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09.09.2008

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW IN UKRAINE (DRAFT) Law of Ukraine On Introducing Changes to the Law of Ukraine “On Information”

   

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine resolves:

To introduce changes to the Law of Ukraine “On Information” (“Vidomosti Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrainy (Parliamentary Bulletin), 1992, No. 48, p. 650; 2000, No. 27, p. 213; 2002, No. 29, p. 194; 2003, No. 28, p. 214) by presenting it in the following wording:

The Law of Ukraine

“On Information”

This Law shall regulate the right of citizens of Ukraine, other subjects of information relations, for information, and shall set forth legal fundamentals for state and non-state information activity.

On the premises of Articles 17, 31-32, 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Law shall state and provide respective guarantees with regard to the right for free gathering, filing, using, and disseminating information either verbally or in writing or in other manner, and shall establish legal forms for activity and international cooperation of Ukraine in the area of information.

 

Section I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Article 1. Defining Information

1. Under this law, information shall be defined as any communication recorded on material media that belongs to individuals and legal entities covered by this Law with no regard for the information source, form and manner of storing.

 

Article 2. Purpose of the Law

The Law shall establish general legal fundamentals of creating, gaining access to, using, disseminating and storing information, shall secure the right of the individual, other subjects of information relations for information in all areas of social and public life of Ukraine, as well as the system of information, its sources, shall define the status of subjects (participants) of information relations, regulate access to information, provide for its protection, protect individuals and society from possible violations in the information sphere.

Article 3. Scope of Effect of the Law 

1. The scope of effect of this Law shall encompass all information relations arising in the jurisdiction of Ukraine in all and any areas of life and activity of individuals, society and the state in the process of creating, collecting, using, disseminating and storing information.

Article 4. Subjects of Information Relations 

 

1. Under the Law, the subjects of information relations shall be any individuals (citizens, foreigners or persons without citizenship) and legal (government and non-government) entities under the jurisdiction of Ukraine.

 

2. All subjects of information relations in capacity of owners (users) of information and requesters, except for requests regarding personal information and exceptions stipulated in the law, shall enjoy equal rights.

3. Religious organizations, trade unions and any other associations of individuals that are ot subject to mandatory state registration under the law shall also be recognized as subjects of information relations.

Article 5. Objects of Information Relations

1. Objects of information relations shall be official and unofficial information stipulated by Items 1-3 of Article 1 of this Law.

 

Article 6. Legislation on Information

Ukraine’s legislation on information includes the Constitution of Ukraine, this Law, the Law of Ukraine “On Printed Media (Press) in Ukraine”, the Law of Ukraine “On Television and Radio Broadcasting”, the Law of Ukraine “On News Agencies”, the Law of Ukraine “On Coverage of Activity of Government Agencies and Local Self-Governance Bodies in Ukraine by the Mass Media”, the Law of Ukraine “On the National Archives and Archiving Institutions”, the Law of Ukraine “On National Secret”, the Law of Ukraine “On the Code of Information Forming National Secret” other regulation applicable to individual types and means of information, as well as, international treaties ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, principles and norms of the effective international laws that have effect in Ukraine.

 

Article 7. Main Principles of Information Relations

1. The main principles of information relations shall include:

1) Recognition of the right to information as one of the fundamental human rights;

2) Guarantee of the right to information;

3) Openness, accessibility of information and freedom of its exchange;

4) Reliability, fullness and accuracy of information;

5) Legitimacy of creation, collection, use, dissemination and storing of information.

6) Timeliness of provision of requested information.

Article 8. Functions of the State in the Sphere of Information

1. The functions of the state in the sphere of information shall be defined as a set of main directions of the state with regard to creating, receiving, using, disseminating and storing information.

2. The functions of the state in the sphere of information shall be:

1) Ensuring free access of individuals and other subjects of information relations to national and international sources of information;

2) Creating national information systems and networks;

3) Creating a security system to protect national and other legislatively stipulated secrets, confidential information, as well as personal information;

4) Facilitating international cooperation of Ukraine, other subjects of information relations in the sphere of information.

Article 9. Fundamentals of State Information Policy

1. Implementation of information policy of Ukraine shall be based on the following fundamentals:

1) Information about the policies of the state of Ukraine, activity of its agencies, local self-governance bodies, their officials shall be transparent and open to the public; classification of certain segments of such information shall be made on the basis of law only;

2) Subject to classification shall be the data as opposed information about the document (information carrier) and its description (a date of adoption, title, registration number);

3) Citizens of Ukraine, other legal visitors to Ukraine, associations of individuals shall enjoy a priority as compared to government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials in receiving information of any content, excluding information of restricted access under the law;

4) Ban on restriction (by the state, its agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials) of creating, receiving, disseminating, using and storing information of religious, ideological, philosophical, scientific and cultural content;

5) Ban on imposing and limits, quotas, or licenses by government executive agencies and their officials with regard to activity of subjects of information relations aimed at gaining access to the Internet as well as national and other international computer, cable, satellite and other information systems and networks available for general use (this ban shall not encompass the procedure for allocating and granting television and radio frequencies);

6) Banning government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials from arbitrary inclusion (placing restriction stamps) of information that does not constitute state or other secrets (as determined by law) to limited access information;

7) Defining in the law and making public general classification, rules of storing and accessing information that contains state or other secrets (as determined by law), confidential information, as well as personal information;

8) Banning government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials from ascribing information in their possession to the classified information category;

9) Ban on adoption of ad hoc regulations prohibiting government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials from making unclassified information available to the mass media.

10) any information, including information as per Item 3, Article 28, as well as Articles 31, 33, 34, 43 of this Law shall not be made available upon information request only if damage caused by legislatively protected interests via disclosre of such information exceeds public interest in dissemination of such information.

 

2. The fundamentals listed in this article shall be applied as common norms in resolving administrative and court collisions arising among subjects of information activity.

Article 10. The Right to Information

1. Any entity legally staying in Ukraine shall have the main right to freely create, gather, store, use and disseminate information verbally or in writing or in any other way according to its choice.

2. All subjects of information relations shall have the right to access open information available at government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials.

3. All subjects of information relations shall have right to information that envisages a possibility of free creation, receipt, use, dissemination and storing of data necessary for realization of their rights, freedoms and legal interests, and performing their tasks and functions.

4. Realization of the right to information by one subject of information relations must not violate rights, freedoms, and legal interests of other subjects of information relations. In the event of competition of such rights, the right to protecting interests of personal life shall prevail, in case of limited access information – material public interest.

5. Every entity legally staying in Ukraine shall be empowered with a free access information on itself if such information is not classified as state or other (legislatively stipulated) secret.

