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Draft as of 16 September 2010

Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan 

On Access to Public Information

This Law shall regulate public relations in the field of obtaining and disseminating of public information.

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Article 1. Key concepts used in this Law
1. The following key concepts shall be used in this Law:
1) Access to public information — a right of an information user to obtain and disseminate public information in a free way not prohibited by the law;  
2) Public information — documented information, access to which is not restricted by the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
3)  Information with limited access – state secrets and other secrecy and (or) information protected by the law, access to which is possessed by a limited scope of users, or which is limited for certain categories of information users;  
4) Documented information – information obtained or created by information owner within its powers, fixed on a tangible carrier or as a digital document with attributes that allow identifying them;
5) Information user — a natural or legal entity established under the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan or a foreign country (a legal foreign entity), international organizations;
6) Information owner – a natural or legal entity obtaining or creating information within its powers; 
7) Request — application submitted to information owner verbally or in writing including in the form of digital document to obtain public information in accordance with the procedure fixed by this Law.  

Article 2. Law f the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of access to public information
1. The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of access to information is based on the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, international treaties of the Republic of Kazakhstan, thus comprising this Law as well as other legal regulatory acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
2. If an international treaty that has been ratified by the Republic of Kazakhstan stipulates other rules than those contained in this Law, the rules of the international treaty shall be applied. 

Article 3. Scope of application of this Law 
1. This Law shall be applied on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan and its norms shall cover public relations associated with access to public information.
If the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan specify particularities of providing separate types of public information by information owners, the provisions of the present Law shall be applied taking into account the particularities specified by these laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan
The force of this Law shall not cover the following:
1) Applications, the procedure of their consideration stipulated by the law on the procedure of considering applications by natural and legal entities;
2) Information with limited access;

Article 4. Key principles of ensuring access to public information 
Ensuring access to information shall be based on the following principles:  
1) legality;
2) openness and accessibility of public information;
3) publicity of information owners’ activities; 
4) privacy right, personal and family secrecy;  
5) information integrity and completeness; 
6) timeliness of providing public information; and
7) liability for violating the right for obtaining and dissemination of public information. 

Article 5. Guarantees of implementation of information users’ rights  
1. Information users have equal rights and equal opportunities in the field of public information. 
2. Access to public information shall be ensured by: 
1) obligation of information owner to provide public information;
2) required organizational-technical and other capacity of information owner to provide public information
3) direct presentation of public information; 
4) familiarizing with public information; 
5) giving answers to requests; 
6) exercising governmental and public control over compliance with the law in the field of access to public information; and
7) setting liability for violating the law in the field of access to public information.
3. Access to public information can be limited only by laws and only to the extent required to protect constitutional establishment, public order, human rights and freedoms, and population health and morality.  
4. Access to the following shall not be limited:
1) laws and other rules and regulations, except for by-laws containing state secrets; 
2) information on the status of ensuring public security and personal security of citizens, their rights, freedoms and legitimate interests;
3) information on emergency situations, natural and manmade disasters, terrorist acts, their official projections and impact, methods and techniques to protect population against them; 
4) information on environmental pollution, statues of fire safety, weather conditions, sanitary-epidemiological and radiological conditions, food security and other factors that have negative effect on ensuring security of citizens, settlements and industrial facilities;
5) information on the status of health care, education, social safety, economy;
6) information on gold and foreign currency reserves of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan, assets of the National Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan and government (budget) reserves of precious metals and stones; 
7) information on privileges, compensations and benefits provided by the government to natural and legal entities;
8) information on socio-demographic indicators, migration processes and measures to regulate migration of population; 
9) information on facts of violating human and citizen’s rights, freedoms and legitimate interests; 
10) information on illegal actions of information owners as well as their officials;
11) information on mass repressions  for political, social and other reasons; and 
12) information contained in open information systems of information owners, libraries, archives and other organizations.

