, including the declassification of information. 1 for partial, 2 for fully2 YES Comment of the IC: The Commissioner has full powers to order the release of the information to the requester; according to the General Administrative Act the second instance body may abolish the first instance decision and decides upon the request itself. The power to order declassification of information is vested in the Commissioner with Access to Public Information Act; the requester may demand declassification in accordance with Art. 6/4. Art. 21/4 further provides that the appeal is possible before the Commissioner.
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES Art 31. \"An administrative dispute may begin against the decision by the Commissioner in accordance with the statute.\"
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 Reviewer: Appeal procedures are free of charge. Administrative Fees Act, that applies to all administrative procedures (freedom of information procedures as well), states in Art. 28, Point 30 that all documents and actions relating to access to public information and re-use of PSI are free of administrative taxes (that means that appeals are free of charge). No legal assistance is needed; in Slovenian legal system the ability to represent oneself without a lawyer is a presumption and can be limited only by explicit legal provision (most common in procedures with extraordinary legal remedies and before the Constitutional court). No such limitation exists in the Access to Public Information Act, therefore provision of Art. 46 of the General Administrative Procedure Act applies – party with a full contractual capacity may perform procedural acts by him- or herself.
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 27 (The right of appeal) \"(1) The applicant has the right of appeal against the decision by which the body has refused the request, as well as against the order by which the body has dismissed the request. (2) The applicant also has the right of appeal in the case referred to in the fourth paragraph of Article 25 or when the information received is not in the form, requested in accordance with the second and fourth paragraph of Article 17 of this Act. (3) The Commissioner for Access to Public Information shall decide on the appeal. (4) Appellate proceeding shall be implemented in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Act governing general administrative procedure.\" Reviewer: Grounds for appeal to the Information Commissioner are broad. First, there is appeal against the administrative silence; if the body does not decide upon a request in the legal timeline (20 working days according to the Access to Public Information Act) the General Administrative Procedure Act creates a fiction of refusal). Second, there is an appeal against the refusal to provide information on the ground of: breach of procedural rules, incomplete determination of facts (e.g. the body does not find the documents) and wrong use of substantive law (most common ground for appeal is application of the exemptions). Regarding the wrong use of substantive law Art. 27/2 of the Access to Public Information Act explicitly provides the right to appeal if information received is not in the requested form or if the applicant does not receive the information he/she was requesting (but some other information). Third, there is an appeal to the Commissioner regarding excessive charging of fees (Administrative court decided in case No. U 278/2008-23 that the Commissioner has the jurisdiction to decide on charged fees).
47 Clear procedures, including timelines, are in place for dealing with external appeals (oversight/judicial).Score 1 point for clear procedures, 1 point for timelines. 2 YES Article 21 (Deciding on the request) \"(1) A representative or an official referred to in Article 9 of this Act shall conduct and decide on the procedure regarding a request for or re-use of access to public information within the body, according to the provisions of the Act governing general administrative procedure. (2) When the applicant in his request appeals to the prevailing public interest for the disclosure according to second paragraph of the Article 6 of this Act or if the representative or the official judges, this provision has to be used, the matter is, based on the suggestion of the representative, decided on by the: - Government, when the body liable is a government administration body, public prosecutor\'s office, attorney general\'s office, entity of public law, the founder of which is the state, public powers holder or public service contractor on a state level; - Supreme Court, when the body liable is a court; - Council of local self-governing community, when the body liable is a body of local self-governing community, entity of public law, the founder of which is a self-governing community, public powers holder or public service contractor on a local self-government level. - The body itself, when not one of the bodies stated in the previous indents (3) Provisions on procedure and jurisdiction from the previous paragraph also apply for a request for withdrawal of the classification according to the fourth paragraph of Article 6 of this Act. (4) In the case referred to in the second and third paragraph of this Article an appeal is allowed in accordance with Article 27 of this Act.\" Article 27 (The right of appeal) \"(1) The applicant has the right of appeal against the decision by which the body has refused the request, as well as against the order by which the body has dismissed the request. (2) The applicant also has the right of appeal in the case referred to in the fourth paragraph of Article 25 or when the information received is not in the form, requested in accordance with the second and fourth paragraph of Article 17 of this Act. (3) The Commissioner for Access to Public Information shall decide on the appeal. (4) Appellate proceeding shall be implemented in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Act governing general administrative procedure.\" Reviewer: As mentioned before, Art. 21 and 27 of the Access to Public Information Act refers to the General Administrative Procedure Act, which regulates the appellate procedure in detail (besides 124 general provisions that apply to both first and second instance bodies, at least 31 articles regulate the appellate procedure). Article 256 of the General Administrative Procedure Act stipulates that the appellate body must issue and serve the decision as soon as possible, but no later than in 2 months from receiving a complete 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 Reviewer: The applicant does not bear the burden of demonstrate the breach of rules, he/she must only issue an appeal and then the Commissioner runs fact-finding proceedings, during which the Commissioner can demand answers from the first instance body, documents and other evidence. The Commissioner can also perform in camera inspection in the premises of the body. The Commissioner checks the potential breach of procedure and wrong use of substantive law ex officio. The legality of the decision is tested according to the arguments of the body and it\'s evidence for the decision (not the applicant\'s).
