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Institutions Guaranteeing Access to Information

OECD and MENA Region

image of Institutions Guaranteeing Access to Information

Thanks to comparative tables and precise examples, this report offers an overall picture of the institutions guaranteeing access to information (IGAI) in OECD member countries. While it does not provide a comprehensive analysis of each of these institutions, it examines the legislation, the composition, and operation of the IGAIs as well as their missions regarding the spontaneous disclosure and appeals following access to information requests.

Similarly, the report carries out an overall analysis of the access to information legislation of Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia, and of the legal and practical context of their IGAIs. In particular, it offers ways to make the implementation of this legislation more effective, at a time when these countries’ citizens are very keen on increased access to information.

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Overview of Part I

The first part of this report analyses the right to access information in OECD member countries based on examples, but without making any claim of exhaustiveness. Chapter 1 examines the creation of IGAIs and their area of jurisdiction, and it examines national and international laws that led to their creation. It distinguishes between national, local, and federated IGAIs, and it presents, whenever they exist, their networks of public officials in the entities required to communicate information. Chapter 2 examines the legal nature and composition of the IGAIs. It first analyses them in terms of either their insertion within other institutions or administrations, or, to the contrary, their autonomy, whether they are single-person or collegial entities. Secondly, it looks at the terms and conditions for the appointment and composition of the various IGAIs and the duties, rights, and qualifications of the persons who form part of this body. Chapter 3 examines the IGAIs’ missions, focusing initially on the general missions, such as the promotion and coordination of the government’s actions to encourage access to information, the general monitoring of the law’s enforcement, competencies in terms of opinions and recommendations, the duty to inform the public, and issues related to referrals to IGAIs and self-referrals by these same IGAIs. It then goes on to analyse the system for individual access to information requests by presenting the IGAIs’ actual jurisdiction, limits on the right to access information, and proceedings before IGAIs. Chapter 4 focuses on the highly structured nature of the workings and organisation of the IGAIs, as well as their financial, human, and material resources, and the risks of an excessive number of requests that are likely to affect an IGAI. Chapter 5 concerns the various kinds of oversight of the IGAI’s work, be it administrative, political, parliamentary, judicial, or by citizens and civil society.

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