Article 6. Rights and obligations of information user
1. Information user shall have the right to:
1) Have access to public information in a free way; 
2) request an information owner to provide public information; 
3) refuse from obtaining public information;
4) check integrity and completeness of  information obtained;
5) select any other form of request envisaged by his Law; 
6) withdraw a request;
7) demand written answer for the request; 
8) not substantiate the necessity to obtain information; 
9) get judicial protection for access to public information; 
10) appeal against actions and (or) failure to act  by information owners, their officials who violated the rights of information users in superior agency and (or) official and (or) in court; and
11) claim, in an orderly manner, compensation of damage to it caused by violation of access to public information.  
2. Information user shall be obliged to: 
1) observe the procedure and conditions of access to information envisaged by this Law; 
2) respect rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of other subjects of public relations in the field of access to public information;   and
3) perform other obligations in the field of access to public information entrusted thereon under the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 

Article 7. Information owner
1. The following shall be considered information owners:
1) governmental bodies and bodies of local self-management;
2) subjects of quasigovernmental sector ;
3) natural and legal entities - in relation to use of budget funds;
4) market subjects occupying dominating and monopoly position - in relation to terms and prices for supply of goods and services and prices for them.
2.  Natural and legal entities shall be equally related to information owners possessing:
 1) ecological information;
 2) information on emergency situations, natural and manmade disasters, their projections and impacts, statues of fire safety, sanitary-epidemiological and radiological conditions, food security and other factors that have negative effect on ensuring security of citizens, settlements and industrial facilities;
 3) other information of public interest (information significant for the public).

3. The requirements of the present Law shall be applied to information owners specified in sub-points 2, 3, 4 of point one and point two of this Article only in relation to publishing of public information, providing public information on request, as well as appealing against decisions, actions (failure to act) in court.

Article 8. Information owner’s obligations
Information owner shall be obliged to:
1) in all instances, immediately and by all available methods and tools, communicate information (reports, data materials) that has come to knowledge, pertaining to any facts and circumstances that might endanger public security, human life and health;
2) publish public information;
3) respect rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of information users; 
4) ensure, within its competence, organizational, technical and other conditions required for implementing the right for access to public information; 
5) ensure integrity and completeness of information provided; 
6) within the information disseminated, provide data on the information owner in the form and amount sufficient to identify such person;
7) ensure compliance with the terms and procedure of information presentation established by the law; 
8) comply with the publication procedure for public information stipulated by the law;
9) provide information upon request of information user; and
10) ensure withdrawal of data attributed to information with limited access from the information provided. 

Chapter 2. Methods and Procedure of Obtaining and Dissemination of Public Information 

Article 9. The basis of facilitating access to public information
1. Access to public information shall be facilitated by information owners. 
2. Information owners, in order to facilitate access to public information, shall determine appropriate units or authorized officials. The rights and obligations of the above units and officials shall be stipulated by legal acts that regulate the activities of the information owner. 

Article 10. Methods to facilitate access to public information 
1. Access to public information can be facilitated by the following methods: 
1) publishing of public information in official and periodical press;
2) placing public information on internet-resources; 
3) placing public information on a tangible carrier in the premises occupied by information owners and in other places designated for such purposes; 
4) familiarizing information owners with public information in the premises occupied by information owners, as well as in library and archive holdings and other organizations;
5) ensuring access for information users at meetings of collegial bodies of information owners; 
6) providing information upon request; and 
7) other methods not prohibited by the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 

Article 11. Methods of information dissemination 
Public information can be disseminated by information users in verbal and (or) written form, including in the form of digital document, by the method not prohibited by the law. 

Article 12. Publishing of public information in official and periodical press. 
Official publishing of public information in official and periodical press shall be accomplished in compliance with the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 

