These pages comprise answers to questions about access to information or INAI
What information is accessible?
Any recorded information regardless of its history or (written audio or visual) form and whatever its medium (written on paper or stored in electronic form) produced or obtained by public authorities subject to the provisions of Organic Law on the Right of Access to Information within the framework of exercising their activities.
How can I access information?
Information is accessible if it is made available on the website of the relevant authority through proactive publication or by submitting a request to the relevant authority if the requested information is not published.
What public authorities are subject to the Law on the Right to Access Information?
What are the possible methods of access to information?
Where, on making a request for information, the applicant expresses a preference for communication by any one of the following means:
– access to information on the spot, unless such access causes prejudice to the requested information;
– provide the applicant with a hard copy of the information;
– provide the applicant with a copy of the information in an electronic form if possible;
– allowing the applicant to take extracts of the requested materials.
– Information requests shall be submitted to the relevant authority holding the information and the applicant shall be provided with a receipt documenting the request.
– An application to access information shall be made by registered mail, fax or email with acknowledgement of receipt.
Are there any fees charged to applicants for information access?
- Everyone has the right to access information free of charge, but if the provision of the requested information requires the imposition of fees, the applicant shall be informed in advance provided that such fees do not exceed the actual expenses incurred by the relevant authority.
- Cases, where access to information is provided against payment of fees, shall be set out in law. No charges shall be raised in the absence of a statutory provision to that effect.
- Where the law provides that access to specific information or in a particular format shall be made against payment then the applicant shall be accompanied by a proof of payment before information is released.
What are the timescales for responding to a request for information?
1- The relevant authority shall take up to twenty (20) days to respond from the date the request is received or the date of its correction.
If the request relates to on-the-spot information, the relevant authority shall respond to the request no later than ten (10) days from the date of receipt thereof or from the date of its correction.
In case the request for access is refused, the decision must be reasoned and notified to the applicant in writing indicating the time, the appeal mechanism and the authority competent to review such decision pursuant to the provisions of Articles 30 and 31 of the Organic Law No. 2016-22 dated 24 March 2016 on the Right of Access to Information
Where the information sought concerns the life or liberty of a person, the relevant authority shall respond in writing and immediately not exceeding forty-eight (48) hours from the date of submission of the request.
2- Any failure to conform to the timelines set out herein shall be deemed an implicit refusal of the request, which would enable the requester to challenge the decision made by the relevant authority in accordance with the procedures specified in Articles 30 and 31 of this Law.
3- In the event that the requested information is held by a public authority other than the one receiving the application, the Information Officer shall notify the requester that there is absence of jurisdiction or that the request is transferred to the relevant authority no later than five days from the date of its receipt.
4- The period provided for in Article 14 of the Law, may be extended by ten (10) days, where the application relates to obtaining or accessing several pieces of information held by the same organization. The requester shall be notified thereof.
* In any case, failure of the relevant authority to respond to the request for access to information within the prescribed time frame referred to above shall be deemed an implied refusal against which a complaint may be filed or an appeal lodged directly before The Access to Information Authority.
How to file grievance and appeals against decisions denying access to information?
* The requester, whose application is rejected, may appeal file grievance to the head of the relevant authority within twenty (20) days from receiving the refusal notice or in the event the deadline set for responding to the request had lapsed. The requester may directly appeal before the Access to Information Authority without deciding to engage in the complaint procedure.
The head of the authority in question shall respond as soon as possible to the grievance filed to him/her within ten (10) days from the date of filing the grievance.
Failure of the head of the relevant authority to provide a respond during such period is deemed an implied refusal.
* In the event that a grievance is expressly dismissed by the Head of the public authority or when he/her fails to issue a decision on the grievance within (10) days from the date of its receipt, the requester may directly appeal before The Access to Information Authority .
What is the role of the Access to Information Officer?
The Access to Information Officer is a focal point in applying the provisions of the Organic Law No. 2016-22 dated 24 March 2016 on the Right of Access to Information. Access to Information Officer and Deputy Access to Information Officer shall be appointed by a decision of the head of the public authority subject to the Law on the Right of Access to Information. The decision shall indicate the most important data disclosing their identities, ranks and position.
The Access to Information Officer shall undertake, in particular, to: :
- Receive, process and respond to the requests for information ;information;
- 1. Ensure the coordination between the relevant authority to which he is affiliated and The Access to Information Authority ;
- 1. Prepare an action plan enshrining the right of access to information in coordination with senior officials and under the supervision of the head of the relevant authority, including the development of clear objectives and the establishment of a timeline setting out the stages, the deadlines and the role of each stakeholder. The senior officials of the relevant authority shall facilitate the task of, coordinate with and provide the Access to Information Officer with the data necessary for the development of the said action plan. The Access to Information Officer shall prepare a quarterly report which he/ sheshall submit to the head of the relevant authority within fifteen (15) days after each quarter-end.
- The report shall contain proposals and recommendations needed to enhance the right of access to information as well as statistical data on the number of information requests being submitted, responded and refused, the number of grievance, responses to and deadlines to filing grievance. The report shall also include measures taken on a proactive basis by the relevant authority with respect to access to information, the management of documents and the training of agents.
- Monitor the implementation and updating of the action plan under the supervision of the head of the relevant authority.
What punishments are imposed to safeguard the exercise of the right to access information?
A penalty ranging between five hundred (500) dinars and five thousand (5000) dinars shall be imposed on any person who willfully obstructs access to information in authorities subject the provisions of this law.
Whoever who destroys information with intent or induces another person to do so shall be liable to one yearone-year imprisonment and a fine of one hundred and twenty (120) dinars.
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