Article 11. Legal Guarantees Regarding the Right to Information

1. The right to information shall be ensured through:

1) Obligation of government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials to inform the public about its activity and decisions made on a regular basis;

2) Obligation of government agencies, local self-governance bodies to keep and regularly update lists and registers of documents at their disposal;

3) Obligation of government agencies, local self-governance bodies to keep chronological files of copies of official documents and materials for public access;

4) Obligation of government agencies, local self-governance bodies allocate special premises (places) for inquirers to work with documents, as well as make abstracts, copies, etc;

5) Obligation of government agencies, local self-governance bodies, institutions, enterprise and organizations of all ownership forms to set up special information services (if possible – electronic systems as well) to provide access to information for interested parties;

6) Right of free access of subjects of information relations to statistical data, archive, library and museum resources, with restrictions being applicable only in view for specifics of values and peculiarities of their safe-keeping, as determined by law;

7) Obligation of legislative, representative and other elected government agencies, local self-government bodies to make public their meeting schedules and agendas in the mass media on a regular basis;

8) Obligation of legislative, representative and other elected government agencies, local self-government bodies to provide free access for the public to their meetings;

9) Public right of free access to electronic versions of official documents and materials;

10) Establishment of government and public controls over compliance with the information legislation;

11) Introduction of legal accountability for violation of the information legislation.

Article 12. Organizational Guarantees Regarding the Right to Information

1. All government agencies, local self-governance bodies must have public rooms available for interested parties to familiarize with official and other information pertaining to these agencies.

2. Government agencies, local self-governance bodies must inform the population about the content and nature of their work. Information about their location, venues of their information services and business hours must be made available to the public on a regular basis.

3. In order provide for accurate channeling of information requests and facilitate search activity of inquirers, every government agency and local self-governance body must post the following information on billboards and in free-of-charge printed media available to the wide public:

1) A list of functions and services rendered to the population;

2) Description of the organizational structure of the head office and regional offices, locales where government officers provide inquirers with necessary information and inquirers submit requests, receive required documents, etc;

3) Requirements regarding formal and informal record keeping procedures;

4) Specimens of forms and letterheads for all incoming documents from interested parties, as well as fill-out samples;

5) Locations at which inquirers can receive necessary forms and letterheads of the institution;

6) General rules (internal working regulations) of the office;

7) Texts of legislative and other regulatory documents (orders, guidelines, etc) serving as a basis of operation of the office;

8) Internal administrative regulations and personnel guidelines if these documents are related to public interests;

9) Tests of all documents amending and changing the aforementioned data.

 


Section II

INFORMATION ACTIVITY

 

Article 13. Definition of Information Activity

1. Information activity is a set of actions aimed at meeting information needs of the subjects of information relations.

2. In order to meet these needs, government agencies, local self-government bodies, enterprises, institutions and organization of all ownership forms shall set up information services (units, individual positions), systems, networks, registers (lists), databases etc.

3. The procedure for their establishment, structure, rights and obligations shall be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, other government agencies, local self-government bodies, management of respective enterprises, institutions and organizations.

Article 14. Freedom of Information Activity

  1. The state shall guarantee freedom of information activity to all subjects of information relations within the scope of their rights and freedoms, functions and authorities.
  2. Creating, collection, use, dissemination and storage of information shall be free. In separate cases, it shall be performed with consideration for restrictions stipulated by the laws of Ukraine on Information.

Article 15. Types of Information Activity

1. The main types of information activity are creation, receipt, use, dissemination, and storing of information.

2. Creation of information is production, synthesis, compiling of an information message whose content is new with regard to information sources that have been used in the process of its production.

3. Collection of information is procurement, accumulation  of information by subjects of information relations.

4. Use of information is meeting information needs of subjects of information relations.

5. Dissemination of information is making public, disseminating, promulgating or realizing of official or other information in accordance with the legislatively established procedure.

6. Storing of information is providing for adequate condition of the information and its material media.

 

 


Section III

TYPES AND SOURCES OF INFORMATION

Article 16. Types of Information

  1. Types of information shall be defined as a structured set of data on separate areas of life and activity of the society, state and individual.
  2. Separate types of information can be regulated by special legal procedures.

Article 17. Main Types Information

1. The main types of information shall be:

1) Statistical information;

2) Administrative information;

3) Mass information;

4) Information on activity of government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials;

5) Legal information;

6) Personal information;

7) Reference and encyclopedic information;

8) Sociological information.

Article 18. Statistical Information

1. Statistical information shall be defined as documented state information that provides a quantitative description of mass events and process that occur in the economic, social, cultural and other areas of human life.

2. State statistical information shall be subject to systematic public publication. Free access shall be made available for individuals, research institutions, other subjects of information relations to unpublished statistics that are not subject to restrictions established by this Law, as well as the Law of Ukraine “On State Statistics”. 

3. Certain primary segments of statistical information relating to personal information, as well ascertain economic or commercial interests, including data collected in the process of tax payment by natural persons and entrepreneurs, can be rendered as limited access information.

4. The statistical information system, its sources and the regime shall be determined by the Law of Ukraine “On State Statistics”.

Article 19. Administrative Information (Data)

1. Administrative information  shall be defined as internal departmental data providing quantitative description of events and processes that occur in economic, social, cultural and other spheres of life and used by government agencies (excluding state statistics agencies), local self-governance bodies for execution administrative obligations and tasks within the scope of their authority.

2. Administrative information  shall be entered into respective record registers maintained by government agencies and local self-government bodies.

3. Administrative information shall normally be open official (documented) or other information and shall be subject to disclosure upon information requests.

4. Referring individual segments of administrative data to the category of limited access information shall be carried out on the grounds of the law.

Article 20. Mass Information

1. Mass information shall be any publicly disseminated audio and visual information.

2. Printed mass media (MM) shall be periodic publications (the press) and one-time publications of defined circulation.

3. Audio and visual media of mass information shall be radio broadcasting, television, Internet-based information publications, movies, etc.

4. Certain mass media can enjoy a special government or corporate regime with regard to their activity.

Article 21. Information of Government Agencies and Local Self-Governance Bodies

1. Information of government agencies and local self-governance bodies shall be divided into official and other (unofficial) intrinsic information.

2. Official information shall be considered information on records that has been document and publicly announced by government agencies, local self-governments, their officials as per Article 1 of this Law.

3. Official information of government agencies and local self-governance bodies shall also be data filed in their archives as well as data in the form of verbatim records, electronic records or minutes of their meetings that describe the content and details of agenda discussions, etc.

4. Other (unofficial) information of government agencies and local self-governance bodies shall be their intrinsic undocumented according to existing forms and unavailable in record registers data produced or circulating in the process of their current activities.

5. Information of government agencies and local self-governance bodies shall not be considered official if respective documents were received by officials of these bodies in the capacity of private persons or public figures having acted, or acting, beyond the scope of their official functions.

6. The legal regime with regard to official and other information of government agencies and local self-governments shall be defined by law.

Article 22. Legal Information

1. Legal information shall be a sum total of documented or publicly disclosed data on activity of court and other law enforcement agencies: law, legislation and their system; sources of law and its realization; legal facts, legal relationships, law and order, law application, violations of law and their prevention, etc.

