Country

South Korea

South Korea

Name of law : Act on Disclosure of Information by Public AGENCIES
First adopted : 1996

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 4
Scope 30 23
Requesting procedures 30 9
Exceptions 30 20
Appeals 30 17
Sanctions 8 1
Promotional measures 16 8
TOTAL 150 82

Introduction:
This review was significantly more difficult because we have not received local confirmation of our results. The "Scope" section was particularly tricky since the law's applicability depends on the interpretation of the term "state and local government" in the law. Nonetheless, we are able to conclude that the law contains serious problems, including that it allows other acts to exempt information from disclosure, its procedural safeguards are vague, and its public interest override is extremely limited.
Right of Access

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Article

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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 Constitutional Court - Forests Survey Inspection Request case
2 The legal framework creates a specific presumption in favour of access to all information held by public authorities, subject only to limited exceptions.No=0, Partially=1, Yes=22 NO 3: "The public agency shall make available to the public the information possessed and managed by the same public agency pursuant to the provisions of this Act." Article 3 doesn’t have that presumption, or a statement that exceptions should be narrow and limited.
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 YES 1: "The purpose of this Act is to ensure the people’ s right to know and to secure participation of the people in state affairs, and transparency in the operation of state affairs, by providing for the necessary matters concerning the obligation to disclose information possessed and managed by public agencies and the people’ s request for the disclosure of such information." Article 1 mentions the benefits of transparency. Article 1




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 6(1): "The people shall hold the right to request disclosure of information." 6.1 seems to be of universal application.
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 2(1): "The term “information” means the items drawn up or obtained and managed by the public agencies in the course of the performance of their duties, which are recorded in documents, drawings, pictures, films. tapes, slides and media which are processed by computers, etc." 2(1) - definition seems expanisve enough
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 Partially 2(1): "The term “information” means the items drawn up or obtained and managed by the public agencies in the course of the performance of their duties, which are recorded in documents, drawings, pictures, films. tapes, slides and media which are processed by computers, etc." Information is specifically limited to disclosure of "items", seemingly precluding the requester from asking 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 YES 2(3): "The term “public agencies” means the state, local government. government—invested institutions pursuant to the provision of Article 2 of the Framework Act on the Management of Government Invested Institutions, and other institutions determined by the Presidential Decree." Art 2 includes state and local government with no listed exceptions - it is not completely clear what this means, but according to this article http://www.jus.uio.no/smr/english/about/programmes/vietnam/docs/2009/Sung.pdf it applies to all public agencies without exception.
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 All public agencies
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 No mention of the judiciary.
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 Partially Framework Act on the Management of Government Invested Institutions includes any institution in which the government invests 50% capital or more, but Article 2(2) of the act excludes the Korea Broadcasting System established under the Broadcasting Act, the Educational Broadcasting System established under the Educational Broadcasting System Act, the Korea Development Bank established under the Korea Development Bank Act, the Industrial Bank of Korea established under the Industrial Bank of Korea Act, the Export-Import Bank of Korea established under the Export-Import Bank of Korea Act, and financial institutions as prescribed in Articles 2 and 5 of the Banking Act.
11 The right of access applies to other public authorities, including constitutional, statutory and oversight bodies (such as an election commission or information commission/er). Score 1 point if some bodies, 2 points if all2 YES 2(3): "The term “public agencies” means the state, local government. government—invested institutions pursuant to the provision of Article 2 of the Framework Act on the Management of Government Invested Institutions, and other institutions determined by the Presidential Decree." FOI Act Article 2 includes "the state" - these institutions aren't specifically mentioned, but it seems to cover organisations under this heading.
12 The right of access applies to a) private bodies that perform a public function and b) private bodies that receive significant public funding. 1 point for public functions, 1 point for public funding 2 Partially Framework Act on the Management of Government Invested Institutions act 2(1) includes institutions that receive significant public funding (over 50%) but not institutions that perform a public function.