Article 13. Placing information on internet resources 
1. Information owners shall place the following on internet resources:  
1) state  symbols of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
State Flag, National Emblem; 
2) information on the information owners:
postal address, e-mail address, phone numbers of inquiry services, description of powers;
data on information owners’ managers
laws and other rules and regulations that regulate the competences, powers, roles and functions of information owners; 
symbols of the governmental authority (if available); and
background information on the establishment of the governmental authority;
3) information on the structure of information owner:  
roles and functions of territorial bodies, institutions, subordinate organizations (if available); 
a list of territorial bodies, institutions, subordinate organizations; 
postal addresses, email addresses, phone numbers of inquiry services of territorial bodies, institutions, subordinate organizations (if available); 
data on managers of territorial bodies, institutions, subordinate organizations (if available);  and
information on taking a position or resignations of managers of information owners;
4) information on information resources and services: 
data on mass media established by information owner (if available); 
lists of common-use information systems, data bases, inventories, registers, cadastres run by the information owner;
lists of information resources and services provided to citizens and organizations; 
information on regulations and standards of state services and those of local self-government bodies; 
data on the procedure and conditions of providing governmental services and those of local self-government bodies; and
information on government procurements accomplished in accordance with the procedure stipulated by the Law on Government Procurements; 
5) statistical information:
statistical data and indicators that characterize the condition and dynamics of industry (sector) development in the part related to the competence of information owner;
6) analytical information:
analytical reports and information reviews pertaining to the activities of information owner;
7) information of legislative activities of the information owner:
complete texts of legal and regulatory acts passed by the information owner;
texts of draft laws and by-laws, including clarification notes, opinions of expert examinations and comparative tables; 
changes and amendments to legal and regulatory acts, recognizing them as ceased to be in force, recognizing them invalid by court decision, as well as information about state registration of legal and regulatory acts, acts passed by  local self-government body in the instances stipulated by the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan; 
8) information on the procedure of information owner’s work:
procedure of permitting actions taken by the information owner (license issuing, accreditation, registration, etc.); 
forms of applications accepted by the information owner for consideration under the laws and other regulatory acts; 
9) information on the activities carried out by the information owner:
official news (press-releases) pertaining to the activities carried out by the information owner; 
official calendars of forthcoming events in the activities of the information owner; 
information statements about official visits; 
changes and amendments to the above documents;
texts of official speeches and statements of managers and deputy managers of the information owner;  
data on strategic plans, draft targeted programs and concepts;
information on disbursement of funds from the national and local budgets, the National Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan; 
information statements on information owner’s participation in targeted and other programs, international cooperation, including official texts of relevant international treaties of the Republic of Kazakhstan; 
information statements on results of audits performed by the governmental authority, its territorial bodies, local self-government bodies within their competences, subordinate organizations within their competences, as well as on the results of audits performed in the governmental authority, its territorial bodies, local self-government body, subordinate organizations; and
reports and statements on the work completed; 
10) information on competitions and tenders held:
data on open competitions, auctions, tenders, expert examinations and other events and their terms and conditions; 
procedure for participation of natural and legal entities therein; 
11) information on working with population:
procedure of reception of citizens and considering their applications by the information owner; 
full name of manager of unit or other official in charge of arranging reception of citizens and considering their applications to organizations; 
names of units, full names of officials providing information on the activities carried out by the information owner verbally; 
contact phones at which information owner provide a possibility to obtain information pertaining the issues of citizens’ reception and considering applications thereof;  address at which citizens are received, time of reception, as well as procedure of registering for reception;
reviews of citizens’ and organizations’ applications addressed to the information owner, summarized information on the results of considering such applications and on measures taken;
12) information on staffing of the information owner:  
for governmental bodies and their territorial bodies: 
procedure of employing citizens for civil service, data on in civil servant vacancies;
qualification requirements established for the candidates for taking a vacant civil servant position;
phone numbers, at which information can be obtained pertaining to occupying vacant positions; 
for local self-government bodies, governmental institutions subordinate to governmental authorities, and organizations subordinate to local self-government bodies: 
information on vacant positions; 
qualification requirements established for the candidates for taking vacant positions;
phone numbers, at which information can be obtained pertaining to occupying vacant positions;  and
13) other public information
2. Resolutions of courts shall be published for open access on internet resources of the Supreme Court and (or) regional courts and courts equal to them.
3. Information mandatory for publishing under item 1 of this Article should be published on the internet resource of the information owner.  The information owner not having technical capacity for publishing information on its own internet resource shall place it on the internet resource of the local executive body.
4. Information placed on the internet resource of the information owner should bear a date and be updated on a regular basis. The frequency of updating public information on the internet resource shall be determined by the information owner, but at least once a week.  
5. Legal and regulatory acts published by the information owner should be placed on its internet resource not later than two days of the day of their state registration with the Ministry of Justice. 
6. Public information on the internet resource of the information owner should be presented in the state language. The internet resource of the information owner may have versions in other languages. 
7. The list of information to be published on internet resources of information owners shall be determined in accordance with the procedure stipulated by Article 13 of this Law. 
8. In order to ensure the right of unlimited group of people for  access to public information, points of access to internet resources shall be established in the places accessible for information users (in the premises of information owners, libraries, archives, other places accessible for visiting) (the term for this provision implementation TBD).

