Starpinstitūciju saziņa pasaulē

Sekojot Saeimas un VK saziņai, jautāju kolēģiem no FOI Advocates Network, kā šie jautājumi tiek regulēti viņu valstīs. Lūk, kolēģu pirmās atbildes:

Roy Peled, Izraēla:

There is in Israel legislation prior to FOIA which regulates the rights of MPs and member of local councils to receive information from the government/local authority, and the deadlines are much shorter than in FOIA, but I doubt that they include classified information.

Nemanja Nenadic, Serbija

First of all, our law does not limit anyone from using FOI requests. So, public institutions may use FOI requests as a tool to get information from other public institution, although that method of communication is quite unusual. In deed, in some interesting cases, they did so, for example, when parliamentary committee asked for information about salaries in public enterprises.
Regular (non FOI) communication of public bodies is regulated in general administrative legislation (through duty to provide aid to other agencies), or in special laws (e.g. Anti-corruption agency may request information and there is deadline of 15 days for other authorities to provide these information, could be fined in case of omition). Right to get information needed is broader than FOI, because it may include also confidential documents. However, it is quite often that one public body ignores such request of the other.

Földes Ádám, Ungārija

If there's any I'm not aware of that. Public officials often complain that they're unable to get access to information even within their own institution, not to mention from other public bodies. The only piece of legislation which has some relation with this issue is a very interesting one. There is an obligation on public bodies, handling major sets of personal data (health care authority, tax authority, Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services, etc) that they anonymize personal data and make available the connection of anonymized databases for the use of impact assessments, studies, etc. This special procedure is available only to public bodies.
Parliamentary Committees can have access under the standing orders of the Parliament. However the standing orders are binding only within the administration of the Parliament. The Constitutional Court issued a decision in 2003 (50/2003. (XI.05.) AB. hatarozat) which obliges the Parliament to adopt detailed binding rules on the investigative rights/obligations of committees, but the Parliament failed to do so, despite the deadlinewhich expired in 2004.

Alexander Kashumov, Bulgārija

In Bulgaria there is a variety of laws regulating the functions of public
authorities which cover also (though sometimes insufficiantly or unclearly)
the information exchange, like in Serbia as I understand. Of course, all
kind of administrative bodies responsible for investigations have their
power to require and collect information/ documents.
There are sometimes complaints of problems with information exchange like
in Hungary as I understand. For example, in some cases officers from
environmental protection bodies act as normal citizens using FOI to obtain
information. In 2004 two MPs used FOIA as ordinary citizens to obtain a
copy of the government contract with Microsoft and challanged the denial in
the court, although without success.
As to the Parliament it has the power to require information from ministers
flowing from its Regulation. MPs are specifically authorized to get access
to classified documents under Art.39 of the Protection of Classified
Information Act (see on: )
based on the "need to know" rule which means for the parliamentary control
functions exercised mainly by the parliamentary committees. In the last
years there have not been problems with that access.
Generally in the case of personal data exchange between authorities it is
valid to determine the purpose of processing in advance. In the case of
public authorities, of course the purpose should always be within the frame
prescribed by law.

Kyu Ho Youm, Dienvidkoreja

This is directly from my 2009 FOI paper (unpublished)1 on South Korea. I'm afraid it's inexcusably too lengthy:
Does a local government have a right to request information from a central government agency? The Seoul Administrative Court has answered no.[i] In January 2005, the ward of Songpa in Seoul asked the Seoul Election Commission for a report that the ward had violated the Public Officials Election Act when hosting an event in honor of elderly people. The ward wanted to know what had led the election commission to suspect the ward of a violation of the election law.
The election commission rejected the request, maintaining that disclosure of the requested information was prohibited by the election law in order to protect those who confidentially reported on election-related crimes, and thus the information would be exempt from disclosure under FOI law.
In its appeal to the Seoul Administrative Court, the ward of Songpa argued that if the information in question was exempted under the information disclosure law, the election commission should separate the exempted from nonexempt information and release the nonexempt information. The ward continued that the commission’s vague denial of the request for the information was a violation of FOI law.[ii]
The Seoul Administrative Court held:
"When examining whether the local government institution possesses the essential elements of the right to know as a citizen’s basic right, the court should consider various factors. First, the right to know is derived from freedom of expression as part of an individual’s “psychological freedom,” that is, a human dignity and the right to pursue happiness. Second, the right to access information is the right for citizens to access and request disclosure of the information in the possession of the national and local government institutions, which enables citizens to participate in the governing process. Third, even when the local government is denied the right to access information, the denial does not interfere
with the constitutionally guaranteed autonomy of its administration.
And finally, the local government as a public authority with official power can protect the citizen’s right to know."[iii]
These factors work against the local government in asserting access to information as its basic right because the Official Information Disclosure Act does not recognize the local government as “people”
entitled to access to government records. Rather, it makes the local government an entity with an obligation to disclose information to the people, not the requester of the information.[iv]
[i] The Ward of Songpa, Seoul Metropolitan City v. Election Commission of Seoul Metropolitan City, Seoul Administrative Court,
2005 Kuhap 10484, Oct. 12, 2005.
[ii] Ibid.
[iii] Ibid.
[iv] Ibid.

Tamar Gurchiani, Gruzija

Georgian legislation, more specifically the General Administrative Code
regulates exchange of information between public agencies; however, the
legislation does not recognize electronic form of information exchange. The
law identifies written form as the only mean of legal relationship between
the parties.
The General Administrative Code defines specific cases when public agency
has the right to apply to other public agency with a specific request. The
addressee of the request is obligated to render 'legal assistance' to the
agency. Noted mechanism is much wider and entails performance of different
types of activities, other than exchange of information. Under the law, when
exercising the noted authority public agency is limited to a specific list
of cases stipulated by the legal norm. According to the list, a public
agency may use the mechanism of legal assistance to receive information and
documentation in following cases:

  • If the public institution is not familiar with necessary facts to perform an action and the other institution can provide information regarding these facts;
  • If documents or any other proofs that are necessary to solve the matter are kept by the other agency.

Apart from defining the noted circumstances, the Code also stipulates
procedures for the use of the mechanism; more specifically, public agencies
may apply with a written request to other public agency, which is obligated
to act in accordance to the request; however within three days it also has
the right to issue a written refusal to satisfy the claim. The refusal is
subject to be appealed against with administrative or judicial procedures.
By the year 2005 delivery of classified information to a public institution
was not subject to a specific rule. After certain amendments, the Code
defined specific procedure of accessibility of information classified as
personal data and commercial secret to public agencies. In this case public
agency shall draw up a written form of appeal, as well as present a written
consent of an individual whose personal data or commercial secret is the
information under consideration. According to the rule, written consent of
an individual is deemed issued if the individual expressed his/her consent
in a statement or in any kind of written document on the public agency
he/she has applied to resolve the matter, having the permission to claim
his/her personal data or information classified as commercial secret. The
Code also authorizes claim of such type of information only in cases when
the information is necessary to resolve a matter by the public agency.

Roberto Amette Estrada, Argentīna

In Argentina, there is no act that regulates the exchange of information between governmental branches. Typically, when legislators request information from other government branches they do not use the FOIA. But there were some cases in which this tool was used, and some of these cases were then taken to court. An example of legislators using FOIA (Argentina decree 1172/03) is the information request done by Gerardo Morales and Ernesto Sanz. Both UCR party legislators requested information from the Ministry of Economy. The case resulted in a trial in which the judge compelled the Ministry of Economy to provide the requested information.

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