2. Legal information, excluding information classified as state secret as well as personal information, shall be open to the public and shall be made available to subjects of information relations upon their request.

3. In order to ensure access of subjects of information relations to legislation and other regulations, the state shall provide for publication of these acts in mass circulation within the shortest possible time after they become effective.

Article 23. Personal Information

1. Personal information shall be a sum total of data about a person, documented, publicly disclosed or fixed in other form, (a citizen, foreigner, person without citizenship) being, or having been, under the jurisdiction of Ukraine.

2. Sources of personal information shall be documents issued in the name of a person, documents signed by a person, other identifications and records collected by government agencies and local self-governance bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations or all ownership forms, medical and educational institutions, etc within the scope of their authority.

3. The main personal data shall be: first, middle and last name, citizenship, ethnic affiliation (nationality), education, marital status, religious affiliation, tax status, credit history, health condition, as well as address, date and place of birth.

4. Personal information shall also include medical and psychiatric data collected about a person (disease history, diagnoses, etc), identification codes and numbers, personal symbols (signature), fingerprints, voice records, photographs, salary or legal income data, information about bank deposits or accounts, convictions or other forms of criminal, administrative or disciplinary record, results of examinations, professional or other testing, etc.

5. It shall be prohibited to collect, store, use, and disseminate personal information without person’s prior consent, excluding cases when the mass media and other subjects of information relations, as defined by law, perform their legitimate functions.

Article 24. Reference and Encyclopedic Information

1. Reference and encyclopedic information shall include systemized, documented and publicly disclosed data recorded on material media about the world, society, state, environment, etc.

2. The main sources of such information shall include: encyclopaedias, dictionaries, reference books, advertisements, guide-books, maps, electronic bases and databases in the internet, archives, libraries, etc, as well as information issued by authorized government agencies and local self-governance bodies, associations of citizens, organizations, their employees and automated information systems.

3. Reference and encyclopedic information shall be open and available for familiarization. In certain cases, the system of such information and its accessibility shall be regulated by legislation o libraries, archives, etc.

Article 25. Sociologic Information

1. Sociologic information shall include documented or publicly disclosed data on attitudes of certain citizens or social groups to public, social, political and other events, phenomena, processes, and facts.

2. The main sources of sociologic information shall include documented or publicly disclosed data reflecting outcomes of social polls, observations and other sociologic research.

3. Sociologic information as well as information on customers of sociologic research and its costs shall be open and available for familiarization.

Article 26. Sources of Information

1. Sources of information shall be existing, stipulated or established by Law, information media: individuals, organizations, documents and other information media that exist in the form of material objects storing information, as well as information notices of mass media, public speeches, interviews, etc.

Article 27. Document in Information Relations

1. A document shall be a material form, existing in actuality or stipulated by law or other regulation, of creating, receiving, storing, disseminating, information by recording it on paper, magnetic medium, film or other material medium.

2. A primary document shall be a document containing primary information.

3. A secondary document shall be an outcome of analytical and synthetic processing of one or more documents.

 


Section IV

MODE OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION

 

Article 28. Mode of Access to Information

1. The mode of access to information shall be a legislatively stipulated procedure for creating, receiving, disseminating and storing information.

2. In terms of mode of access, information shall be divided into public and limited access.

3. Limited access information shall be broken down into:

1) Information constituting a state secret;

2) Information constituting other legislatively stipulated secret; and,

3) Confidential information.

4) Personal information.

4. State control over control over compliance with the mode of access to information shall be administered by agencies defined by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine..

 

5. Public control over compliance with the established mode of access to information shall be executed by members of parliament, members of local councils, freedom advocate organizations, and individuals.

6. Control over the mode of access to information comes down to ensuring compliance with the legislative requirements with regard to information by all subjects of information relations, preventing unjustified and arbitrary classification of information into the restricted access mode.

7. In terms of control, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and VR Human Rights Commissioner can demand that government authorities and local self-governments file detailed reports on their organization and outcomes of their work on information requests.

Article 29. Access to Public Information

1. Access to public information for all subjects of information relations shall be free. Any limitation of the right to receive public information shall be illegal.

2. Access to public information shall be provided by establishing a favorable non-intrusion mode from the government, its agencies, local self-government bodies, their officials into information relations and, in the case of information belonging to government agencies and local self-government bodies – with the help of guarantees stipulated in Articles 11-12, 33 of this Law.

3. The procedure and conditions of providing access to public information upon requests shall be established by this Law or agreements in case of contractual provision of information.

4. In case of collision of interests, the pre-emptive right to receive public information shall be granted to those subjects of information relations who applied for information first. In exclusive case, such right shall be granted to those inquirers that need this information for execution of their professional obligations.

Article 30. Confidential Information

1. Confidential information shall be information owned, used or being at disposal of any natural persons or legal entities (excluding government agencies, local self-governance bodies, their officials) and disseminated at their wish in accordance with terms stipulated by them. 

2. A temporary transfer of confidential information into disposal of government agencies and local self-governments and their officials can be performed on the basis of the law and does not replace their confidentiality regime.

3. Subjects of information relations, excluding government agencies, local self-governance bodies, their officials, that own information of professional, business, production, bank, commercial or other nature received at their own expense, or information that constitutes a subject of their professional. Business, production, bank, commercial or other interest and does not violate legislatively stipulated secret shall decide on their own as to the mode of access to such information, including classifying it as confidential, and shall establish an information security system.

4. An exception shall constitute certain segments of commercial and banking information, as well as information with regard to which the legal mode is established by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine upon initiation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (on issues pertaining to statistics, ecology, banking transactions, taxes, etc), and information that, if concealed, can be of threat to life and health of people.

5. Government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials shall have no right to classify information belonging to them into a confidential category.

Article 31. Access to Information that Contains Sate and other (Legislatively Stipulated) Secret

1. Information containing state or other (legislatively stipulated) secret shall fall into the category of restricted access information.

2. Classification of information into state secret and access to such information shall be executed in accordance with the laws of Ukraine “On State Secret” and the “Code of Information Forming State Secret” (Code). The list of categories of such information shall not be subject to expanded interpretation.

3. Classification of information into other legislatively stipulated secret information shall be performed on the grounds of the law and can take place only to;

1) Ensure national security and defense, and territorial integrity of Ukraine;

2) Maintain stability of international relations of Ukraine;

3) Ensure public law and order;

4) Prevent mass disorder or crimes;

5) Protect nature and environment;

6) Protect health of people;

7) Ensure interests of state’s economic, monetary and exchange policies;

8) Ensure important commercial and economic interests of the state or privates;

9) Ensure non-disclosure of the content of discussions in government agencies or between government agencies in the process of internal decision making;

10) Ensure equal participation of parties in the court process and maintain the authority and objectivity of justice;

11) Ensure secrecy of personal cash deposits (other objects of bankig safe-keeping), income, (excluding government and local self-governments officials)

12) Keep secrecy of adoption, non-disclosure of medical (psychiatric) diagnosis;

13) Ensure the secrecy of confession;

14) Ensure attorney secrecy;

15) Prevent disclosure of information received in confidentiality.

