On the Right to Information
Russian Federation Federal Draft Law
Signed by President of the Russian Federation
The State Duma accepted in the
first reading the draft federal law, "On the Right to Information,"
submitted by the President of the Russian Federation. The
draft law was developed by the Ministry of Justice, the General
Procuracy, the Committee on the Press, the Federal Service for Television
and Radio Broadcasting, the Federal Agency of Government Communications
and Information, the Main State Legal Administration, and the Judicial
Chamber on Informational Disputes.
Article 1. Right to information - one
of the basic rights of individual and citizen
In accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation,
each person is guaranteed the right to information, that is the
right to freely seek, obtain and transmit information.
The right to information is an inalienable right of individual
Foreign citizens and persons without citizenship exercise
the right to information in the Russian Federation on par with citizens
of the Russian Federation, except for the cases specified by federal
law or international treaty of the Russian Federation.
2. Relations regulated by the present federal law
The present federal law is called upon to facilitate implementation
of rights and freedoms of individual and citizen, creative development
of the individual, strengthening people"s power in the
Russian Federation, and reinforcing the principles of a legal state.
The present federal law establishes the conditions and procedure
for realization of the right to information, the responsibilities
of the state agencies, bodies of local self-government and organizations,
regardless of their forms of ownership and organizational-legal
form (henceforth -- agencies and organizations) in ensuring
the implementation of the right to information.
The present federal law regulates relations arising in the
process of realization of the constitutional right of every individual
to freely seek, obtain and transmit information. Relations in the
sphere of production and dissemination of information, and likewise
in the sphere of obtaining information at the request of journalists
(mass media editorial offices) are regulated by other federal laws.
Article 3. Legislation on the right to information
The legislation on the right to information consists of the
Constitution of the Russian Federation, the present federal law
and other federal laws, standard legal statutes of the President
of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation,
and likewise the laws and other standard legal statutes of subjects
of the Russian Federation.
Article 4. Basic principles of
implementation of the right to information
The basic principles of implementation of the right to information
General accessibility and openness of information;
Provision of security of the individual, society
and the state;
Information of the citizen regarding the activity
of agencies and organizations;
Legality of seeking, obtaining and transmitting
Provision of reliable information;
Protection of the right to information.
The right to information may be limited by federal law only
to that degree to which this is necessary for purposes of defending
the principles of the constitutional order, morality, health, rights
and lawful interests of other persons, and ensuring the defense
of the country and the security of the state.
Article 5. Provision
of access to information
Access to information is ensured by agencies and organizations
by means of publication or announcement in some other form of the
information regarding their activity, including their legal status.
The agencies of state power and bodies of local self-government
publicize the legal statutes adopted by them in accordance with
the legislatively established procedure.
Agencies and organizations are obligated to report for general
knowledge any information which has become known to them in the
course of performance of their activity:
If it may prevent threat to life or health of citizens;
If it is necessary to suppress the reporting of
If it has or may have socially significant character.
Every individual has the right to appeal, directly or through
his representatives, to the agencies and organizations with a verbal
or written request (petition) to familiarize himself with information
which is of interest to him, and to obtain the appropriate explanations
or copies of documents.
With the exception of the cases specified in the present and
other federal laws, at the request of a petitioner, agencies and
organizations are obligated to provide the requested information
for familiarization, or to give the necessary explanations or issue
copies of documents (henceforth -- provision of information).
Article 6. Demands on request for receipt of information
The request for receipt of information specifies the surname,
first name and patronymic of the petitioner, and the name of the
document being requested or character of requested information.
A written request also indicates the address to which the response
should be sent.
Article 7. Procedure for review of request
for receipt of information
The response to the request for receipt of information must
be given in the shortest possible time, but no later than 30 days
after the day of receipt of the request, unless otherwise specified
by federal law. If the requested information cannot be presented
within the specified time, the petitioner is sent written notification
of postponement of provision of the requested information. The notification
must indicate the reasons for the delay in provision of the requested
If the agency or organization does not possess the requested
information, it must inform the petitioner of this fact no later
than 7 days after receipt of the request, and also provide him with
the name and address of the agency or organization, including archives,
which, according to the available data, possess the requested information.