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 YES Art 39. \"(1) A fine of at least SIT 250.000 shall be imposed upon a person for the misdemeanor of destruction of a document, a case, a dossier, a register, a record or a documentary material containing public information, with the intention of making such information inaccessible to the public.\"
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 YES Information Commissioner Act Article 15. (Liability for violations) \"(1) A fine in range of SIT 100.000 to SIT 250.000 will be imposed upon an official responsible for a violation, with which according to the provision of Article 10(1) of this Act, while delivering the applicant\'s appeal, in spite so requested, the official fails to transfer to the Information Commissioner the demanded document, case, dossier, register, record or documentary material, although they are in the bodies\' possession. (2) A fine in range of SIT 100.000 to SIT 250.000 will be imposed upon an official responsible for a violation, when according to the provision of Article 10(3) of this Act, in spite of the Information Commissioner’s decision, the official fails to transfer the required document, case, dossier, register, record or documentary material to the applicant. (3) A fine in range of SIT 100.000 to SIT 250.000 will be imposed upon a responsible official of the data controller, who in spite of the Information Commissioner\'s decision on a case of applicant\'s appeal from point 3 of Article 2(1) of this Act, fails to assure the applicant the right defined in point 3 of Article 2(1).\" Access to Public Information Act Article 39 (Liability for misdemeanor) \"(1) A fine of at least SIT 250.000 shall be imposed upon a person for the misdemeanor of destruction of a document, a case, a dossier, a register, a record or a documentary material containing public information, with the intention of making such information inaccessible to the public. (2) A fine of at least SIT 350.000 shall be imposed upon a responsible person of the body for the misdemeanor of destruction of a document, a case, a dossier, a register, a record or a documentary material containing public information, with the intention of making such information inaccessible to the public. (3) A fine of at least SIT 150.000 and at most SIT 300.000 shall be imposed upon an official of the body for the misdemeanor, if this person does not, without justification, transmit the requested public information within the prescribed time limit or does not publish the catalogue of public information or in a larger extent other prescribed information or does not submit the annual report from first paragraph of Article 37 of this Act in the prescribed deadline. (4) A fine of SIT 150.000 to SIT 300.000 shall be imposed upon an individual, and a fine of SIT 300.000 to SIT 3.000.000 upon a legal person or an entrepreneur, who re-uses the public information for commercial purposes, for which the body charges a price or states other conditions and the body did not allow such re-use.\" Article 10 (Transmission of information to the World Wide Web) \"(1)Each body is obliged to transmit to the World Wide Web the following public information: 1. Consolidated texts of regulations relating to the field of work of the body, linked to the state register of regulations on the Web; 2. Programmes, strategies, views, opinions and instructions of general nature important for the interaction of the body with natural and legal persons and for deciding on their rights or obligations respectively, studies, and other similar documents relating to the field of work of the body; 3. Proposals for regulations, programmes, strategies, and other similar documents relating to the field of work of the body; 4. All publications and tendering documentation in accordance with regulations governing public procurements; 5. Information on their activities and administrative, judicial and other services; 6. All public information requested by the applicants at least three times; 7. Other public information. (2)Each body should facilitate, free of charge, access to information referred to in the preceding paragraph. (3) The Ministry also enables access to information from the first paragraph via the joint government portal e-uprava.\" Reviewer: Art. 15 of the Information Commissioner Act imposes liability for violations of Commissioner\'s decisions or his authority to demand documents etc. Article 39 of the the Access to Public Information Act prescribes penalties for not transmitting the requested public information within the prescribed time limit, for destroying documents etc. But not only penalties may be imposed; Administrative Inspection (under the Ministry of Public Administration) supervises all aspects of Access to Public Information Act and may order all kinds of measures (in accordance with the Inspection Act) – publications of catalogues; appointment of the official person, responsible for handling requests; transmission of information to the World Wide Web in accordance with Art. 10 of the Access to Public Information Act... Ministry of Public Administration also provides counselling to other bodies in relation to the application of the provisions of this Act (Art. 32/2).