Article 32. Dissemination of publicly material information

 

1.Any information (including restricted access information stipulated in Item 3, Article 28 of this Law) must be disseminated without its owner if such information is publicly material, i. e. it is a subject of public interest and public’s right to know this information is greater than the potential harm can be caused by its dissemination.

2. Publicly material information shall be considered, normally, information that points to a threat to the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine; enables to carry out a justified political choice; guarantees knowledge of facts and events that have a direct influence upon the condition and nature of people’s life; ensures efficient realization of constitutional rights, freedoms, and obligations; prevents detrimental environmental and other consequences of activity (inactivity) of government authorities or other business entities.

3. The list of publicly material information specified in part 2 of this article is not exhaustive. Definition of information in this capacity depends, to a large extent, on specific circumstances.

 

Article 33. Access to Information Belonging to Government Agencies and Local Self-Governance Bodies

 1. All official and other information owned by government agencies and local self-governance bodies and their officials, excluding limited access information, shall be available for the public.

2. Information of government agencies and local self-governance bodies shall be made available for interested parties through:

1) Its promulgation in official printed publications or dissemination by information services of respective government agencies, local self-governance bodies;

2) Its promulgation in mass media or public announcement;

3) Its direct delivery to interested parities (verbally, in writing, in other ways);

4) Creating possibilities for all interested persons to freely familiarize with information registers, originals or copies of documents, archived materials;

5) Free access of the public to working meetings of these agencies if such meetings have not been closed on the legal grounds;

6) Making it possible for representatives of the public, other interested parties attending working meetings to take notes, photographs and video records;

7) Arranging access for all interested parties to respective electronic banks and databases.

3. Government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials must perform documenting and record keeping in a way that provides for an easy access to requested official and other information by inquirers.

4. All acts of record keeping as well as acts that record decisions of government agencies and their officials, if they contain data classified as state or other legislative secret, can be closed only in the part that directly contains data of such nature. A rejection to provide information (document) for personal or public use by a government agency or local self-governance body under the pretext that some of its parts contain state secret or other legislatively stipulated secret shall be illegal.

5. The right to access official (documented) information owned by government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials shall be limited to existing data only. A government agency, local self-governance body and their officials shall not be obligated to produce a new document in order to respond to a request.

6. Legislative and other regulations pertaining to human rights, freedom and legal interest of citizens, other subjects of information relations owned by government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials that have not been made public shall have no legal power.

Article 34. Access to Personal Information

1. Access of subjects of information relations to personal information can be performed only in compliance with articles 31, 32 of the Constitution of Ukraine, other laws of Ukraine that guarantee non-intrusion into personal and family life.

2. Government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials with information systems containing personal data must take actions preventing unauthorized access of any subjects of information relations to such data. In case of violations, the Law shall guarantee protection of person from damage caused by such use of information.

3. It shall strongly be prohibited to bring together into single information banks and databases, as well as to cover by single number (code), personal information collected at different times for different purposes by government agencies, local self-governance bodies, enterprises and organizations of any ownership form and their officials.

4. It shall be prohibited to transfer personal information from an agency that legally owns such information to an agency that does not own such information excluding cases when such transfer is stipulated by law or authorized person to which such information pertains.

5. Storing of personal information must not exceed the term required by a legislatively defined goal.

6. All organizations collecting personal information must register their respective data bases in accordance wit the procedure established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine prior to working with such information.

7. The necessary amount of personal information that can be obtained on legal grounds by a third party must be as much limited as possible and can be used for a legally established goal only.

8. Personal information concerning an individual running for an elected position with government agencies or local self-governance bodies, other significant public position, or an individual who is currently, or was in the past, in office shall not constitute state secret or other legislatively stipulated secret, may not be classified into confidential information and shall be publicly open.

9. Personal information collected by law enforcement agencies in the process of investigation, preliminary investigation, administrative and court consideration shall be made available for familiarization in compliance with the rules of criminal and procedural, civil and procedural, and administrative legislation.

10. In the capacity of personal information these data may not remain in the limited access mode longer than it takes for removal or termination of conviction with regard to the person in question.

Article 35. Access to Personal Information by a Person Hihself/Herself

1. Citizens, foreign nationals, persons without citizenship that are under the jurisdiction of Ukraine shall have the right to familiarize with information on themselves available at government agencies, local self-government bodies institutions and organizations of any ownership form if such information does not constitute state secret or other legislatively stipulated secret.

2. Every person shall be guaranteed court protection of the right to refute false information on himself/herself and his/her family members, demand that such information be withdrawn, as well as the right for material and moral compensation for damages inflicted by collecting, storing, using and disseminating false personal information.

3. The scope of this article shall also encompass, as per Article 23 of this Law, personal information as well registration data in government agencies and local self-governments, personal records in people’s associations, etc.

4. The scope of this article shall also encompass personal information collected on the grounds of legitimate decisions of law enforcement agencies, the National Security Service, special units of military intelligence and counter intelligence, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of External Affairs, ambassadorial and consular institutions of Ukraine abroad if such information expired in terms of classifying in into state or other (legislatively stipulated) secret information.

Article 36. Peculiarities of Access to Personal Information

1. Citizens, foreign nationals, and persons without citizenship that are residing, or have been residing, under the jurisdiction of Ukraine shall have the right:

1) To be aware of the kind, time period and purpose of the information that is collected on them, as well as how, who and with which purpose uses this information;

2) To ensure accuracy, fullness, and appropriateness of personal information;

3) To introduce corrections to personal information (documents, databases and systems, etc), to appeal the rejection of this right administratively or in court.

2. An illegitimate  rejection of the access to personal information or concealment of such information, as well as illegal collection, use, storing or dissemination can be appealed administratively or in court.

3. A person requiring access to personal information must not must not refuse government agencies, local self-government bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations of all ownership forms of the purpose or grounds of the interest in such information.

Article 37. Request for Access to Information

1. An information request (hereinafter – the request) for access to information shall mean in this Law an address of any of the subjects of information relations with a request for a possibility to familiarize with official (documented) or other information that is belongs to government agencies, local self-government bodies, their officials.

2. Subject to provision upon request shall be information recorded on any material media in a condition appropriate for reproduction and created or received on legitimate grounds by government agencies, local self-government bodies and their officials except for information stipulated in Articles 42 and 43 of this Law.

3. A request for access to personal information can also be addressed to enterprises, institutions and organizations of all ownership forms if an inquirer believes them to be in possession of such data.

4. Citizens as well as other subjects of information relations shall have the right to apply to government agencies, local self-government bodies and their officials with a request for information irrespective of whether this information pertains to them personally or not.

