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					General information


Country: Georgia

Name of the law and link: THE GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF GEORGIA, Chapter 3, Freedom of I

Person in charge: Daniel Amoedo Barreiro




Score:

Section                           Max Points         Score
1. Right of Access                               6            4
2. Scope                                        30           30
3. Requesting Procedures                        30           16
4. Exceptions and Refusals                      30           17
5. Appeals                                      30           20
6. Sanctions and Protections                     8            1
7. Promotional Measures                         16            6
Total score                                    150           94
E OF GEORGIA, Chapter 3, Freedom of Information.
Indicator

            The legal framework (including jurisprudence) recognises a fundamental right
    1       of access to information.




            The legal framework creates a specific presumption in favour of access to all
    2       information held by public authorities, subject only to limited exceptions.



            The legal framework contains a specific statement of principles calling for a
            broad interpretation of the RTI law
    3
            The legal framework emphasises the benefits of the right to information?

TOTAL
Scoring Instructions                  Maximum Findings   Score
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               2


No=0, Partially=1, Yes=2

                                             2 yes               2

(Y/N - max 1 point)
                                                 no

(Y/N - max 1 point)
                                             2 no          0
                                             6                   4
Article/Section           Comments
                          The provision reads "1. Every citizen of Georgia shall have
                          the right to become acquainted, in accordance with a
                          procedure
                          prescribed by law, with the information about him/her
                          stored in state institutions as well as official
                          documents existing there unless they contain state,
Constitution Article 41   professional or commercial secret."

                          The provision reads: Public information shall be open
                          except as provided in applicable legislation, or when
                          openness expressly and inevitably undermines [national
Article 28                security and investigation of criminal offences]


not mentioned

not mentioned
Indicator

    4




    5




    6




    7




    8




    9




    10



    11




    12




TOTAL
Indicator

            Everyone (including non-citizens and legal entities) has the right to file requests for
            information.



            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.


            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).




            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.




            The right of access applies to the legislature, including both administrative and other
            information, with no bodies excluded.




            The right of access applies to the judicial branch, including both administrative and
            other information, with no bodies excluded.



            The right of access applies to State-owned enterprises (commercial entities that are
            owned or controlled by the State).


            The right of access applies to other public authorities, including constitutional, statutory
            and oversight bodies (such as an election commission or information commission/er).




            The right of access applies to a) private bodies that perform a public function and b)
            private bodies that receive significant public funding.
Scoring Instructions                                  Maximum Findings   Score

Score 0 point if only residents/citizens; 1 point
for all natural persons; 1 point for legal persons.           2 yes              2

Score 1-3 points if limited definition of
information information such as not "internal
documents" or databases excluded, 4 points for
all information with no exceptions.                           4 yes              4


Score 1 point for only documents, 1 point for
information                                                   2 yes              2
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              8


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 government                                   4 yes              4


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 government                                      4 yes              4




Score 1 point if some, 2 points if all                        2 yes              2



Score 1 point if some bodies, 2 points if all                 2 yes              2




1 point for public functions, 1 point for public
funding                                                       2 yes              2
                                                             30              30
Article/Section


Article 37




Article 37



Article 37, 38.




Articles 35, 36, 37 and 38.




Articles 34, 35 and 37.




Article 28 (b).




Articles 27 (a) and 36.



Article 27 (a)




Article 27 (a)
Comments


Refers to "everyone" having the right to claim access to information.



"…Public information irrespective of its physical form or the condition
of storage…"
Not stated in a clear way, but can be infered by the spirit of the law.
Sometimes the administrative agencies in Georgia assert that the law
only gives us the right to request the information and not to ask the
question.                                                                  It´s not clear



The definition of Terms provided by the law distinguishes "Public
Agency" from "Corporate public Agency". Then, at the time of granting
access to the public information, the articles refers only to the "public
agencies" and not the "Corporate Public Agencies", that are the ones
that contains a governing or advisory board. The definition of public
agency is broad and covers all the bodies and classes. Concerning to
archives, at first are included, but If the government decides to make
them private and not to fund them from the state budget, FOI law will
not cover them.
No distinction between public information: "…All public information
kept by a public agency shall be entered into the public register…".
Some bodies, like the Corporate Public agencies can take the decision
to close a session and make it private, without justifying the closure
with the exceptions of the article 28 (national security and the
investigation of a criminal offense)                                      Both exceptions does not deduct points, becaus




Not stated in a clear way, but can be infered by the spirit of the law
that the right of access applies to the judicial branch.                   Not clear. 4 points for a prensumption?
"Public agency means a state or self-government agency or
institution...or artificial person of Public Law or Private Law that
receives funding from the State Budget…"; "A public agency shall
provide access to the copy of public information…"
"Public agency means a state or self-government agency or institution,
or the person who exercises statutory authority on behalf of a
public agency pursuant to law or contract…"
"Public agency means a state or self-government agency or
institution...or artificial person of Public Law or Private Law that
receives funding from the State Budget…". The “performing of public
function” is questionable, for example, in the case of “Georgian
Railway,” the company, which is dealing with all the railway related
issues in Georgia, is not funded by the state budget, and it's legal
status is just private company. The same happens with the water,
electricity etc., despite these companies deals with issues of public
interest.
It´s not clear




Both exceptions does not deduct points, because it does not referred to any bodie excluded




Not clear. 4 points for a prensumption?
Indicator

    13




    14




    15




    16


    17



    18




    19




    20


    21



    22




    23
   24



   25



   26



   27


TOTAL
Indicator



            Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.




