Draft Vietnam RTI Law Rated Low on International Scale

11 November 2015

The Centre for Law and Democracy has rated a draft right to information in Vietnam as earning 59 points out of a possible 150 on the RTI Rating scale.

Nevertheless, the Canadian-based organization praised as “heartening” the effort to pass a law. Approval by the National Assembly is expected in 2016, CLD said.

But the draft law “still has a long way to go to come up to international standards,” according to the CLD analysis (in English and Vietnamese) of an August version. The score would put the law in 93rd position globally out of 102 countries.

“The draft law has some positive features, including its coverage of all three branches of government and relatively strong promotional measures.,” CLD said. “However, there are a number of areas where it stands to be improved, including the following:

  • Public authorities should be defined to include the police, security bodies and State-owned enterprises, as well as private bodies which undertake public functions.
  • More detailed rules on lodging and processing requests should be added.
  • The rules on exceptions should be brought together into a much tighter and more coherent regime which only protects narrowly defined interests against specific harm.
  • An independent administrative body, such as an information commission, should be established to hear appeals against refusals to provide information.
  • Protection should be provided to those who release information in good faith, either pursuant to a request or to expose wrongdoing.
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