5. The inquirer shall have no right to familiarize himself/herself with limited access information, stipulated in Articles 42-43 of this Law, but he/she shall have the right to request it even if he is bound to a get a rejection in access. 

6. Citizens as well as other subjects of information relations shall file a request with a respective government agency, local self-governance body (in the case of personal information – other institution as well) and their officials.

7. The information request envisages provision of services associated with creation of new information. Although creation of information under an information request on be negotiable.

8. The request can envisage familiarization with the official document or other information that belongs to a respective agency, institution or official in place of creation or storing of the requested document.

9. Irrespective of whether the requested information is classified as limited access, the government agency, local self-governance body (in case of personal information – other institution as well) and their officials may not reject issuance of notice of whether they are in possession of the requested information.

10. In any event, access to document registers and other records regarding information owned by government agencies and local self-governments shall be open.

Article 38. Form of Information Request

1. the information request shall be filed, according to the choice of an inquirer, in the form of:

1) Personal verbal or written address;

2) Address at a contact telephone number at a respective agency or institution;

3) Letter sent by mail;

4) Letter delivered by another person;

5) Electronic mail message;

6) Fax. 

2. The request for familiarization with information must indicate the surname, first name (middle name if possible) of the inquirer, name of document, description of written or other information of interest, and address (electronic address too, if possible) at which the inquirer wishes to receive the reply.

3. The information request from an institution or organization shall be filled under the name of its head in accordance with the rules of this article along with indicating the name, legal or actual address of a respective institution.

4. Formalities of an information request shall be minimized for people with physical, mental or other disability.

5. A person unable of filing a request in writing due to illiteracy of some other physical disability, he or she shall present a request verbally while an authorized official receiving a request shall put it in writing, specifying his/her name and title with a respective organization or institution and having issued a copy of the request to the inquirer.

6. The government agency, local self-governance body, enterprise, institution or organization may develop an information request for as long as such form does nor unjustifiably delay the reply to the request and does constitute too much a burden. At any rate, the text should not exceed one typed page of the A4 size.

7. If the government agency, local self-government body, enterprise, institution or organization did not keep registers of requested documents, then they shall undertake to inform inquirers (free of charge) of availability or lack of required information.

Article 39. Reply to Information Request

1. Government agencies, local self-government bodies (in the event of a personal information request – other institutions as well) and their officials shall be obligated to provide available information in original, copies, in writing, over the telephone, or in any other way acceptable for the inquirer.

2. The government agency, local self-governance body (in the event of a personal information request – other institutions as well) and their officials may not reject provision of information if such information is not classified as limited access.

3. A reply to a written request shall always be provided in writing, while a reply to a verbal request shall be provided in a form of choice of the inquirer.

4. If the inquirer has free access to the Internet (other network), a reply to the electronic request may be provided through a link to the Internet page or other network available to the inquirer.

5. If the information request pertains to documents that contain limited access information, then information that is not subject to limited access shall; be withdrawn from the document and the rest of it shall be made available for the inquirer.

6. If the document is on a paper medium, removal of fragments of information can be performed by covering parts of test subject to limitation. If the document exists in an electronic form, then the copy of this document shall contain indications of parts that have been removed.

7. Limited access information that has been created or made public in an open court hearing shall always be made available upon information requests.

8. Limited access information shall freely be provided in the part that contains outcomes of testing of foods or condition of the environment.

9. Limited access information must be provided upon request if the term of its security classification has expired or thirty years have elapsed since its security classification.

10. Official information provided upon requests of government agencies, local self-government bodies and their officials can be made public in the press, Internet or any other way.

Article 40. Language of A Reply to an Information Request

 

1. Replies from government agencies, local self-governments, their officials to information requests shall normally be in the state (Ukrainian) language.

2. If a requested document exists in a language different from Ukrainian, the document shall be provided for familiarization (copying) in the original. Translation of requested official documents into Ukrainian shall be performed upon request of an inquirer by government agencies and local self-governments at the expense of their budgets. Translation of official documents (copies) provided upon request into the language other than Ukrainian shall be performed by accredited translation agencies at the expense f the inquirer subject to negotiation with such an agency.

3. In administrative and territorial units with compact residence of national minorities, a reply to an information request shall be made, upon inquirer’s request, in the language of a respective minority. In this case, translation of a reply shall be performed at the expense of government agencies and local self-governments.

4. Personal information about a person herself/himself shall be provided, as possibility allows, in the language understood by the inquirer. If a request is addressed to the private institution or organization, translation of a respective document can be carried out at the expense of an inquirer as negotiated.

5. In certain cases, when the inquirer is a senior citizen, disabled, illiterate or socially deprived individual, as well as a foreigner with poor knowledge of the national language, government agencies and local self-governments must provide assistance to the inquirer with regard to interpretation of the content of a requested document.

 

Article 41. Period of Information Request Consideration

1. The period for studying an information request for a possibility to meet it shall be as short as possible and shall not exceed five business days.

2. Over this period, the state or other institution, local self-governance body shall inform the inquirer in writing (if technically possible and upon wish of the inquirer  - in other form) that respective request shall be satisfied or that the requested document is not subject to disclosure.

3. The request shall be satisfied within the shortest possible time and shall not exceed fifteen business days if other is not stipulated by law of the agreement.

Article 42. Rejection and Delay of Information Provision

1. Government agencies, local self-government bodies, in the event of a request for personal information – other agencies, institutions, enterprises, and organizations and their officials may reject an information request if:

1) The request pertains to information that does not exist;

2) The request pertains to that does not belong to them or belongs to them illegitimately;

3) The request pertains to classified information, including information received from third parties, except for cases when an owner of such information and the third parties do not insist on non-disclosure of such information;;

4) The request pertains to information that constitutes other legislatively stipulated secret;

5) The request pertains to state secret information;

6) The request pertains to personal information that may not be disclosed under the law;

7) The request is obviously unclear, off the topic or intrusive in nature;

8) The request is filed by a person who, due to a medical condition, understands no sense of his/her actions;

9) A reply has been made to an identical request from the same inquirer.

2. Government agencies and local self-governments, in the event of a personal information request – other agencies, institutions and organizations and their officials may, if extreme need be, delay provision of information. The following can serve as the ground for a delay:

1) A reply to a request objectively takes more time than stipulated by Article 41 of this Law;

2) A request has been filed at the wrong address (inappropriate subject) and its re-addressing requires additional time.

3) At any case, the delay shall not exceed 40 (forty) days..

3. Re-addressing of a wrongly addressed request shall be made by a primary recipient of a request if the latter has knowledge of a location of the requested information.

4. In the event of a rejection of access to information, government agencies and local self-governments, in the event of a personal information request – other agencies, institutions and organizations, upon inquirer’s request, provide him/her with an outline of the requested document.

5. It shall be prohibited to reject any information upon request of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine.