            Requesters are only required to provide the details necessary for identifying and
            delivering the information (i.e. some form of address for delivery).




            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.
            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.

            Public officials are required to provide assistance to requesters who require it
            because of special needs, for example because they are illiterate or disabled.



            Requesters are provided with a receipt or acknowledgement upon lodging a request
            within a reasonable timeframe, which should not exceed 5 working days

            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.
            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).


            Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.



            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).


            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.
It is free to file requests.
 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.


 There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters

 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.
Scoring Instructions                                            MaximumFindings     Score



Y/N answer 0 or 2 points                                              2 no                  2




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                 2




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           1


Score 1 point for help in formulation and 1 point for
clarification procedures                                              2 yes                 0



Score Yes=2 point, No=0                                               2 No                  0




Score 1 point for receipt, 1 point for max 5 working days             2 yes                 0




Score: 1 point for information not held, 1 for referrals or 2
for transfers                                                         2 Yes                 2



Score: 2 points for Yes, only 1 point if some limitations             2 Yes                 2


Score: No=0, Yes=2 points                                             2 Yes                 2


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                 2




                                                                      2 Yes                 0
Score: No=0, Yes=2 points                                          2 Yes          2


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 optional                          2 Partially    1


                                                                   2 No           0




Score: No=0, Yes=2 points                                          2              0
                                                                  30             16
Article/Section   Comments


                  No mention about reasons being asked or not in
                  order to access to information.


                  No mention of anything more than the necessary
                  info to identify. Despite you do not have to fill out
                  the official form, In practice the request can be
                  discarded if you did not put your address or
Article 37        signature on it.
                  The requests cannot be submitted by all means of
                  communication. The only method is a written
                  request, no emails or fax are allowed. The law
                  does not say it explicitly:"Everyone may choose
                  the form of receipt of public information, if there
                  are various forms of its receipt" but in practice
                  there are no fax numbers or email addresses
Article 37        where you can send the request (1 point loss).


                  The law does not obligate public officials to help
Article 37        the requesters. In practice, they rarely do so.



                  Not mentioned.

                  Not specific mention about the receipt, but it can
                  be infered that some kind of receipt should be
                  given in order to communicate the decision
Article 40        adopted. Timeframe of ten days listed in the law.       It´s not a receipt about the requer

                  The authority that was asked for the information
                  will always provide a decision about the
                  information requested, even if it is related to a
                  different authority. So, we can infer that there is
Article 40        such a rule.



Article 37        Yes, subject to reasonable limitations.

                  "A public agency shall render a decision...
Article 40        immediately or not later than ten days"




                  "A public agency shall render a decision...
Article 40        immediately or not later than ten days"




                  There is not mention about the extensions
             "No fees shall be charged for distributing public
Article 38   information, except for copying costs."

             A public agency shall provide access to the copy
             of public information. No fees shall be charged for
             distributing public information, except for copiying
Article 38   costs. There is not 20 pages for free.


             Not mentioned.




             Not mentioned.
It´s not a receipt about the requeriment has been recieved but the answer of the requeriment so 0 points.
queriment so 0 points.
Indicator




    28




    29




    30




    31




    32




    33




    34




    35
TOTAL
ndicator




           The standards in the RTI Law trump restrictions on information disclosure (secrecy
           provisions) in other legislation to the extent of any conflict.


           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.




           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.

           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.


           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.


           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.


           There is a severability clause so that where only part of a record is covered by an exception
           the remainder must be disclosed.



           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.
Scoring Instructions                                                Maximum      Findings




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




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 framed                                                                10 yes




Score 4 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception
which is not subject to the harm test                                          4 yes


Consider whether the override is subject to overarching
limitations, whether it applies to only some exceptions, and
whether it is mandatory.                                                       4 no




Score 1 point for each                                                         2 partially



Score: 1 point for consultation, 1 further point if original time
frames must be respected and the law allows for expedited
appeals.                                                                       2 no

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 granted                                          2 no




Score Y/N: 1 point for a and 1 point for b                                     2 yes
30
Score        Article/Section   Comments
                               "Public information shall be open except
                               as provided in applicable legislation…"
                               Despite of this, RTI law does not trump
                               other laws. The law on state secrets is
                               older and it can be trumped but the tax
                               code is newer and it trumps the General
                               administrative Code aka RTI law. Tax
                               Code introduced the trade secret. RTI
                               law is a regular law in Georgia. Unless it
                               has a status of the “organic law” it
         0 Article 28          cannot trump any law generally.