Requesting Procedures

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13 Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.Y/N answer 0 or 2 points2 NO 8(1)(2) : "Content, and purpose of use. of the information requested for disclosure." 8(1)(2) - purpose of use
14 Requesters are only required to provide the details necessary for identifying and delivering the information (i.e. some form of address for delivery).Score Max 2 points and deduct if requesters are required to give any of the following: ID number, telephone number, residential address, etc.2 Partially 8(1): "The person making a request for disclosure of information (hereinafter referred to as the “requester”) shall submit a written request for disclosure of information stating the matters of the following subparagraphs to the public agency which holds or maintains such information: 1. Name, resident registration number. and address of the requester: and 2. Content, and purpose of use. of the information requested for disclosure." 8(1) - requirement for resident registration number
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 8(1): "The person making a request for disclosure of information (hereinafter referred to as the “requester”) shall submit a written request for disclosure of information stating the matters of the following subparagraphs to the public agency which holds or maintains such information: 1. Name, resident registration number. and address of the requester: and 2. Content, and purpose of use. of the information requested for disclosure." 8(1) - request must be in writing, but otherwise the procedure seems simple enough with no requirement for an official form.
16 Public officials are required provide assistance to help requesters formulate their requests, or to contact and assist requesters where requests that have been made are vague, unduly broad or otherwise need clarification. Score 1 point for help in formulation and 1 point for clarification procedures2 NO Not mentioned.
17     Public officials are required to provide assistance to requesters who require it because of special needs, for example because they are illiterate or disabled.Score Yes=2 point, No=02 NO Not mentioned.
18 Requesters are provided with a receipt or acknowledgement upon lodging a request within a reasonable timeframe, which should not exceed 5 working daysScore 1 point for receipt, 1 point for max 5 working days2 NO Not 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 NO Not mentioned.
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 NO Not mentioned.
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 NO Not mentioned.
22 There are clear and reasonable maximum timelines (20 working days or less) for responding to requests, regardless of the manner of satisfying the request (including through publication).Score: 1 point for timeframes of 20 working days (or 1 month, 30 days or 4 weeks). Score 2 points for 10 working days (or 15 days, or two weeks) or less.2 YES 9(1): "The public agencies shall decide whether to disclose information within 15 days from the date of receipt of such request, in cases of the request for disclosure of information pursuant to the provisions of Article 8." 15 days
23 There are clear limits on timeline extensions (20 working days or less), including a requirement that requesters be notified and provided with the reasons for the extension.---2 YES 9(2): "If the decision may not be made within the period provided in paragraph (1) due to an unavoidable reason. the public agencies may extend the period by not more than 15 days, after the date subsequent to the expiration of the period. In such cases. the public agencies shall, without delay, notify the requester of the reason for such extension in writing." 9(2) - another 15 days, with a requirement for notifiction and an unavoidable reason.
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 YES 15(1): "The requester shall bear actual expenses related to the disclosure. mailing of information. etc." 15(1) seems to limit fees to the costs of production
25 There are clear rules relating to access fees, which are set centrally, rather than being determined by individual public authorities. These include a requirement that fees be limited to the cost of reproducing and sending the information (so that inspection of documents and electronic copies are free) and a certain initial number of pages (at least 20) are provided for free. Score 1 point for fees being limited to reproduction and delivery costs and set centrally, 1 point for at least 20 pages free of charge or for fees being optional2 Partially 15(3): "The matters necessary for the expenses. the collection thereof. etc. pursuant to the provision of paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by the National Assembly Regulations, the Supreme Court Regulations, the Constitutional Court Regulations, the Central Election Management Commission Regulations and the Presidential Decree." 15(2): "The expenses under the provision of paragraph (1) shall be reduced or exempted if the use of the information requested for disclosure is necessary for the maintenance and promotion of public welfare." 15(3) provides for centrally set fees related to the cost of disclosure, but does not provide discounts and does not explicitly limit the fees. 15(2) has waivers for the public good.
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 NO No waivers for 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

