Iran Implements 2009 Law on Access to Information

4 June 2015

Iran in late 2014 issued regulations to implement a little-known 2009 law on access to information, has confirmed. (See unofficial English translation of both law and regulations.)

The Law on the Publication and Free Access to Information (in Persian from Iran’s Parliament website) was given new force through regulations (in Persian) approved Nov. 22, 2014, by the Council of Ministers.

The law, passed on July 7, 2009, says that implementation regulations should be in place within three months after passage. It took five years longer.

Counting Iran, there are 104 countries with right to information regimes.

The law applies to documents only and limits access to information to Iranian citizens.

Article 8 requires institutions to respond immediately to information requests but not later than 10 days.

Request procedures are not spelled out, but government institutions are supposed to be provided contact information online.

The law requires proactive disclosure, a requirement elaborated in the regulation. But there is no penalty in case of failure by the institutions to publish information proactively.

An information commission is composed of various government representatives, mainly key ministries. Neither the law nor the regulation give them any binding decision-making power. Commission rules are subject to presidential approval.

Exemptions are included for state secrets, personal information and material contrary to public morals.

Neither the law nor the regulation require institutions to provide written feedback to information seekers to explain the reason for turning down requests. There is no mention of complaints mechanism, but the commission is to resolve disputes.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed under: What's New