 

Article 43. Special Cases of Rejecting Information

1. Information that contains the following data shall not be subject to provision in reply to information requests:

1) Data on investigative activity of the prosecutor’s office, agencies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Security Service, courts in cases when such disclosure may harm investigation, violate human right to fair and objective court proceedings, endanger health or life of any person;

2) Data pertaining to personal life of individuals, except for persons holding, or having hold, elected government and public positions, have been involved in performing other significant public functions;

3) Documents constituting internal labor procedures of an institution or specific organizational instructions for its personnel;

4) Data owned by government agencies and local self-governments if, at the time of request, they use these data to protect their stand in court and disclosure of such information would harm their case;

5) Data owned by an institution that did not provide or failed to obtain a permit for their declassification;

6) Financial institution’s data prepared for control, financial and audit institutions;

7) Data pertaining to legitimate cash deposits (other objects of bank custody) and income of individuals (except for government officials).

2. Provision of information may be temporarily delayed if:

1)  a respective institution does not possess technical equipment to produce audio-, visual-, or electronic copies while an inquirer insists on such form of copying;

2) If the form of access insisted upon by the inquirer requires an obviously irrational increase of budget expenses of an organization or an institution;

3) If the request constitutes a threat of intellectual property rights violation.

3. In cases as per part 2 hereto, if an inquirer agrees to cover necessary costs of form of access to the document or provides the institution with the corresponding technical equipment and guarantees of intellectual property rights protection, the institution shall be obligated to provide access to requested information.

 

Article 44. Form of Information Rejection

1. Rejection of information shall be delivered to the inquirer in writing.

2. The rejection should contain:

1)  An official with the government agency, local self-government body, institution, enterprise, organization of any ownership form that rejects the request;

2)  Date of rejection;

3)  Valid ground for rejection with reference to specific legislative provisions serving as a basis of rejection;

4)  Expert opinion validating information as limited access data;

5)  Detailed description of the administrative and court procedure for appealing a rejection decision.

Article 45. Form of information provision delay

  1. A postponement of information shall be delivered to the inquirer in writing.
  2. The postponement notice shall contain the following:

1) An official with the government agency, local self-government body, institution, enterprise, organization of any ownership form that delays the request;

2) Date of postponement notice issuance;

3) Reasons for the delay;

4) The term (within 40 (forty) days) within which the request will be satisfied.

5) Detailed description of the complete procedure for administrative and court procedure for appealing the delay.

Article 46. Appealing Information Rejection and Delay

1. A rejection or a delay in providing information can be appealed administratively or in court.

2. In the event of information request rejection or delay, the inquirer shall have the right to appeal the rejection or delay with a higher level agency, court, the Human Rights Commissioner in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

3. If the inquirer goes to an agency of a higher level, court, the Human Rights Commissioner in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the obligation to prove legitimacy of the rejection or delay shall be borne upon an defendant – a government agency, local self-government body, other subject that issued a rejection.

4. The court, in order to provide for fullness and objectivity of case consideration, shall have the right to request official (documented) or other information that had been rejected and, having studied it, rule on validity (invalidity) of actions taken by officials with a government agency, local self-government body, other subject that issued a rejection.

5. If a rejection or delay are ruled unjustified, the court shall obligate a government agency, local self-government body, other subject that issued a rejection to provide the inquirer with requested information and issues a separate ruling regarding officials that issued a rejection.

6. Unjustified rejection of a request for official (documented) or other information, as well as violation of the established terms for its provision without valid reasons shall lead to disciplinary or other liability of officials with government agencies, local self-government bodies, other subjects that issued a rejection.

Article 47. Compensation of Costs Associated with Responding to Information Requests

1. Government agencies, local self-government bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations of any ownership form shall determine the procedure and the amount of compensation for collection, search, preparation, creation and delivery of requested information that shall not exceed actual costs of meeting requests.

2. Government agencies, local self-government bodies shall envisage costs of executing information requests in their budgets. They shall have no right to charge fees for access to official or other information, except for cases when the number of requested copies exceeds the established standard.

3. A standard shall be considered one copy of a requested document and the volume of copying that does not exceed three typed pages of the A-4 format. 

4. Copying of information that is stored in other than paper form (drawings, photographs, holograms, audio and video records, etc) can be negotiable on the at-cost basis.

5. Enterprises, institutions and organizations of all ownership forms shall incur costs associated with executing information requests, and only in exclusive cases such costs shall be borne upon inquirers. Such expenses may not exceed the cost of service and can not be charged for prior familiarization with registers and other forms of record of requested documents. 

6. In some cases, inquirers may, on their own wish, reimburse (fully or partially) costs associated with execution of request for access to official and other information.

7. Inquirers shall have the right to make abstracts of official and other information made available to them, photograph it, scan it, or record the text unto a magnetic tape, disk, etc. The owner of information must, conditional to availability of technical capacity, produce copies of requested documents.

8) Government  agencies, local self-governments, enterprises, institutions and organizations of all ownership forms may not charge for ascertaining availability (unavailability) of a requested documents, as well as for visual familiarization with a document without copying.

Article 48. Ownership Right to Information

1. The ownership right to information shall be legislatively established social relations with regard to creating, owning, using and disposing of and object of information.

2. Information may be an object of ownership right in the full extent as well as an object of owning, using and managing.

3. Exercising the ownership right to information shall be regulated by the civil legislation of Ukraine.  

Article 49. Information Products and Services as a Commodity

1. Information product shall be a materialized result of information activity intended to meet information subjects of information relations.

2. Information service shall be information activity performed in accordance with the law to deliver information products to customers in order to meet their information needs.

3. Information products and services my be an object of commodity relations regulated by effective civil law of Ukraine.


Section V

AUTHORITY OF THE VERKHOVNA RADA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER IN THE AREA OF INFORMATION RELATIONS

 

Article 50. Status of the Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner with regard to protection of the right to information

1. The Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner (hereinafter – the Commissioner) shall execute parliamentary control over enforcement of the right to information stipulated in Articles 31-32, 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

2. For this purpose, the Commissioner shall, within its secretariat and budget, set up a unit of control over exercising the constitutional right to information.

3. The Commissioner shall have the right to appoint staff in the quantity sufficient for efficient execution of the parliamentary control. 

4. Certain rights and obligations of the Commissioner shall also be borne upon its representatives in oblasts and regions.

Article 51. Authority of the Commissioner for Protecting the Right to information

1. For execution of parliamentary control over enforcement of the right to information, the Commissioner shall use the full scope of its rights and freedoms.

2. A special function of the Commissioner shall be facilitation of information distribution among the people of Ukraine and protection of confidential personal information.