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28 The standards in the RTI Law trump restrictions on information disclosure (secrecy provisions) in other legislation to the extent of any conflict.Score 4 points for a resounding "yes" and 1/2/3 points if only for some classes of information or for some exceptions. If the state secrets law is not trumped by the RTI law max score is 2 points. 4 NO 4(1): "This Act shall apply to disclosure o~ information, except as otherwise provided by other Acts." 7(1)(1) < The public agencies may decide not to disclose information falling under any of the following subparagraphs>: "Information maintained as secrets or provided as non-disclosable by other Acts, or by the Decrees or Ordinances issued under such Acts:"
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 7(1)(5) : "Information related to audit, supervision, inspection. examination, regulation, bid contract, development of technology, personnel management, decision making process, or internal review process which, could if disclosed, substantially hamper the fair performance of duties, studies and development" 7.5 - hampering fair performance of duties, studies and development
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 4(3): "This Act shall not apply to information created or collected for the purpose of analyzing information related to national security by the institutions in charge of the information and confidential service related to national security and security matters." 4(3) - national security exception is not harm tested.
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 7(1)7.(b) : "Information which must be disclosed for the protection of the property or everyday routines of individuals from unlawful or improper business operations." 7.7(B) - but with only very limited applicability.
32 Information must be released as soon as an exception ceases to apply (for example, for after a contract tender process decision has been taken). The law contains a clause stating that exceptions to protect public interests do not apply to information which is over 20 years old.Score 1 point for each2 Partially 7(2): "If the information falling under any of subparagraphs of paragraph (1) becomes suitable for disclosure due to the passage of time, etc.. the public agencies shall render such information available for disclosure." 7.8.2 - disclosed once the exception no longer applies.
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 9(3): "The public agencies shall, without delay, notify a third party of the fact of the request for disclosure and may. if necessary, hear the opinions related to such request. if all or any part of the information to be disclosed is related to the third party." 19: "(1) The third party who has been notified of the request for disclosure pursuant to the provision of Article 9 (3) may request the public agency concerned for non—disclosure within 3 days from the date of receipt of the notice. (2) If the public agencies which have been requested for non—disclosure under the provision of paragraph (1) wishes to disclose the information against the wishes of the third parties concerned, they shall notify in writing the causes for disclosure, and the third party who has been notified may apply. in writing, for an objection, or institute an administrative adjudication or an administrative litigation against the public agency concerned. In such cases, the application for objection shall be made within 7 days from the date of receipt of the notice. (3) The provisions of Articles 16 (2) and (3). 17 (1) (latter part) and (2) though (4). and 18 (2) and (3) shall be applicable mutatis mutandis to the application for objection, administrative adjudication and administrative litigations under the provision of paragraph (2). In such cases, the ‘requester” shall be read as the “third party”, respectively."
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 12: "If the information requested for disclosure is a combination of the part falling under any of subparagraphs of Article 7 (1) and the part capable of being disclosed, and such information may be separated without altering the nature of the request for disclosure, the part of information other than the one falling under any of subparagraphs of Article 7 (1) shall be disclosed."
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 11(3): "The public agencies shall, without delay, notify the requester of the contents of the decision in writing, if a decision of non—disclosure has been made in accordance with the provisions of Article 9. In such cases, reasons of non—disclosure, and methods and procedures of appeal shall be stated in the notice."