                               "National Security" and "the
                               investigation of a criminal offense" are
        10 Article 28          the unique exceptions.

                               A harm test applies to both exceptions
                               mentioned, as follows: "only if there is a
                               reasonable presumption that the
                               disclosure of such information will
         4 Article 28          undermine…"




         0                     No public interest override


                               "Public information under Articles 28 and
                               29 of this Code...shall be open if created,
                               sent or received before October 28,
         1 Article 50          1990" The law was enacted in 1999.




         0                     No procedures listed.



         0                     There is no severability clause.



                               a public agency shall inform the
                               applicante about the decision, its ground,
         2 Article 41          and applicable regulation.
17
Indicator




       The law offers an internal appeal which is simple, free of charge
  36   and completed within clear timelines (20 working days or less).




       Requesters have the right to lodge an (external) appeal with an
       independent administrative oversight body (e.g. an information
  37   commission or ombudsman).

       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
  38   (procedurally/substantively) once appointed.
       The oversight body reports to and has its budget approved by
       the parliament, or other effective mechanisms are in place to
  39   protect its financial independence.



       There are prohibitions on individuals with strong political
       connections from being appointed to this body and requirements
  40   of professional expertise.




       The independent oversight body has the necessary mandate and
       power to perform its functions, including to review classified
  41   documents and inspect the premises of public bodies..



  42   The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding.

       In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the
       power to order appropriate remedies for the requester, including
  43   the declassification of information.




  44   Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.
        Appeals to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the
        judiciary if no such body exists) are free of charge and do not
 45     require legal assistance.
        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,
 46     etc.).



        Clear procedures, including timelines, are in place for dealing
 47     with external appeals (oversight/judicial).



        In the appeal process (oversight/judicial/) the government
        bears the burden of demonstrating that it did not operate in
 48     breach of the rules.
        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
 49     management)

TOTAL
Scoring Instructions                                                     Maximum Findings




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




1 for partial, 2 for yes                                                        2 yes



Score: 1 point for appointment procedure, 1 point for security of
tenure                                                                          2 yes

Score 1 point for reports to parliament, 1 point for budget
approved by parliament                                                          2 not mentioned




Score 1 point for not politically connected, 1 point for
professional expertise                                                          2 partially




Score 1 point for reviewing classified documents, 1 point for
inspection powers                                                               2 yes



Score N=0, Y=2 points                                                           2 no




1 for partial, 2 for fully                                                      2 not mentioned




1 for partially, 2 for fully.                                                   2 yes
1 for free, 1 for no lawyer required.                          2 yes




Score 1 point for appealing refusals, additional points for
appealing other violations.                                    4 yes




Score 1 point for clear procedures, 1 point for timelines.     2 partially




Score Y/N and award 2 points for yes.                          2 yes




1 for partial, 2 for fully.                                    2 no
                                                              30
Score       Article/Section




          Articles 40 and 41; Georgia Law on
        2 Administrative Procedure Act, Article 2.




          Organic Law of Georgia on the Public
        2 Defender, Article 13.


          Organic Law of Georgia on the Public
          Defender, Article 6; Article 10 (respecting
        2 security of tenure).



        0



          Organic Law of Georgia on the Public
          Defender, Article 4, Section 2; Article 6,
        1 Section 1; Article 8.




          Organic Law of Georgia on the Public
          Defender, Article 18, Section A and B;
        2 Article 20.



        0




        0



        2 Articles 47 and 48.
   Organic Law of Georgia on the Public
 2 Defender, Article 16 and 17.




   Organic Law of Georgia on the Public
 4 Defender, Article 14.



   Organic Law of Georgia on the Public
 1 Defender, Article 13 to 15.




   Administrative Procedure Code of Georgia,
 2 Article 22, Section 2.



   Organic Law of Georgia on the Public
 0 Defender, Article 21.

20
Comments
There is not an specific mention about an
appeal to a higher authority, but the law
offers the possibility to fill a sort of complaint
in case the providing of information is denied.
On the other hand, the Administrative
Procedure Act on its article 2, provides that
the appeal to the Public Authority will be
necessary in order to gain consideration of a
court.

The article provides:"The Public Defender
shall receive applications and complaints
from Georgian citizens, foreign citizens,
stateless persons, legal entities of private
law, political and religious associations
concerning alleged violations of any rights
and freedoms guaranteed by the Georgian
Constitution and by law..."

The article provides:"The Public Defender
shall be appointed for a term of 5 years by a
majority of all members of the Parliament of
Georgia."

