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The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile

Law 544 in 2001 on free access to information of public interest

Law No. 544 of 12 October 2001 on free access to information of public interest

 

Text in force as from 15 February 2013

 

Basic instrument

#B: Law No. 544/2001

 

Modifying documents

#M1: correction of published in the Official Gazette of Romania, part I, no. 145 of 26 February 2002

#M2: Law No. 371/2006

#M3: Law No. 380/2006

#M4: Law No. 188/2007

#M5: Law No. 76/2012

#M6: Government Emergency Ordinance nr. 44/2012

#M7: Government Emergency Ordinance nr. 4/2013

 

The amendments and additions made by the regulatory acts listed above are written in italic font. In front of each change or additions it is appropriate regulatory action that undertook to amend or supplement in question, in the form #M1, #M2, etc.

 

#CIN

Note:

By the decision of the Government. 123/2002 were approved detailed rules for the application of law No. 544/2001 on free access to information of public interest.

 

#B

Romanian Parliament adopts this law.

 

Head. 1

General provisions

 

Art. 1

Access free and unrestrained of the person to any information of public interest, defined by this law, constitutes one of the fundamental principles of relations between individuals and public authorities, in accordance with the Constitution and with international documents ratified by the Romanian Parliament.

Art. 2

For the purposes of this law:

#M2

  1. or authority) public institution means any public authority that uses the times or administered public financial resources, any autonomous national company overhead, as well as any commercial company under the authority of a central public authorities, local and at times that the Romanian State or, where appropriate, an administrative-territorial unit is the sole shareholder majority times;

#B

  1. b) through public information means any information concerning activities or results from activities of a public authority or public institution, regardless of shape or ori support mode of expression of information;
  2. c) through information regarding personal data shall mean any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.

 

Head. 2

Organizing and providing access to information of public interest

 

Section 1

Common provisions on access to information of public interest

 

Art. 3

That the authorities and public institutions access to information of public interest shall be made ex officio or upon request, via public relations compartment or the person appointed for that purpose.

Art. 4

(1) For any person to access information of public interest and public authorities have an obligation to organize specialized compartments for information and public relations or appoint people with powers in this area.

(2) the powers, organization and functioning of public relations compartments shall be determined on the basis of the provisions of this law, by rules of organization and functioning of public authority or institution concerned.

Art. 5

(1) every public authority or institution is required to communicate to the Office the following public information:

  1. the normative acts that regulate) the organisation and operation of the public body or authority;
  2. b) organisational structure, duties of the departments, the working program of the audiences of public authority or institution;
  3. c) name and surname of the people from the leadership of the authority or public institution and the official responsible for the dissemination of public information;
  4. d) coordinates of the contact or the public institution, such as: name, location, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address and Web site address;
  5. e) finances, budget and balance sheet;
  6. (f) programmes and strategies);
  7. g) list of documents of public interest;
  8. h) the list of categories of documents produced and/or managed according to law;
  9. I) the arrangements for appeal against the decision of the public authority or institution where the person injured shall be deemed as regards the right of access to information of public interest.

(2) public authorities and institutions have the obligation to publish and update annually a newsletter which will contain the information referred to in paragraph 1. (1).

(3) the public authorities are required to provide the Office published a periodical report of activity, at least annually, which will be published #M1 in the Official Gazette of Romania, part III.

#B

(4) access to the information referred to in paragraph 1. (1) is carried out through:

  1. the display of authority) or public institution or by publication in the Official Gazette or in the mass media, in their own publications, as well as in your own Internet page;
  2. b) consultation on the premises of the institution or public authority, in particular spaces intended for that purpose.

#M4

(5) the authorities and public institutions are obliged to make available to persons interested in privatization contracts concluded after the entry into force of this law, in consultation with the headquarters. The above limitations shall not apply in the case of privatization which falls within the scope of the provisions of article 3. 12(3). (1).

#B

Art. 6

(1) everyone has the right to request and obtain from the authorities and public institutions, under the present law, information of public interest.

