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Information > ALC

Jamaica: Ley del acceso a la información

12/11/2004 LAC --

Rights to Access

Subject to the provisions of this Act, every person shall have a right to obtain access to an official document, other than an exempt document.

(2) Where an official document is-

      (a) open to access by the public pursuant to any other  
            enactment, as part of a public register or otherwise;
             or

      (b) available for purchase by the public in accordance
            with administrative procedures established for that
            purpose,access to that document shall be obtained in
            accordance with the provisions of that enactment or
            those procedures, as the case may be.

7. (1)A person who wishes to obtain access to an official for access. document shall make an application in the prescribed form and manner to the public authority which holds that document.

(2) An application under subsection (1) shall-

       (a) provide such information concerning the document
            as is reasonably necessary to enable the public
            authority to identify it;

         (b) be accompanied by the prescribed fee;

         (c) not be invalidated by reason only that it is made
              otherwise than in the prescribed form and manner if
              the application is made in writing.

(3) A public authority to which an application is made shall-

         (a) upon request assist the applicant in identifying the
               documents to which the application relates and in
               completing the application form;

          (b) acknowledge receipt of every application as soon 
               as  practicable, but not later than fourteen days after
                the date of receipt.

         (c) grant to the applicant, access to the document
               specified in the application if it is not an exempt
               document.

(4) A public authority shall respond to an application as
soon as practicable but not later than-

         (a) thirty days after the date of receipt of the
               application; or

         (b) in the case of an application transferred to another
               authority pursuant to section 10 thirty days after the
               date of the receipt by that authority, so, however,
                that an authority may extend the period of thirty
                days for a further period not exceeding thirty days,
                in any case where there is reasonable cause for
                such extension.

(5) The response of the public authority shall state its decision on the application, and where the authority decides to refuse or defer access shall state the reasons therefor, and the options available to an aggrieved applicant.

8. (1) Where an application is made to a public authority for an official document.-

          (a) which is held by another public authority; or

           (B) the subject matter of which is more closely
                 connected will the functions of another public
                  authority,

(1) the first mentioned public authority shall transfer the application or such part of it as may be appropriate, to that other public authority and shall inform the applicant of the transfer.

(2) A transfer of an application pursuant to subsection (1) shall be made as soon as practicable but not later than fourteen days after the date of receipt of the application.

9 (4) Access to an official document may be granted to an applicant in one or more of the following forms.-

           (a) the applicant may be afforded a reasonable
                 opportunity to inspect the document;

           (b) the authority concerned may furnish the applicant
                  with a copy of the document;

            (c) in the case of a document from which sounds or
                  visual images are capable of being reproduced,
                  arrangements may be made for the applicant to
                  hear the sounds or view the visual images;

             (d) in the case of a document by which or in which
                    words are-

             (i) recorded in a manner in which they are capable of
                  being reproduced in the form of sound and 
                   images;or

              (ii) contained in the form of shorthand writing or in
                    codified form, the applicant may be furnished
                     with a transcript of the date or the words, sounds
                    and images recorded or contained in that
                    document.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), where an applicant requests that access be given in a particular form, access shall be given in that form.

(3) A public authority may grant access in a form other than that requested by an applicant where the grant of access in the form requested would-

             (a) substantially and unreasonable interfere with the
                   authority's operations;

              (b) be impracticable having regard to the technical
                    capacity of the authority;

               (c) be detrimental to the preservation of the
                    document, or be inappropriate, having regard to
                     its physical state;

               (d) constitute an infringement of copyright
                    subsisting in any matter contained in the
                    document.

10 (1) Subject to subsection (2), a public authority may refuse to grant access to an official document if-

                (a) the information provided by the applicant in
                      relation to the document is not such as is
                      reasonably necessary to enable the authority to
                      identify it;

                (b) the application for access is expressed to
                      relate to all documents or, as the case may be,
                       to all documents of a particular class, that-

           (i) contain information of a particular kind; or
                
           (ii) relate to a particular topic, and compliance with the
                request would substantially and unreasonably
                interfere with the authority's operations, having
                regard to any significant diversion of resources of
                the authority which may be required on account of
                the number and volume of documents requested or
                 difficulties in identifying, locating or collating the  
                 documents.

(2) Before refusing to grant access under subsection (1), a public authority shall afford the applicant a reasonable opportunity to consult with the authority with a view to reformulating the application so that the ground for refusal would no longer apply.

(3) A public authority may defer the grant of access to an official document-

              (a) if publication of the document within a particular
                    period is required under the provisions of any
                     enactment, until the expiration of that period;

              (b) if the document was prepared for presentation to
                    Parliament or for the purpose of being made
                    available to a particular person or body, until
                    after its presentation to Parliament or until it has
                     been made available to the person or body;

               (c) if the premature release of the document would
                    be contrary to the public interest, until the
                     occurrence of any event after which or the
                     expiration of any period beyond which, the
                     release of the document would not be contrary
                     to the public interest;

              (d) if the authority considers that the document is of
                    such general public interest that Parliament
                    should be informed of its contents before it is
                    otherwise made public, until Parliament has
                     been so informed.

(4) Where a public authority decides to defer access in accordance with subsection (3), it shall, within fourteen days of its decision, inform the applicant of that decision and shall, where possible, indicate to him the period during which the deferment will operate.

11 (1) Where an application is made to a public authority for access to an official document which contains-

                (a) exempt matter;

                 (b) information that could reasonably be regarded
                        as irrelevant to that application, the authority
                       shall grant access to a copy of the document
                       with the exempt or irrelevant matter deleted
                        therefrom.

(2) A public authority which grants access to a copy of an official document in accordance with this section shall inform the applicant-

                 (a) that it is such a copy; and

                 (b) if any exempt matter is deleted, the statutory
                       provision by virtue of which such matter is
                       exempt matter.

12 (I) There shall be paid in respect of each application for access to an official document, such fee as may be prescribed.

(2) The cost of reproducing any documents containing information in relation to which an application is made under this Act shall be borne by the applicant.

(3) The responsible Minister may waive, reduce or remit, the prescribed fee paid or payable in respect of an application for access to an official document where he is satisfied that such waiver, reduction or remission is justifiable.

13 (I) Subject to this Act, where-

                  (a) a request is made in accordance with section
                        7 for access to an official document; and

                  (b) the prescribed fee has been paid, access to
                        the document shall be granted in accordance
                        with this Act.

(2) A public authority is not required by this Act to give access to an exempt document.

Date: 12/11/2004
Location: ALC
Theme: Acceso, Derechos de comunicación

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