No mention about and independent oversight
body.
The article provides:"Any influence or
interference with the Public Defender’s
activities is prohibited and shall be punished
by law". No proffesional expertise is required
in order to exercise this chargeshall be loss).
Article provides:"The defender (1 point
entitled to...have unimpeded access to the
premises of any state or local self-
government body" and "demand and
immediately...and receive from state or local
self-government bodies, public organizations
and officials all documents, files and other
material necessary for examination".



Not mentioned.




No mentioned.

The lawsuit would cost approximately $60,
which is excessive charge for the Georgian
reality.
Article 16 provides:"No state fees shall be
imposed on complaints and applications
lodged with the Public Defender". By reading
Article 17, it´s understandable that the Public
defender himself will be in charge of carrying
the case and no lawyer will be needed.



The definition given in this article seems to
be broad and to cover all the grounds for an
external appeal.



Clear procedures, but no timelines listed (1
point loss).
At the first stage the plaintiff is obliged to
prove that the denial or any other decision
caused harm to his or her legitimate
interests. But after the court decided to
discuss the case, the burden of proof is on
the public agency's side.



The public defender may suggest or propose,
but not impose (0 points awarded)
Indicator



    50
            Sanctions may be imposed on those who wilfully act to undermine the right
            to information, including through the unauthorised destruction of
            information.


            There is a system for redressing the problem of public authorities which
    51
            systematically fail to disclose information or underperform (either through
            imposing sanctions on them or requiring remedial actions of them).


            The independent oversight body and its staff are granted legal immunity
    52      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.

            There are legal protections against imposing sanctions on those who, in
    53      good faith, release information which discloses wrongdoing (i.e.
            whistleblowers).
TOTAL
Scoring Instructions                                                    Findings
                                                                  Maximum                Score




Score 1 point for sanctions for underming right, 1 point for
destruction of documents                                               2 not mentioned           0



Score 1 point for either remedial action or sanctions, 2 points
for both                                                               2 not mentioned           0




Score 1 for oversight body, 1 for immunity for others                  2 partially               1



Score 2 for strong protections, 1 for moderate protections             2 not mentioned           0
                                                                       8                         1
Article/Section                    Comments
                                   No specific mention about the imposition of
                                   sanctions, but in the article 49, section "d",
                                   regarding the annual report that a public agency
                                   must present, there is a mention about the
                                   "number of violations of this Code by public
                                   servants and the imposition of disciplinary
                                   penalties upon officials", so there must be some
                                   kind of system of imposition of sanctions, despite
                                   it´s not specifically stablished in the law.




                                   There is no mention about a system like this.



Organic Law of Georgia on the       Article provides:"The Public Defender shall be
Public Defender, Article 5, Section protected with immunity…". No mention about
2; Article 19.                      inmmunity provided for others (1 point loss).




                                   There are no legal protections about this matter.
Indicator
             Public authorities are required to appoint dedicated officials (information officers)
    54      or units with a responsibility for ensuring that they comply with their information
            disclosure obligations.


            A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department,
    55
            is given overall responsibility for promoting the right to information.


            Public awareness-raising efforts (e.g. producing a guide for the public or
    56
            introducing RTI awareness into schools) are required to be undertaken by law.




            A system is in place whereby minimum standards regarding the management of
    57
            records are set and applied.




            Public authorities are required to create and update lists or registers of the
    58
            documents in their possession, and to make these public.


    59      Training programs for officials are required


            Public authorities are required to report annually on the actions they have taken to
    60      implement their disclosure obligations. This includes statistics on requests received
            and how they were dealt with.


            A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department,
    61      has an obligation to present a consolidated report to the legislature on
            implementation of the law.


TOTAL
Scoring Instructions    Maximum Findings         Score

Score Y/N, Y=2 points

                               2 yes                     2


Score Y/N, Y=2 points
                               2 not mentioned           0

Score Y/N, Y=2 points
                               2 not mentioned           0




Score Y/N, Y=2 points



                               2 yes                     2


Score Y/N, Y=2 points
                               2 not mentioned           0

Score Y/N, Y=2 points
                               2 not mentioned           0


Score Y/N, Y=2 points

                               2 yes                     2



Score Y/N, Y=2 points

                               2 yes                     0
                               16                        6
Article/Section                     Comments

                                    "A public agency shall designate a public servant
                                    who will be responsible for ensuring the
Article 36.                         accessibility of public information"




                                    There is no designated body to promote FOI.



                                    "public information shall be entered into the
                                    public register within two days after its
                                    acquisition, creation, processing or publicizing,
                                    indicating its title and the date of receipt of the
                                    information, and the title or name of the natural
                                    or artificial person, public servant, or public
                                    agency, which provided the information or to
Article 35.                         which it was sent."



                                    Not specifically mentioned.


                                    No mention about this kind of programmes.