52 The independent oversight body and its staff are granted legal immunity for acts undertaken in good faith in the exercise or performance of any power, duty or function under the RTI Law. Others are granted similar immunity for the good faith release of information pursuant to the RTI Law.Score 1 for oversight body, 1 for immunity for others2 NO Not mentioned.
53 There are legal protections against imposing sanctions on those who, in good faith, release information which discloses wrongdoing (i.e. whistleblowers).Score 2 for strong protections, 1 for moderate protections2 NO Not mentioned.


Promotional measures

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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 Art 9. \"(1)Each body shall appoint one or more officials competent for the transmission of public information.\"
55 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, is given overall responsibility for promoting the right to information. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES Art 32. (Tasks of the Ministry) \"(1) The Ministry shall perform promotional and developmental tasks in relation to access to public information. (2) Tasks of the Ministry referred to in the preceding paragraph are in particular (as follows): 1. Informing the public about the means and conditions for the access to public information; 2. Providing counseling to other bodies in relation to the application of the provisions of this Act; 3. Other promotional and developmental tasks. (3) The Ministry performs inspection and supervision over the implementation of this Act. (4) The Commissioner is within the frame of the appellate proceeding competent also for the supervision over the implementation of this Act and executive acts based on the Act.\"
56 Public awareness-raising efforts (e.g. producing a guide for the public or introducing RTI awareness into schools) are required to be undertaken by law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 Partially Art 32. (Tasks of the Ministry) \"(1) The Ministry shall perform promotional and developmental tasks in relation to access to public information. (2) Tasks of the Ministry referred to in the preceding paragraph are in particular (as follows): 1. Informing the public about the means and conditions for the access to public information; 2. Providing counseling to other bodies in relation to the application of the provisions of this Act; 3. Other promotional and developmental tasks. (3) The Ministry performs inspection and supervision over the implementation of this Act. (4) The Commissioner is within the frame of the appellate proceeding competent also for the supervision over the implementation of this Act and executive acts based on the 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 YES Reviewer: Decree on administrative operations, adopted in accordance with the General Administrative Procedure Act, provides very detailed provisions on management of records – from creation of the document to archiving it, the obligation of keeping electronic records (!), information systems for keeping of records, information security. The Decree consists of around 250 Articles and has a special chapter on document management, which is very detailed. All public administrative bodies must act in accordance with it\'s provisions. Unfortunately, it is only available in Slovenian: http://zakonodaja.gov.si/rpsi/r02/predpis_URED3602.html.
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 Art 8. \"(1) Each body shall be obliged to continuously maintain and make public in an appropriate manner (official bulletin of the body, World Wide Web, etc.), as well as submit to the applicant for consultation on the spot, the catalogue of public information partitioned into content blocks held by the body.\"
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 YES Art 37. \"(1)The body is obliged to draw up an annual report on the implementation of this Act and submit it to the Ministry by 31 January for the previous year.\"
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 Art 37. \"(3)The Government shall draw up a joint annual report on the implementation of this Act, based on the received reports referred to in the first paragraph of this Article, by 31 March for the previous year, and submit it to the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia into reading.\"