Article 14. List of public information to be published on internet resources by information owners 
1. A list of public information to be published on internet resources by a governmental authority, directly subordinate and reporting to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, shall be approved by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan or an official authorized by him;
2. A list of public information to be published on internet resources by a governmental authority within the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan shall be approved by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
3. A list of public information to be published on internet resources by the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan shall be approved in accordance with the procedure determined by the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
4. A list of public information to be published on internet resources by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Central Election Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan shall be approved in accordance with the procedure determined accordingly by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Central Election Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
5. A list of public information to be published on internet resources by local executive bodies shall be approved in accordance with the procedure determined by the akim of the relevant administrative and territorial jurisdiction.
6. A list of public information to be published on internet resources by local representative bodies shall be approved in accordance with the procedure determined by the Maslikhat of the relevant administrative and territorial jurisdiction.
7. A list of public information to be published on internet resources by local self-government bodies shall be approved in accordance with the procedure determined by the local self-government bodies.

Article 15. Placing public information in the premises occupied by information owners and other places designated for that purpose 
1. Information owners shall place information stands and (or) other technical aids of similar purpose in the premises occupied by them or other places designated for such purposes in order to familiarize information users with the current information on their activities. Information owner shall ensure free access for information users to information stands and (or) other technical aids of similar purpose. 
2. Information specified in item 1 of this Article should contain the following:
1) operation procedure of the information owner, including the procedure of citizens’ reception;
2) standards of governmental services;  and
3) conditions and procedure of obtaining public information. 
3. Information owner is eligible to place other public information in the premises occupied by it and other places designated for such purposes,. 

Article 16. Familiarizing information users with public information on the premises occupied by information owners, as well as in library and archive holdings 
Information owners, in accordance with the procedure established by them, shall ensure a possibility for information owner to get familiarized with the information on the activities carried out by the information owners in the premises occupied by the information owner, as well as in library and archive holdings.

Chapter 3. Facilitating access to meetings of collegial bodies of information owners

Article 17. Openness of meetings

1. Meetings of collegial bodies of information owners shall be open for information users, except for closed meetings.
2. Openness of meetings of information owners’ collegial bodies shall be guaranteed by a possibility to attend them for information users who have filed applications to attend certain meetings. 
3. Closed meetings of information owners’ collegial bodies shall be held if issues are discussed, information on them being attributed to information with limited access.

Article 18. Notifying information users about meetings of information owners’ collegial bodies to be held 

1. Information owners shall publish on internet resources and mass media the information, thus specifying the agenda of the meeting, as well as its date, time and venue not later than 10 calendar days prior to the day of collegial bodies’ meeting.
2. Information owners shall install an information stand in their locations, where, not later than 10 calendar days prior to the meeting of the collegial body, information on the agenda, date, time and venue is placed.

Article 19. Arranging attendance of meetings of information owners’ collegial bodies 

1. Information users are eligible to attend meetings of information owners’ collegial bodies.  Information users keep records on those who wish to attend relevant meeting beginning from the day the information on the meeting was published.  Record of information on a visitor and availability of an identification document shall be grounds for the visitor’s access to the meeting. The record should include full name of the citizen who wishes to attend the meeting and for a representative of a legal entity – full name and the name of a legal entity, as well as the position occupied.
2. Seats for visitors shall be provided in the meeting rooms of collegial bodies of information owners. The number of seats for visitors shall be calculated based on the number of the registered, but the total number of seats should not be less than five at the meetings of central and local executive bodies and local self-government bodies and at least ten for sessions of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Chambers of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan and representative local self-government bodies.
3. Information owners are eligible to additionally arrange access to meetings by direct broadcasting of the signal to TV-receivers located outside the premises, where the meeting is conducted.

Article 20. Procedure of visitors’ attending meetings of information owner’s collegial bodies
1. Procedure of information users’ attending meetings of information owners’ collegial bodies shall be established by regulations or other acts that regulate information owners’ activities. When the established procedure of attending meetings of information owners’ collegial bodies is violated, the chairperson has the right to admonish the violator, and at the second violation to make the violator leave the court room. 
2. Information users present at the meeting have the right to take notes, as well as take pictures and make audio and video record if this does not interfere with the session.

Chapter 4. Request for Obtaining Public Information and Procedure of Its Consideration

Article 21. Requirements to request 
1. A request shall be addressed to information owner, the competency of which comprises submission of the requested public information. 
2. The request of a natural person should contain his/her name and last name, a postal address or e-mail address – other communication means, and the request of a legal entity should include its name, a postal address and if the request is submitted in writing it should contain its reference number and date for a legal entity. The request in writing including in the form of a digital document should be signed by the information user or notarized by a digital signature. 
3. An information user who has sent a written request to the information owner shall receive a coupon, specifying the date and time, last name and initials of the person who accepted the request. 
4. When a request is formulated, the state or Russian languages should be used. 