                                    "On December 10 every year a public agency
                                    shall report to the Parliament and President of
Article 49.                         Georgia…"

                                     The Article Provides:"The public defender will be
                                     authorized to present the decisions taken in
Organic Law of Georgia on the        annual and special reports;". It´s not an
Public Defender, Article 21, Section obligation, only a right to do it (1 point loss).
G; Article 22.
Indicator

            The legal framework (including jurisprudence) recognises a fundamental right
    1       of access to information.




            The legal framework creates a specific presumption in favour of access to all
    2       information held by public authorities, subject only to limited exceptions.



            The legal framework contains a specific statement of principles calling for a
            broad interpretation of the RTI law
    3
            The legal framework emphasises the benefits of the right to information?

TOTAL

    4
            Everyone (including non-citizens and legal entities) has the right to file
            requests for 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.


    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).




    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.
   8

        The right of access applies to the legislature, including both administrative and
        other information, with no bodies excluded.




   9

        The right of access applies to the judicial branch, including both administrative
        and other information, with no bodies excluded.


   10
        The right of access applies to State-owned enterprises (commercial entities that
        are owned or controlled by the State).

        The right of access applies to other public authorities, including constitutional,
   11   statutory and oversight bodies (such as an election commission or information
        commission/er).




   12



        The right of access applies to a) private bodies that perform a public function
        and b) private bodies that receive significant public funding.
TOTAL
   13   Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.


   14
        Requesters are only required to provide the details necessary for identifying
        and delivering the information (i.e. some form of address for delivery).




   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.

        Public officials are required provide assistance to help requesters formulate
   16   their requests, or to contact and assist requesters where requests that have
        been made are vague, unduly broad or otherwise need clarification.

   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.
         Requesters are provided with a receipt or acknowledgement upon lodging a
   18   request within a reasonable timeframe, which should not exceed 5 working
        days

        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
   19   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.
        Public authorities are required to comply with requesters’ preferences regarding
   20   how they access information, subject only to clear and limited overrides (e.g. to
        protect a record).

   21   Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.



   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).
        There are clear limits on timeline extensions (20 working days or less),
   23   including a requirement that requesters be notified and provided with the
        reasons for the extension.

   24   It is free to file requests.

         There are clear rules relating to access fees, which are set centrally, rather
        than being determined by individual public authorities. These include a
   25   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.
   26     There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters
         There are no limitations on or charges for reuse of information received from
   27   public bodies, except where a third party (which is not a public authority) holds
        a legally-protected copyright over the information.
TOTAL




   28



        The standards in the RTI Law trump restrictions on information disclosure
        (secrecy provisions) in other legislation to the extent of any conflict.
        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;
   29   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.
   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.
        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
   31   protected interest. There are ‘hard’ overrides (which apply absolutely), for
        example for information about human rights, corruption or crimes against
        humanity.
        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
   32   contains a clause stating that exceptions to protect public interests do not apply
        to information which is over 20 years old.
        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
   33   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.



   34
        There is a severability clause so that where only part of a record is covered by
        an exception the remainder must be disclosed.
        When refusing to provide access to information, public authorities must a) state
   35   the exact legal grounds and reason(s) for the refusal and b) inform the
        applicant of the relevant appeals procedures.
TOTAL




        The law offers an internal appeal which is simple, free of charge and completed
  36    within clear timelines (20 working days or less).




        Requesters have the right to lodge an (external) appeal with an independent
        administrative oversight body (e.g. an information commission or
  37    ombudsman).

        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
  38    appointed.

        The oversight body reports to and has its budget approved by the parliament,
        or other effective mechanisms are in place to protect its financial
  39    independence.



        There are prohibitions on individuals with strong political connections from
  40    being appointed to this body and requirements of professional expertise.
        The independent oversight body has the necessary mandate and power to
        perform its functions, including to review classified documents and inspect the
  41    premises of public bodies..
  42    The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding.
        In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the power to order
        appropriate remedies for the requester, including the declassification of
  43    information.

  44    Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.



        Appeals to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such
  45    body exists) are free of charge and do not require legal assistance.
        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
  46    excessive fees, etc.).


        Clear procedures, including timelines, are in place for dealing with external
  47    appeals (oversight/judicial).



        In the appeal process (oversight/judicial/) the government bears the burden of
  48    demonstrating that it did not operate in breach of the rules.
        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
  49    better record management)
TOTAL



   50


        Sanctions may be imposed on those who wilfully act to undermine the right to
        information, including through the unauthorised destruction of information.

        There is a system for redressing the problem of public authorities which
   51   systematically fail to disclose information or underperform (either through
        imposing sanctions on them or requiring remedial actions of them).

        The independent oversight body and its staff are granted legal immunity for
   52   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.