3. Except for rights and freedoms of the Commissioner as per the Law “On Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner”, the Commissioner shall also have the right:

1) To execute control over fulfillment by subjects of information relations of their duties with regard to enforcement  of the right to information under the Constitution of Ukraine and this Law;

2) To develop recommendations concerning the reform of activity of government agencies, local self-governance bodies in the information sphere;

3) To cooperate with government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials in guaranteeing and protecting the constitutional right to information;

4) To arrange education campaigns for the purpose of efficient enforcement of the right to information in Ukraine;

5) To include analysis of the situation in the area of enforcement of rights to information in the capacity of a special unit of annual report to the parliament on compliance with and protection of human rights and freedoms in Ukraine;

6) To produce special reports on analysis of the situation on enforcement of the right to freedom and to present them to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

7) To run checks on compliance with the right to information, as stipulated by the Constitution and this Law, by government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials, and to make results of these checks available to the public.

4. The Commissioner shall be obligated to keep confidential information. This obligation shall remain in force after termination of the Commissioner’s authorities.

5. In the event of disclosure of confidential information, the Commissioner shall be liable in accordance with the procedure established by law.

6. The Commissioner shall have no right to disclose information on private (personal) life of the inquirer and other parties involved in the request without their written consent.

Article 52. Complaint in the Name of the Commissioner

1. Every individual under the jurisdiction of Ukraine shall have the right to file a written complaint with the Commissioner describing a violation of the constitutional right to information.

2. The Commissioner shall not accept a complaint form a person if an identical complaint had been filed with the court.

3. Only an individual (citizen, foreign national, and person without citizenship) can file the complaint in the name of the Commissioner.

4. The procedure for handling complaints concerning violation of the right to information is stipulated in the Law “On Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner”.

5. The grounds for the complaint to the Commissioner can serve the following actions (failures to act) of government agencies, local self-government bodies and their officials:

1) Refusal to inform of availability (absence) of the requested information;

2) Refusal to provide public information;

3) Violation of the time-line for responding to the information request;

4) Significant violation of the form of reply to the information request;

5) Requirement of an overly payment for provision of information;

6) Failure to act on a decision of the court or a higher administrative body with regard to making the information available;

7) Unjustified rendering of public data into the limited access category;

8) Rendering information into the confidential category;

9) Illegal application of restricting stamps (“not for print”, “restricted use”, “not for public disclosure”, “confidential” etc) to information that is not state secret or other legislatively stipulated secret;

10) Concealment of public information;

11) Providing information that does not correspond to reality;

12) Illegitimate provision of personal information, including without person’s consent;

13) Disseminating information that does not correspond to reality and defile a person;

14) Using and disseminating information concerning personal life without a consent of an individual by the owner of such information due to fulfillment of his/her job or professional duties.;

15) Forcing into dissemination or preventing dissemination of certain information;

16) Censorship;

17) Disclosure of state (other legislatively stipulated) secret by a person under an oath of non-disclosure or protection of such information;

18) Violation of legitimate demands with regard to use of languages in the response to information request;

19) Violation of the legal procedure for storing information;

20) Violation of the legal procedure for destroying information;

21) Other violation stipulated by this Law.


Section VI

PROTECTION OF INFORMATION. LIABILITY FOR VIOLATING INFORMATION LEGISLATION

 

Article 53. Protection of Information

1. The right to information shall be the main guarantee of intellectual property of a person. The state shall guarantee equal rights and possibilities to access information to all subjects (participants) of information relations, except for restrictions stipulated by law.

2. The Constitutional right to information shall be effective as per Articles 31-32, 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine and may not be narrowed by law or contract.

3. A subject of the right to information can request correction of any violations of his/her right. Material and moral damage inflicted to such a subject shall be compensated in full.

Article 54. Prohibition of Arbitrary Information Destruction

1. It shall be prohibited to make any withdrawals of printed publications, displays, databases, documents, other information from archives, museums, libraries and their destruction due to ideological or political reasons.

2. Information on genocide, political, ethnic, religious or other mass or single repression executed on behalf of the state or on own initiative of its agencies and officials, as well as information on corruption, bribes and other violations, stipulated by laws of Ukraine, of the authorities can not be rendered to the state (other legislatively stipulated) secret. Destruction of such information by government agencies, local self-government bodies and their officials shall be strictly prohibited.

3. Information owned by individuals or associations (including religious and political ones) of citizens may not be destroyed upon decision of government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials. A decision on compulsory destruction of such information shall be a prerogative of court and must be based on law.

4. Compulsory buy-out or other withdrawal of information resources owned by individuals or associations of citizens (including religious and political ones) into state property by government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials shall be prohibited.

Article 55. Guarantees of Mass Media Information Activity

1. The mass media must be used for delivery of information to the people and providing them with a discussion platform, as well as for independent oversight and control of the citizens over activity (lack of activity) of any government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials.

2. No mass media information notice can be fully objective. Manifestations of journalist’s personality should not be limited but should be prevented in required cases.

3. The mass media shall be guaranteed cooperation and exchange of notices irrespective of state borders. For this purpose, it shall be prohibited to accept and implement any technical, customs, tariff and other legal regulations and rules that significantly impede free dissemination of information. This prohibition shall not be interpreted as a possibility to intervene with the freedom of pricing in the market of information services and technologies.

4. Ukrainian mass media shall enjoy freedom of gaining data from any information sources. Ukraine shall be open to foreign journalists; no quotas or restrictions regarding presence of journalists in Ukraine shall be applicable. Journalists’ requests for visas, press certificates and other documents must be executed at the shortest notice.

5. Foreign journalists shall be granted an international status for moving around the country, a free access to sources of information, as well as the right to import and export materials and equipment necessary for their professional activity.

6. Ukraine shall not recognize limitation of journalistic activity through official licenses, permits or other certificates of exclusive rights; this rule however shall not violate the official procedure for granting journalist accreditation.

7. The state, its agencies, enterprises, institutions and organizations of all ownership forms shall be prohibited to assume monopoly in the market of information products, means and technologies. Any, including government, monopoly over providing access to the Internet, electronic mail, TV and radio broadcasting shall be considered illegitimate.

Article 56. Prohibition of censorship and intrusion into professional activity of journalists and mass media by government agencies, local self-government bodies and their officials 

1. Censorship as requirement – towards a mass medium, journalist, chief editor, organization issuing a mass medium, its founder (co-founder), publisher, distributor – to preliminary coordinate information (except for cases when such requirement comes from the author of such information or other subject of copyright and (or) adjacent rights, and/or to impose a ban (except for cases when such a ban is imposed by court) or impeding replication or dissemination of information by government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials shall be prohibited.

2. It shall be prohibited to make intrusions, in any form that is not stipulated by laws of Ukraine or a contract between the founder (co-founders) and the editorial staff of the mass medium, in professional activity of journalists, control over the content of information on the part of founders (cofounders) of mass media, government agencies, local self-governance bodies, their officials, particularly, so that to disseminate or prevent dissemination of certain information, concealment of socially significant information, to ban demonstration of certain individuals or dissemination of information about them, to ban criticism of government agencies or local self-government bodies and their officials.

3. Independence of printed and other mass media from direct or indirect intrusion shall be guaranteed, temporary limitation of their activity shall be admissible only according to a court decision and may not be executed according to decisions of government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials.

