What rights give citizens a new Law “On Access to Information” in the Republic of Kazakhstan? How should public and commercial organizations disseminate information according to the Law “On Access to Information” in the Republic of Kazakhstan? What information is still unavailable? These questions are answered by Gulmira Kuzhukeeva, senior legal adviser, program manager for Kazakhstan, The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL).
The information is divided into two categories. 1) Information with open access and 2) information with restricted access. All the information that is at the public authorities and other holders of information is open a priori. There is only a small part of it, which relates to the information with limited access.
The restricted access information includes state secrets. The second type of information with restricted access is all sorts of secrets. In addition to state secrets and all kinds of other secrets, there is a third category of non-public information - service information, marked "For Official Use Only".
What is the know-how of the new Law “On Access to Information” in the Republic of Kazakhstan? Previously, all service information was closed to the public and any information, not only classified as "For Official Use Only" but also marked as "not for printing", "not for distribution" and so on, were subsumed under it. The information could be determined as official secret, not subject to disclosure even without classifying.
Now, the Law "On Access to Information" clearly provides that the information is open from the adoption of a final decision.
There are at least seven ways to disseminate and publish information by public authorities.
First - it is traditional. Providing information on request in written or verbal form.
The second way - is placing the information in the premises of the holders of information, such as information stands inside buildings or premises.
The third way - is placing information on the Internet, on the website of the state body.
Another way is to spread information through the Media.
The next method is to place information on internet portals in the framework of e-government. Person enters the portal and sees all that he needed. In addition to the budgetary and statistical information, there will be all legal acts, laws, subordinate and normative acts placed by Ministries, departments, who have the right to develop any documents.
Apart from the fact that a person receives this information, he also has the right to leave there comments, suggestions, recommendations, plus he sees assessment of activity of all public authorities. He can familiarize with the indicators of each state body and he will be able to evaluate the work of the department.
Online broadcast of public meetings of public bodies are also provided (Chambers of Parliament, Maslikhats). Meeting of the boards will be open from January 2017, which it will be possible to attend and hear directly how government decisions are made.
“Heuristics” edition: “Law on Access to information” is part of the LPRC “Improving government accountability through access to information” project implemented with the support of British Embassy Astana.