   53   There are legal protections against imposing sanctions on those who, in good
        faith, release information which discloses wrongdoing (i.e. whistleblowers).
TOTAL
         Public authorities are required to appoint dedicated officials (information
   54   officers) or units with a responsibility for ensuring that they comply with their
        information disclosure obligations.
        A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government
   55   department, is given overall responsibility for promoting the right to
        information.
        Public awareness-raising efforts (e.g. producing a guide for the public or
   56
        introducing RTI awareness into schools) are required to be undertaken by law.



        A system is in place whereby minimum standards regarding the management
   57
        of records are set and applied.



        Public authorities are required to create and update lists or registers of the
   58
        documents in their possession, and to make these public.
   59   Training programs for officials are required
        Public authorities are required to report annually on the actions they have
   60   taken to implement their disclosure obligations. This includes statistics on
        requests received and how they were dealt with.

        A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government
   61   department, has an obligation to present a consolidated report to the
        legislature on implementation of the law.

TOTAL
Scoring Instructions                    Maximum Findings   Score
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               2


No=0, Partially=1, Yes=2

                                               2 yes               2

(Y/N - max 1 point)
                                                   no

(Y/N - max 1 point)
                                               2 no          0
                                               6                   4

Score 0 point if only
residents/citizens; 1 point for all
natural persons; 1 point for legal
persons.                                       2 yes               2

Score 1-3 points if limited
definition of information
information such as not "internal
documents" or databases
excluded, 4 points for all
information with no exceptions.                4 yes               4



Score 1 point for only documents,
1 point for information                        2 yes               2

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               8
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
government                             4 yes          4

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
government                             4 yes          4



Score 1 point if some, 2 points if
all                                    2 yes          2


Score 1 point if some bodies, 2
points if all                          2 yes          2




1 point for public functions, 1
point for public funding               2 yes          2
                                      30             30

Y/N answer 0 or 2 points               2 no           2
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          2

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    1

Score 1 point for help in
formulation and 1 point for
clarification procedures               2 yes          0


Score Yes=2 point, No=0                2 No           0
Score 1 point for receipt, 1 point
for max 5 working days                   2 yes          0



Score: 1 point for information not
held, 1 for referrals or 2 for
transfers                                2 Yes          2

Score: 2 points for Yes, only 1
point if some limitations                2 Yes          2

Score: No=0, Yes=2 points                2 Yes          2

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          2


                                         2 Yes          0

Score: No=0, Yes=2 points                2 Yes          2

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 optional        2 Partially    1
                                         2 No           0


Score: No=0, Yes=2 points                2              0
                                        30             16




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           0




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
framed                                  10 yes         10
Score 4 points and then deduct 1
point for each exception which is
not subject to the harm test             4 yes              4
Consider whether the override is
subject to overarching
limitations, whether it applies to
only some exceptions, and
whether it is mandatory.                 4 no               0



Score 1 point for each                   2 partially        1
Score: 1 point for consultation, 1
further point if original time
frames must be respected and
the law allows for expedited
appeals.                                 2 no               0

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 granted            2 no               0

Score Y/N: 1 point for a and 1
point for b                              2 yes              2
                                        30                 17



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              2




1 for partial, 2 for yes                 2 yes              2


Score: 1 point for appointment
procedure, 1 point for security of
tenure                                   2 yes              2

Score 1 point for reports to
parliament, 1 point for budget
approved by parliament                   2 not mentioned    0


Score 1 point for not politically
connected, 1 point for
professional expertise                   2 partially        1
Score 1 point for reviewing
classified documents, 1 point for
inspection powers                     2 yes              2
Score N=0, Y=2 points                 2 no               0


1 for partial, 2 for fully            2 not mentioned    0

1 for partially, 2 for fully.         2 yes              2



1 for free, 1 for no lawyer
required.                             2 yes              2


Score 1 point for appealing
refusals, additional points for
appealing other violations.           4 yes              4


Score 1 point for clear
procedures, 1 point for timelines.    2 partially        1



Score Y/N and award 2 points for
yes.                                  2 yes              2


1 for partial, 2 for fully.           2 no               0
                                     30                 20




Score 1 point for sanctions for
underming right, 1 point for
destruction of documents             2 not mentioned     0

Score 1 point for either remedial
action or sanctions, 2 points for
both                                 2 not mentioned     0



Score 1 for oversight body, 1 for
immunity for others                  2 partially         1

Score 2 for strong protections, 1
for moderate protections             2 not mentioned     0
                          8                 1

Score Y/N, Y=2 points
                         2 yes              2

Score Y/N, Y=2 points
                         2 not mentioned    0

Score Y/N, Y=2 points
                         2 not mentioned    0




Score Y/N, Y=2 points


                         2 yes              2
Score Y/N, Y=2 points    2 not mentioned    0
Score Y/N, Y=2 points    2 not mentioned    0

Score Y/N, Y=2 points
                         2 yes              2


Score Y/N, Y=2 points

                         2 yes              0
                         16                 6
                        150                94
Article/Section             Comments
                            The provision reads "1. Every citizen of Georgia shall have
                            the right to become acquainted, in accordance with a
                            procedure
                            prescribed by law, with the information about him/her
                            stored in state institutions as well as official
                            documents existing there unless they contain state,
Constitution Article 41     professional or commercial secret."