Article 22. Consideration of requests 
1. A request shall be registered on the day it is delivered to the information owner, thus specifying the date and time of delivery. 
2. Information requested shall be provided within five business days since the day of request registration.
3.  If citizen’s life and security depend on the information to be provided, the information owner shall provide information on the day of the request registration. 
4. If a request is not associated with the information owner’s activities, within three days of the registration date it shall be referred to the information owner, the competence thereof comprising provision of the information requested. 
5. Information owner has the right to ask the requester of information for clarification of the request content.

Article 23. Procedure of providing public information on request 
1. Information on request can be provided at information user’s will in verbal and (or) written form, including in the form of a digital document in the state language or in the language the request was submitted.
2. Information on request in the written form, including in the form of a digital document, shall contain postal address of information owner, position of the person who has signed the answer, as well as the date and the number of request registration.
3. In case information is provided in the form of a digital document, its credibility should be supported by a digital signature or any other digital means in accordance with the procedure fixed by the law. 
4. Information in a verbal form can be delivered to information users at their will in verbal and (or) written form, including in the form of a digital document. 
5. When request pertains to the information published in official editions and periodical press, distributed over the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan or placed on internet resources, the information owner, when answering to such request, can confine itself to specifying the name, issue date and number of mass media, where the requested  information was published, and (or) digital address (of the internet resource), where the  requested  information was placed.
6. If the requested information is attributed to the category of information with limited access, the answer to the request should contain the type, name, and date of the act approval, according to which access to such information is limited. If certain part of the requested information  is attributed to information with limited access, and the rest of the information is public, such information owner should provide the requested information, except for the information with limited access.

Article 24. Grounds that preclude a possibility to provide information on request 
1. Information shall not be provided in case: 
1) the content of the request does not allow to specify the information requested; 
2) if the request does not meet the requirements specified in Article 22 of this Law;  
3) the requested information is is beyond the competence of the requested information owner;
4) the requested information is attributed to information with limited access; 
5) the requested information was provided to the information user in the past; 
6) the request contains a question pertaining to the legal examination of regulatory acts passed by the information owner, conducting analysis of the information owner, or bodies or organizations subordinate to them, or conducting any other analytical work.
2. The following shall not subject to mandatory providing on request: aid-memoirs, correspondence, instructions by officials and any other information intended for internal organizational use. 
3. Information owner is eligible not to provide information on request if such information has been published in mass media or placed on internet resources. 
4. The decision of the information owner on refusal to provide information on request shall be communicated to information user providing the reasons.

Article 25. Payment for providing public information 
1. No payment shall be required for public information on request.
2. If providing public information on request envisages copying or printing over 50 pages, information user shall cover actual costs for copying or printing.
3. The amount of actual costs for copying or printing shall be determined by information owner within the norms specified by the Government of the republic of Kazakhstan. If information owner has not determined the amount of payment for copying or printing, public information shall be provide free of charge.
4. If public information on oneself or information significant for the public is provided, no fee for copying or printing shall be charged.

Chapter 5. Protection of access to public information and responsibility for violating the procedure of access to public information

Article 26. Protection of access to public information 
1. Decisions and actions (failure to act) of information owners, officials thereof, who violate the rights of information users, can be appealed against in a superior body and (or) higher official, and (or) in court. 
2. If, as a result of unlawful refusal to provide access to information, or its untimely presentation, or presenting knowingly wrong information or the information that does not correspond to the request content, losses were inflicted to the information user, such losses should be compensated for in accordance with the Civil Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 

Article 27. Supervision and oversight over providing access to public information
1. Control over providing access to public information shall be exercised by information owner managers.
2. Public control over providing access to public information shall be exercised by citizens, mass media, political parties, public associations and trade unions.
3. Public control shall be exercised through:
1) hearing of reports on the results of information owner activity by the population;
2) organization of public hearings;
3) organization of public expertise;
4) participation of information users in sessions of collegial bodies of information owners;
4. The oversight over full compliance with the legislation on access to public information shall be exercised by public prosecutor’s office bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Article 28. Responsibility for violating the Law in the field of access to information
Persons who violate this Law shall bear liability in compliance with the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Нарушение законодательства Республики Казахстан о доступе к публичной информации влечет ответственность в соответствии с законами Республики Казахстан.


Chapter 6. Concluding provisions

Article 29. Enactment of this Law 

This Law shall come into effect on  ___ ______________ of the year 20___.

President
of the Republic of Kazakhstan
N. Nazarbayev