At the discretion of the petitioner, the response to the request
may be given in verbal or written form. The response may specify
the agency, organization or person who has at his disposal more
complete information on the request.
Agencies of state authority and bodies of local self-government
responding to an inquiry on a published legal statute have the right
to limit themselves to provision of materials on the publication
and explanations of its repeal, ruling of ineffectiveness or invalidity,
or introduced changes and amendments.
Written requests are subject to registration in mandatory
Article 8. Information not subject to provision upon
Agencies and organizations may refuse to provide information
on inquiries if the requested information contains materials:
Which comprise a state secret;
On implementation of operative-search and investigative
activity in accordance with lawfully established procedure;
On judicial review of civil and criminal cases in
instances when disclosure of this information is prohibited by law
or may violate the right of an individual to an objective judicial
review of his case or pose a threat to the life or health of a citizen;
Which comprises a commercial or official secret;
About the private life of another person, without
Access to which is limited by other federal laws.
If the document contains materials listed in the present article,
familiarization with such document, its explanation and issuance
of copies are limited to the part of the document which does not
contain the aforementioned material.
Article 9. Grounds and
procedure for refusal to provide information
Grounds for refusal to provide information may be:
Failure to adhere to requirements for inquiry as
specified in Article 6 of the present federal law;
A request for receipt of information containing
materials listed in Article 8 of the present federal law.
Report notes, correspondence, draft documents, official authorizations
and other official information are not subject to mandatory provision
Refusal to provide information must specify the reasons for
which the requested information cannot be presented, the date of
adoption of the decision on refusal, as well as an explanation of
the procedure for its appeal.
Refusal to provide information, postponement in provision
of information, failure to give response within the time specified
by the present federal law, and likewise violation of the specified
terms may be appealed to a higher agency in the order of subordination,
or to a state agency ensuring provision of the right to information,
or to court.
Article 10. Procedure for compensating expenditures
associated with provision of information
Agencies and organizations are obligated to provide, free
of charge, lists of information which they have, and services associated
with its receipt.
Information concerning the rights and freedoms of the petitioning
individual is provided free of charge.
A fee may be charged for provision of other information, not
to exceed the expenditures for its provision. Upon receipt of such
information, the citizen presents certification of payment in accordance
with the established procedure. Organizations whose primary activity
consists of providing information on a commercial basis independently
determine the amount of payment to be charged for it.
An agency or organization which provides information containing
inaccurate or incomplete material is obligated to make the necessary
corrections and amendments free of charge, upon motivated written
request of an interested person.
Article 11. Guarantees of
safekeeping of information
For the duration of the term specified by the legislation,
agencies and organizations are obligated to keep their adopted statutes
and statutes of agencies and organizations of whom they are legal
successors, as well as statutes which established their legal status,
and to keep a register of these statutes.
The register must contain the name, date of adoption and number
of each issued statute, and information on its publication. The
agency or organization keeping the register may establish other
mandatory requirements for the register.
Agencies and organizations form electronic data banks, as
specified in part one of the present article, and make provision
for their completeness, reliability, up-to-date nature, and protection
against distortions and unauthorized access.
Article 12. Judicial
protection of the right to information
Action (inaction) of agencies and organizations or their officials
which violate the right to information may be appealed in court.
Article 13. Responsibility for violation of right to information
Officials of agencies and organizations guilty of violating
the right to information bear liability in accordance with the legislation
of the Russian Federation.
Article 14. Concluding principles
The present federal law shall become effective on the day
of its official publication.
Standard legal statutes adopted prior to implementation of
the present federal law shall remain in effect insofar as they do
not contradict it.
Within 3 month"s time, the Government of the Russian
Federation shall submit to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly
of the Russian Federation proposals on bringing the legislative
statutes into correspondence with the present federal law.
Within 3 month"s time, the President of the Russian
Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation shall bring
their standard legal statutes into correspondence with the present