                            The provision reads: Public information shall be open
                            except as provided in applicable legislation, or when
                            openness expressly and inevitably undermines [national
Article 28                  security and investigation of criminal offences]


not mentioned

not mentioned




                            Refers to "everyone" having the right to claim access to
Article 37                  information.




                            "…Public information irrespective of its physical form or
Article 37                  the condition of storage…"

                            Not stated in a clear way, but can be infered by the spirit
                            of the law. Sometimes the administrative agencies in
                            Georgia assert that the law only gives us the right to
Article 37, 38.             request the information and not to ask the question.




                            The definition of Terms provided by the law distinguishes
                            "Public Agency" from "Corporate public Agency". Then, at
                            the time of granting access to the public information, the
                            articles refers only to the "public agencies" and not the
                            "Corporate Public Agencies", that are the ones that
                            contains a governing or advisory board. The definition of
                            public agency is broad and covers all the bodies and
                            classes. Concerning to archives, at first are included, but
                            If the government decides to make them private and not
                            to fund them from the state budget, FOI law will not
Articles 35, 36, 37 and 38. cover them.
                          No distinction between public information: "…All public
                          information kept by a public agency shall be entered into
                          the public register…". Some bodies, like the Corporate
                          Public agencies can take the decision to close a session
                          and make it private, without justifying the closure with
                          the exceptions of the article 28 (national security and the
Articles 34, 35 and 37.   investigation of a criminal offense)




                          Not stated in a clear way, but can be infered by the spirit
                          of the law that the right of access applies to the judicial
Article 28 (b).           branch.
                          "Public agency means a state or self-government agency
                          or institution...or artificial person of Public Law or Private
                          Law that receives funding from the State Budget…"; "A
                          public agency shall provide access to the copy of public
Articles 27 (a) and 36.   information…"
                          "Public agency means a state or self-government agency
                          or institution, or the person who exercises statutory
                          authority on behalf of a public agency pursuant to
Article 27 (a)            law or contract…"

                          "Public agency means a state or self-government agency
                          or institution...or artificial person of Public Law or Private
                          Law that receives funding from the State Budget…". The
                          “performing of public function” is questionable, for
                          example, in the case of “Georgian Railway,” the company,
                          which is dealing with all the railway related issues in
                          Georgia, is not funded by the state budget, and it's legal
                          status is just private company. The same happens with
                          the water, electricity etc., despite these companies deals
Article 27 (a)            with issues of public interest.


                          No mention about reasons being asked or not in order to
                          access to information.

                          No mention of anything more than the necessary info to
                          identify. Despite you do not have to fill out the official
                          form, In practice the request can be discarded if you did
Article 37                not put your address or signature on it.

                          The requests cannot be submitted by all means of
                          communication. The only method is a written request, no
                          emails or fax are allowed. The law does not say it
                          explicitly:"Everyone may choose the form of receipt of
                          public information, if there are various forms of its
                          receipt" but in practice there are no fax numbers or email
Article 37                addresses where you can send the request (1 point loss).


                          The law does not obligate public officials to help the
Article 37                requesters. In practice, they rarely do so.


                          Not mentioned.
             Not specific mention about the receipt, but it can be
             infered that some kind of receipt should be given in order
             to communicate the decision adopted. Timeframe of ten
Article 40   days listed in the law.


             The authority that was asked for the information will
             always provide a decision about the information
             requested, even if it is related to a different authority. So,
Article 40   we can infer that there is such a rule.


Article 37   Yes, subject to reasonable limitations.
             "A public agency shall render a decision... immediately or
Article 40   not later than ten days"




             "A public agency shall render a decision... immediately or
Article 40   not later than ten days"


             There is not mention about the extensions
             "No fees shall be charged for distributing public
Article 38   information, except for copying costs."


             A public agency shall provide access to the copy of public
             information. No fees shall be charged for distributing
             public information, except for copiying costs. There is not
Article 38   20 pages for free.
             Not mentioned.


             Not mentioned.




             "Public information shall be open except as provided in
             applicable legislation…" Despite of this, RTI law does not
             trump other laws. The law on state secrets is older and it
             can be trumped but the tax code is newer and it trumps
             the General administrative Code aka RTI law. Tax Code
             introduced the trade secret. RTI law is a regular law in
             Georgia. Unless it has a status of the “organic law” it
Article 28   cannot trump any law generally.




             "National Security" and "the investigation of a criminal
Article 28   offense" are the unique exceptions.
                                A harm test applies to both exceptions mentioned, as
                                follows: "only if there is a reasonable presumption that
Article 28                      the disclosure of such information will undermine…"




                                No public interest override

                                "Public information under Articles 28 and 29 of this
                                Code...shall be open if created, sent or received before
Article 50                      October 28, 1990" The law was enacted in 1999.




