According to the principle of transparency as well as the principle of unitary application, as defined by the law, public authorities have an obligation to carry out their activity in an open manner towards the public, where free and unhindered access to information of public interest is the rule , and limiting access to such information is an exception, while ensuring compliance and law enforcement in a unitary manner, keeping with the principles of good governance.
Who can request information of public interest.
Any person, whether natural or legal, Romanian or foreign, may request information of public interest (Article 20 of the Rules). The applicant does not need to justify his request in any way. Public interest information can only be requested from ‘just curiosity’, since access to such information is free, which means that it is available to all.
How to obtain public interest information.
Information of public interest shall be communicated ex officio (without the need for a request) or upon request, verbally or in writing, by the applicant. Access to public information is free of charge. The applicant must, however, bear the cost of the copying services he requests.
Terms of communication.
The law provides for terms of communication of: 5 days, 10 days and 30 days.
– Within 5 days of receipt of the request, the refusal to communicate the information and its motivation shall be sent in writing;
– Within 10 days of filing the application, the requested information shall be communicated in writing or, if complex information has been requested, that it will be communicated in writing within 30 days of registration;
– Within 30 days of registration, complex information is communicated in writing, for which identification and broadcasting requires a duration of more than 10 days.
Failure to comply with the legal deadlines for the written communication of the refusal or information is equivalent to the unjustified refusal to resolve the request and implicitly to the application of the law on free access to public information.
For the unjustified, explicit or tacit refusal to disclose information or for any other breach of the right of the person to have free access to information of public interest (communication of information in an inaccessible, unclear, vague, incomplete form, late communication of information or refusal , failure to communicate the extension of 10 to 30 days, etc.), the applicant has two remedies available: the administrative complaint and the complaint to the court.