4. It shall be prohibited to set up any government agencies, institutions, positions to control content of information disseminated by mass media.

5. Purpose hindering of legal activity of journalists and/or persecuting journalists for professional duties and criticism by an official or a group of individuals in prior agreement shall constitute a case of criminal.

6. The scope of authority of government agencies, local self-government bodies regarding activity of mass media shall be determined by the Constitution of Ukraine only.

Article 57. Inadmissibility of Abusing the Right to Information

1. The right to information may not be used to call for overthrowing the constitutional regime, violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine, propagating war and atrocity, inflating rational, national and religious feud, infringement of human rights and freedoms.

Article 58. Liability for Violating Information Legislation

1. Violation of Ukraine legislation on information shall lead to disciplinary, civil and legal, administrative or criminal liability in accordance with the laws of Ukraine.

2. Liability for violating legislation on information shall be borne upon persons guilty of committing such violations as;

1) rejection to provide pubic information;

2) Refusal to provide open information;

3) Violation of legal terms for responding to an information request;

4) Significant violation of the form of reply to an information request;

5) Demand of an excessive charge for providing information;

6) Failure to execute decisions of court and administrative agency of a higher level on necessity to provide information;

7) Failure to apply respective actions under acts of the VR Human Rights Commissioner;

8) Rendering open information data to the resticted access category;

9) Rendering of data to the confidential information category by government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials;

10) Illegal use of restricting stamps (“not for print”, “for restricted use”, “not for disclosure”, “confidential” etc) to information that does not fall into the category of state (or other legislatively stipulated) secret;

11) Concealment of public information;

12) Willful provision of false information;

13) Disseminating information that is false and defile a person;

14) Using and disseminating information on personal life of an individual without the latter’s consent by the owner of respective information;

15) Forcing into dissemination or hindering dissemination of certain information;

16) Censorship;

17) Disclosing state or other secrets by a person obligated ensure non-disclose and protect the secret;

18) Violating legal requirements with regard to the use of languages in the information request;

19) Violating a legal procedure for storing information;

20) Violating a legal procedure for destroying information;

21) Other violations stipulated by this Law.

Article 59. Exemption from Liability

1. No one can be called to account for expressing evaluation statements.

2. Evaluation statements, except for offence or slander, shall be expressions that contain no factual data, particularly, criticism, evaluation of actions, as well as expressions that can not be interpreted as containing factual data in view of use of language tool, particularly, epithets, hyperbolas, metaphors, metonymies, allegories, satire. Evaluation statements shall not be subject to refutation and proving their authenticity.

3. Disclosure of true information of critical content that compromises policy of the state of Ukraine, activity (lack of activity) of government agencies, local self-government bodies and their officials in the eyes of the public can not serve as a ground for calling to account.

4. Disclosure of true information of critical content that compromises activity (lack of activity) of the President of Ukraine shall constitute an infringement of honor and dignity under Section 2, Article 105 of the Constitution of Ukraine and can not serve as a ground for call to account.

5. Public criticism of activity (lack of activity) of government agencies, local self-governance bodies and their officials within the scope of constitutional guarantees of the freedom of expression, as well as any disclosure of such, shall not constitute grounds for calling to account.

6. A person shall be free of liability for disclosing information with a limited access if the court rules such information as socially significant as per Article 32 of this Law.

7. Any Officials of government agencies and local self-governments, as well as other persons responsible for non-disclosure or protection of restricted access information shall be free of criminal and civil and other legal liability for disclosure (dissemination) of such information if they used good intentions in their actions and were reasonably justified that disseminated information is true and contains evidence of a violation or serious threat to health of people, public safety or environment.

8. It shall be prohibited to apply criminal, civil and other legal liability to individuals (except for cases stipulated in Item 7 hereto) for disclosure (dissemination) of any information with restricted access if they used good intentions in their actions and were reasonably justified that disseminated information is in line with public interests.

9) Additional grounds for freeing from liability mass media, journalists and other subjects of information relations shall be determined by laws “On Printed Mass Media (the Press) in Ukraine”, “On TV and Radio Broadcast”, “On News Agencies”, “On State Support of Mass Media and Social Protection of Journalists” etc.

Article 60. Procedure for Appealing Illegitimate Actions

1. In the event of illegitimate actions, committed by government agencies, local self-governance bodies, their officials and other subjects of information relations and stipulated by this Law, these actions (lack of actions) shall be subject of appeal in agencies of a higher level, court, Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner.

2. In the event of rejection of a complaint filed with an agency of a higher level or court, the complainant shall have the right to take other actions to restore his/her. Such actions envisage the right to go to the VR Human Rights Commissioners, public opinion institutes, domestic and international human rights protection organizations, international courts.

Article 61. Compensation of Material and Moral Damages

1. If violations committed by one of subjects of information relations resulted in material or moral damage to other subjects of such relations, the parties at fault, organizations or the state shall compensate such damage voluntarily or on the grounds of court decision. 

2. Government agencies, local self-government bodies in the capacity of plaintiffs in honor, dignity and business reputation protection cases can demand that the court rule on refutation of untrue information and can not demand compensation of moral (immaterial) damage. This does not deprive an official with a government agency or a local self-government body of the right to court protection of honor, dignity and business reputation.


Section VI

INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION ACTIVITY

Article 62. International Information Activity

1. International information activity shall mean providing official (documented) information and other information on external political activity of Ukraine, events and phenomena in foreign countries and the whole world to citizens and other subject of information relations.

2. International information activity shall also be considered purposeful dissemination of comprehensive information about Ukraine outside Ukraine by government agencies, associations of citizens, mass media, individuals and other interested parties.

3. Any, including government, monopoly for international information activity shall be prohibited.

4. Government agencies and other legal entities providing information services can engage into external economic activity in their own interest and the interest of their customers to whom they guarantee provision of information from foreign and local information sources.

5. All subject of information relations shall have the right to access information via foreign information media, including the foreign press, the Internet, other electronic networks, live TV broadcasts, radio broadcasts, etc. 

6. If the international treaty that has effect in Ukraine sets forth the rules that differ from this law and other laws of Ukraine on information, the norms of the international treaty shall prevail.

Article 63. Export and Import of Information Products (Services)

Export and import of information products (services) shall be free and shall be carried out in accordance with the laws of Ukraine on foreign economic activity.

FINAL PROVISONS

1. Government agencies of Ukraine of all levels, local self-governance bodies shall be obligated to bring organizational bases of their activity in conformity with this Law, pass (cancel) respective regulations, introduce required registers and procedures within three months after publication of this Law. 

2. Institutions, enterprises and organizations of all ownership forms shall be obligated to bring the procedure for handling information requests in conformity with requirements of this Law within three months after publication of this Law.

3. This Law shall take effect as of the beginning of a fiscal year following its adoption but not earlier that three months after its official publication.

 

 

President of Ukraine

V. Yushchenko

Kyiv

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