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 16: "(1) The requester may apply for an objection in writing to the public agencies concerned, within 30 days from the date of receipt of the decision on disclosure of information from the public agencies or the date of decision of non—disclosure in compliance with the provision of Article 9(4), if the legal interest of the requester is violated due to the disposition or omission of the public agencies concerning the disclosure of information. (2) The public agencies shall decide on the application for an objection within 7 days from the date of receipt of such application, and, without delay, notify the requester of the decision on the application, in writing. (3) The public agencies shall notify the requester of the decision in accordance with the provision of paragraph (2) along with a statement to the effect that the administrative adjudication or litigation can be instituted accordingly if the application for objection is dismissed or rejected." 16 - Internal objections are permitted, but not required. There is a clear timeline.
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 17: "(1) If the legal interest of the requester is violated due to the disposition or omission of the public agencies concerning the disclosure of information the requester may request an administrative adjudication in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Appeals Act. In such cases, the ruling authorities on the disposition or omission made by the public agencies other than the state or local governments, shall be the heads of central administrative agencies concerned. (2) The requester may request an administrative ruling without going through the procedures for application for objection pursuant to the provisions of Article 16 (3) The member of the administrative appeals commission who is involved in the administrative ruling concerning the decision on disclosure of information may not reveal the secrets obtained in relation to official duties during and after expiration of his commission. (4) In the application of penal provisions of the Criminal Act and other Acts, the members of the commission mentioned in paragraph (3) shall be deemed as public officials."
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 The adjudicators seem to be government heads.
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 Oversight committees seem to be ad hoc.
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 Not 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 Partially 17: "(1) If the legal interest of the requester is violated due to the disposition or omission of the public agencies concerning the disclosure of information the requester may request an administrative adjudication in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Appeals Act. In such cases, the ruling authorities on the disposition or omission made by the public agencies other than the state or local governments, shall be the heads of central administrative agencies concerned. (2) The requester may request an administrative ruling without going through the procedures for application for objection pursuant to the provisions of Article 16 (3) The member of the administrative appeals commission who is involved in the administrative ruling concerning the decision on disclosure of information may not reveal the secrets obtained in relation to official duties during and after expiration of his commission. (4) In the application of penal provisions of the Criminal Act and other Acts, the members of the commission mentioned in paragraph (3) shall be deemed as public officials." 18: "(1) The requester may lodge an administrative litigation in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Litigation Act, if his legal interest is Violated due to the disposition or omission of the public agencies in connection with the disclosure of information. (2) The presiding judge may, if necessary, review and inspect the information requested for disclosure in a closed setting, in the absence of the parties concerned. (3) If the object of litigation is related to the disposition of the decision of non—disclosure of the information concerning national security, national defense and diplomacy among the information pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 (1) 2 and if the public agencies show the procedures for designation as secrets the class, kind and nature of secrets, actual reasons for treatment as secrets and causes for non—disclosure, the presiding judge may excuse the submission of the information concerned." 17, 18 - adjudicators have the power to examine the documents.
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 YES 18: "(1) The requester may lodge an administrative litigation in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Litigation Act, if his legal interest is Violated due to the disposition or omission of the public agencies in connection with the disclosure of information. (2) The presiding judge may, if necessary, review and inspect the information requested for disclosure in a closed setting, in the absence of the parties concerned. (3) If the object of litigation is related to the disposition of the decision of non—disclosure of the information concerning national security, national defense and diplomacy among the information pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 (1) 2 and if the public agencies show the procedures for designation as secrets the class, kind and nature of secrets, actual reasons for treatment as secrets and causes for non—disclosure, the presiding judge may excuse the submission of the information concerned." The fact that article 18 requests a "ruling" implies that it is binding. But more info is needed on Korea's administrative appeal system in order to clarify this section.
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 The body seems to have this power - but again it's unclear.
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES 18: "(1) The requester may lodge an administrative litigation in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Litigation Act, if his legal interest is Violated due to the disposition or omission of the public agencies in connection with the disclosure of information. (2) The presiding judge may, if necessary, review and inspect the information requested for disclosure in a closed setting, in the absence of the parties concerned. (3) If the object of litigation is related to the disposition of the decision of non—disclosure of the information concerning national security, national defense and diplomacy among the information pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 (1) 2 and if the public agencies show the procedures for designation as secrets the class, kind and nature of secrets, actual reasons for treatment as secrets and causes for non—disclosure, the presiding judge may excuse the submission of the information concerned."
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 Partially 17: "(1) If the legal interest of the requester is violated due to the disposition or omission of the public agencies concerning the disclosure of information the requester may request an administrative adjudication in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Appeals Act. In such cases, the ruling authorities on the disposition or omission made by the public agencies other than the state or local governments, shall be the heads of central administrative agencies concerned. (2) The requester may request an administrative ruling without going through the procedures for application for objection pursuant to the provisions of Article 16 (3) The member of the administrative appeals commission who is involved in the administrative ruling concerning the decision on disclosure of information may not reveal the secrets obtained in relation to official duties during and after expiration of his commission. (4) In the application of penal provisions of the Criminal Act and other Acts, the members of the commission mentioned in paragraph (3) shall be deemed as public officials." Art 17 - the appeal sounds complicated enough to require a lawyer (indeed, it refers to the Administrative Appeals Act), but there is no mention of costs either.
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 17(1): "17: "If the legal interest of the requester is violated due to the disposition or omission of the public agencies concerning the disclosure of information the requester may request an administrative adjudication in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Appeals Act. In such cases, the ruling authorities on the disposition or omission made by the public agencies other than the state or local governments, shall be the heads of central administrative agencies concerned." 17(1) mentions violations of any legal interests, implying broad grounds.
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 Partially 17: "(1) If the legal interest of the requester is violated due to the disposition or omission of the public agencies concerning the disclosure of information the requester may request an administrative adjudication in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Appeals Act. In such cases, the ruling authorities on the disposition or omission made by the public agencies other than the state or local governments, shall be the heads of central administrative agencies concerned. (2) The requester may request an administrative ruling without going through the procedures for application for objection pursuant to the provisions of Article 16 (3) The member of the administrative appeals commission who is involved in the administrative ruling concerning the decision on disclosure of information may not reveal the secrets obtained in relation to official duties during and after expiration of his commission. (4) In the application of penal provisions of the Criminal Act and other Acts, the members of the commission mentioned in paragraph (3) shall be deemed as public officials." 18: "(1) The requester may lodge an administrative litigation in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Litigation Act, if his legal interest is Violated due to the disposition or omission of the public agencies in connection with the disclosure of information. (2) The presiding judge may, if necessary, review and inspect the information requested for disclosure in a closed setting, in the absence of the parties concerned. (3) If the object of litigation is related to the disposition of the decision of non—disclosure of the information concerning national security, national defense and diplomacy among the information pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 (1) 2 and if the public agencies show the procedures for designation as secrets the class, kind and nature of secrets, actual reasons for treatment as secrets and causes for non—disclosure, the presiding judge may excuse the submission of the information concerned." Procedures in Art 17 and 18 are quite clear, but lack timelines.
48 In the appeal process (oversight/judicial/) the government bears the burden of demonstrating that it did not operate in breach of the rules.Score Y/N and award 2 points for yes. 2 NO Not specifically 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 indication they have this power.