                                No procedures listed.




                                There is no severability clause.

                                a public agency shall inform the applicante about the
Article 41                      decision, its ground, and applicable regulation.


                                There is not an specific mention about an appeal to a
                                higher authority, but the law offers the possibility to fill a
                                sort of complaint in case the providing of information is
Articles 40 and 41;             denied. On the other hand, the Administrative Procedure
Georgia Law on                  Act on its article 2, provides that the appeal to the Public
Administrative Procedure        Authority will be necessary in order to gain consideration
Act, Article 2.                 of a court.

                          The article provides:"The Public Defender shall receive
                          applications and complaints from Georgian citizens,
                          foreign citizens, stateless persons, legal entities of private
Organic Law of Georgia on law, political and religious associations concerning alleged
the Public Defender,      violations of any rights and freedoms guaranteed by the
Article 13.               Georgian Constitution and by law..."
Organic Law of Georgia on
the Public Defender,
Article 6; Article 10     The article provides:"The Public Defender shall be
(respecting security of   appointed for a term of 5 years by a majority of all
tenure).                  members of the Parliament of Georgia."



                                No mention about and independent oversight body.

Organic Law of Georgia on       The article provides:"Any influence or interference with
the Public Defender,            the Public Defender’s activities is prohibited and shall be
Article 4, Section 2; Article   punished by law". No proffesional expertise is required in
6, Section 1; Article 8.        order to exercise this charge (1 point loss).
                          Article provides:"The defender shall be entitled to...have
                          unimpeded access to the premises of any state or local
                          self-government body" and "demand and
Organic Law of Georgia on immediately...and receive from state or local self-
the Public Defender,      government bodies, public organizations and officials all
Article 18, Section A and documents, files and other material necessary for
B; Article 20.            examination".
                            Not mentioned.


                          No mentioned.
                          The lawsuit would cost approximately $60, which is
Articles 47 and 48.       excessive charge for the Georgian reality.
                          Article 16 provides:"No state fees shall be imposed on
                          complaints and applications lodged with the Public
Organic Law of Georgia on Defender". By reading Article 17, it´s understandable that
the Public Defender,      the Public defender himself will be in charge of carrying
Article 16 and 17.        the case and no lawyer will be needed.


Organic Law of Georgia on
the Public Defender,      The definition given in this article seems to be broad and
Article 14.               to cover all the grounds for an external appeal.

Organic Law of Georgia on
the Public Defender,
Article 13 to 15.         Clear procedures, but no timelines listed (1 point loss).
                          At the first stage the plaintiff is obliged to prove that the
                          denial or any other decision caused harm to his or her
Administrative Procedure legitimate interests. But after the court decided to
Code of Georgia, Article  discuss the case, the burden of proof is on the public
22, Section 2.            agency's side.
Organic Law of Georgia on
the Public Defender,      The public defender may suggest or propose, but not
Article 21.               impose (0 points awarded)


                            No specific mention about the imposition of sanctions, but
                            in the article 49, section "d", regarding the annual report
                            that a public agency must present, there is a mention
                            about the "number of violations of this Code by public
                            servants and the imposition of disciplinary penalties upon
                            officials", so there must be some kind of system of
                            imposition of sanctions, despite it´s not specifically
                            stablished in the law.



                            There is no mention about a system like this.

Organic Law of Georgia on
the Public Defender,          Article provides:"The Public Defender shall be protected
Article 5, Section 2; Article with immunity…". No mention about inmmunity provided
19.                           for others (1 point loss).


                            There are no legal protections about this matter.
                            "A public agency shall designate a public servant who will
                            be responsible for ensuring the accessibility of public
Article 36.                 information"


                            There is no designated body to promote FOI.



                            "public information shall be entered into the public
                            register within two days after its acquisition, creation,
                            processing or publicizing, indicating its title and the date
                            of receipt of the information, and the title or name of the
                            natural or artificial person, public servant, or public
                            agency, which provided the information or to which it was
Article 35.                 sent."

                            Not specifically mentioned.
                            No mention about this kind of programmes.

                          "On December 10 every year a public agency shall report
Article 49.               to the Parliament and President of Georgia…"
                          The Article Provides:"The public defender will be
Organic Law of Georgia on authorized to present the decisions taken in annual and
the Public Defender,      special reports;". It´s not an obligation, only a right to do
Article 21, Section G;    it (1 point loss).
Article 22.
It´s not clear
Both exceptions does not deduct points, because it does not referred to any bodie excluded




Not clear. 4 points for a prensumption?
It´s not a receipt about the requeriment has been recieved but the answer of the requeriment so 0 points.
wer of the requeriment so 0 points.

				
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