Hamburg Supplements FOI Law With Disclosure Mandate

15 June 2012

The state parliament of Hamburg in Germany has passed legislation to create a central information register.

The June 13 action was described in English according on the Transparenz Schafft Vertrauen website, which said the law will make Hamburg “the most transparent state in Germany” when it goes into effect.

The planned register will be a repository for all contracts over €100,000, grant awards, reports, public plans, Senate Resolutions, spatial data, construction or demolition permits key corporate data holdings, including the urban fringe benefits and annual remuneration of senior management,

Another post (in German) credits Transparency International and the Chaos Computer Club for the initiative.  The website for free and anonymous requests is to be created in two years,

“Until this register is available any kind of information can be requested in an informal way from the responsible authorities,” the English version posting website said. Hamburg, like 10 others German Länders (states), has a Freedom of Information Act.

The website site commented: “These laws work on the principle: Citizens get information when they request them and pay a fee for them. This is troublesome, expensive and not always successful. We want to turn this principle around by implementing a central information register. Therefore we need a Transparency Law. The aim is to make it easy for all citizens to get access to information.”

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