Sanctions & Proteccions

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50 Sanctions may be imposed on those who wilfully act to undermine the right to information, including through the unauthorised destruction of information.Score 1 point for sanctions for underming right, 1 point for destruction of documents 2 Partially 17(4): "In the application of penal provisions of the Criminal Act and other Acts, the members of the commission mentioned in paragraph (3) shall be deemed as public officials." 17(4)of the FOI Act states that members of the administrative appeals commission are public officials within the definition of the Criminal Act. Art 136 of the Criminal Act allows sanctions for any person who interferes with the execution of duties by a public official by fraudulent means - so there is a penalty for fraudulently interfering with the work of the appeals commission - I'll give them a point for this, but only barely.
51 There is a system for redressing the problem of public authorities which systematically fail to disclose information or underperform (either through imposing sanctions on them or requiring remedial actions of them).Score 1 point for either remedial action or sanctions, 2 points for both 2 NO Not mentioned.
52 The independent oversight body and its staff are granted legal immunity for acts undertaken in good faith in the exercise or performance of any power, duty or function under the RTI Law. Others are granted similar immunity for the good faith release of information pursuant to the RTI Law.Score 1 for oversight body, 1 for immunity for others2 NO 17(4): "In the application of penal provisions of the Criminal Act and other Acts, the members of the commission mentioned in paragraph (3) shall be deemed as public officials." 17(4) seems to hint at this, but it depends on Korea's "Criminal Act" which I was unable to locate.
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 10(1): "The public agencies shall establish and operate an information disclosure deliberative committee in order to deliberate whether to allow a disclosure of information in compliance with the provisions of Article 9." 10(1) - special committees are to be set up
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 20: "The Minister of Government Administration shall oversee the planning and general activities concerning the policy-making and institutional reform of the information disclosure system under this Act." 23(2): "The Minister of Government Administration may, if necessary for efficient operation, inspect and review the operational status of the information disclosure system with respect to public agencies (exclusive of the National Assembly Secretariat, Office of Court Administration, Constitutional Court, and Central Election Management Commission)." Art 20 and 23(2) gives this task to the Minister of Government Administration
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 21: "The public agencies shall actively attempt to provide the public with the information which is not requested for disclosure and which should be known to the public." Art 21 mentions this, but is vague on the specifics
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 The Minister of Gov Administration is meant to oversee the system, though the specifics of how this is done and whether they can impose standards are 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 22: "(1) The public agencies shall prepare and provide the main documents list, etc., so that the general public may easily access the information for disclosure. (2) The public agencies shall secure the information disclosure site and prepare facilities for disclosure in order to carry out the activities concerning the disclosure of information promptly and efficiently."
59 Training programs for officials are required Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
60 Public authorities are required to report annually on the actions they have taken to implement their disclosure obligations. This includes statistics on requests received and how they were dealt with. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
61 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, has an obligation to present a consolidated report to the legislature on implementation of the law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.