(2) the authorities and public institutions are obliged to ensure that persons, at their request, the requested public information in writing or verbally.

(3) the request in writing of information of public interest comprises the following elements:

  1. the public authority or institution) on which the application is addressed;
  2. b) requested information so as to enable the public authority or institution identifying information of public interest;
  3. c) name, surname and signature of the applicant, and the address to which the receipt of a reply is requested.

Art. 7

(1) the public authorities and institutions have a duty to respond in writing to request information of public interest within 10 days or, where appropriate, not later than 30 days from registration of the application, depending on the difficulty, complexity, and volume of works documenting the urgency of the request. If the time required for the identification and dissemination of information requested in excess of 10 days, the answer will be communicated to the applicant within 30 days, provided that notice in writing of that fact within 10 days.

(2) refusal of disclosure required shall be communicated to and within 5 days of receipt of the petition.

(3) the requesting and obtaining the information of public interest can be achieved, if the necessary technical conditions are fulfilled, and in electronic format.

Art. 8

(1) For the information required verbally within compartments officials information and public relations are required to specify the conditions and forms in which the access to information of public interest and to provide the information requested on the spot.

(2) where the requested information is not available, the person is led to ask, in writing, information in the public interest, and request to be resolved within the time limits laid down in article 21. 7.

(3) the requested public information is communicated orally within an established minimum program of leadership, authority or public institution which will be displayed at its headquarters and which will take place during the functioning of the institution, including the one day a week, after opening hours.

(4) the activities of the registry relating to petitions cannot be included in this program and is conducted separately.

(5) the public information requested orally by means of mass media shall be communicated, as a rule, immediately or within 24 hours.

Art. 9

(1) where a request for information attainment of children from documents held by the authority or public institution, copying services cost is borne by the applicant, in accordance with the law.

(2) If as a result of information received, the applicant is requesting new information concerning the documents held by the authority or public institution, this request will be treated as a new petition, the response being sent within the time limits laid down in article 21. 7 and 8.

Art. 10

Is not subject to the provisions of art. 7-9 activity of public authorities and institutions of responses to petitions and audiences, according to their skills, specificity if it concerns other approvals, authorizations, providing services, and any other requests in addition to the information of public interest.

Art. 11

(1) persons who carry out studies and research for its own purposes or in the interest of the service have access to the Fund the Authority's documentaristic or public institution on the basis of the request, in accordance with the law.

(2) copies of the documents held by the authority or public institution shall be carried out pursuant to article. 9.

#M3

Art. 11 ^ 1

Any contracting authority, as defined by law, is obliged to make available to any natural or legal person concerned, under the conditions laid down in article 21. 7, public procurement contracts.

#M3

Art. 12

(1) Is exempt from the freedom of access of citizens as provided for in article 10. 1 and, respectively, at art. 11 ^ 1, the following information:

#B

  1. the defence information), national security and public order, whether in categories of classified information, according to the law;
  2. b) information concerning the deliberations of the authorities, as well as those relating to economic and political interests of Romania, if you belong to the category of classified information, according to the law;

#M2

  1. (c) information relating to the commercial activities) or if their publicising financial prejudice to intellectual property law, as well as times of the principle of fair competition, according to the law;

#B

  1. d) information regarding personal data, according to the law;
  2. e) information concerning the procedure during criminal or disciplinary investigation, if the outcome of the investigation, reveal confidential sources or endanger the life, personal integrity, a person's health as a result of the investigation carried out or in progress;
  3. f) information concerning legal proceedings if their advertising affect ensuring a fair trial times legitimate interest of any of the parties involved in the process;
  4. g) information whose publication is prejudicial to the youth protection measures.

(2) responsibility for implementing measures to protect the information belonging to the categories referred to in paragraph 1. (1) persons and public authorities which hold such information, as well as public institutions are empowered by law to ensure the security of your information.

Art. 13

Information that fosters or conceal violations of the law by a public authority or an institution may not be included in the category of classified information and information of public interest.

Art. 14

(1) the information on the personal data of the citizen can get information of public interest only insofar as they affect the exercise of a public office.

(2) Public Information of personal interest may not be transferred between public authorities except by virtue of a statutory obligation or with the prior consent in writing of the person who has access to that information under art. 2.

 

SECTION 2 of the

Special provisions relating to access of means of mass media in public information

 

Art. 15

(1) access to the means of mass media in public information is guaranteed.

(2) the collection and dissemination of information in the public interest by means of mass media constitutes a concretisation of the right of citizens to have access to any information of public interest.

Art. 16

For the provision of means of mass media public information from the authorities and public institutions are obliged to appoint a spokesperson, usually within compartments for information and public relations.

Art. 17

(1) the public authorities are obliged to regularly, usually once a month, news conference for bringing to their attention the information of public interest.

(2) press conferences within the public authorities are obliged to respond with respect to any information of public interest.

Art. 18

(1) the public authorities are obliged to give indiscriminately accreditation of journalists and representatives of the mass media.

(2) Accreditation shall be granted upon request, within two days of its registration.

(3) public authorities may refuse to grant accreditation or withdraw accreditation of a journalist only for acts that hinder the conduct of the public authority activity and which do not relate to opinions expressed in the press by the journalist, under the conditions and within the limits of the law.

(4) Refusal to grant accreditation and withdrawal of accreditation of a journalist shall be made in writing and shall not affect the right of the press body to obtain accreditation for another journalist.

Art. 19

(1) the public authorities and institutions have the obligation to inform in due time the means of mass media on the press conferences or any other public action organized by them.

(2) public institutions and Authorities may not in any way prohibit access of means of mass media public actions organized by them.

(3) Public Authorities are bound by the law of its own functioning and organization to carry out specific activities in the presence of the public are required to allow access to those media in propagating material obtained by journalists to take account only of professional ethics.

Art. 20

The mass media shall have no obligation to publish the information provided by the authorities or public institutions.

 

Head. 3

Penalties

 

Art. 21

(1) explicit Refusal or tacit authority designated employee of the times public institutions for the implementation of the provisions of this law shall constitute misconduct and disciplinary of the guilty.

(2) Against refusal referred to in paragraph 1. (1) may submit a complaint to the Authority's leader or public institution concerned within 30 days after making the acquaintance of the aggrieved person.

(3) If after researching administrative complaint proves to be justified, the reply shall be sent to the injured person within 15 days after the filing of the complaint and will contain both the public information requested originally and the mention of disciplinary sanctions taken against the guilty.

Art. 22

(1) where a person considers himself/herself in his rights, as provided for in this Act, that person may make a complaint to the Administrative Court in the residence or in the Head Office of the authority or public institution. The complaint shall be made within 30 days of the expiry of the period provided for in art. 7.

(2) the Court may oblige the authority or public institution to provide the requested information in the public interest and to pay damages for moral and/or patrimonial.

(3) judgment of the Court is subject to appeal.

(4) the decision of the Court of appeal is final and irrevocable.

#M5

(5) Both the complaint and the appeal is before the courts, judges in the emergency procedure, and shall be exempt from stamp duty.

 

#B

Head. 4

Transitional provisions and final provisions

 

Art. 23

(1) this law shall enter into force on the 60th day following its publication in the Official Gazette of Romania, part I.

(2) within 60 days after the date of publication of this law in the Official Gazette of Romania, part I, the Government will draw up, on the initiative of the Ministry of public information, the detailed rules for its application.

Art. 24

(1) within 60 days after the date of entry into force of this law the Ministry of public information, Ministry of communications and information technology and the Ministry of public finance will submit to the Government proposals on the measures necessary to ensure that public information becoming available progressively by means of computerised databases accessible to the public at the national level.

(2) the measures provided for in paragraph 1. (1) will concern including equipping public authorities and institutions with technical computing equipment.

Art. 25

On the date of entry into force of this law shall be repealed any provisions to the contrary.