Code on Access to Information

Code on Access to Information

The Code on Access to Information provides a formal framework for access to information held by government departments. It defines the scope of information that will be provided, sets out how the information will be made available either routinely or in response to request, lays down procedures governing its release, as well as procedures for review or complaint.


1.1 The Code applies to all government departments (1) as listed at Annex A.

Information to be published or made available routinely

1.4 Each year departments will publish –

  • details of their organisation
  • information on the services they provide
  • their performance pledges and the extent to which they have been met.

They will also publish, or make available for inspection at appropriate locations –

  • a list of their records by category
  • a list of information either published or otherwise made available, whether free or on payment
  • the procedures and any charges for access to information not routinely published.

Information to be provided on request

1.6 Each department will also, on request, provide additional information relating to its policies, services, decisions and other matters falling within its area of responsibility, except that requests for information in the areas listed in Part 2 may be refused.



Defence and security

Nationality, immigration and consular matters

External affairs

Nationality, immigration and consular matters

Law enforcement, legal proceedings and public safety

Damage to the environment

Management of the economy

Management and operation of the public service

Internal discussion and advice

Public employment and public appointments

Improper gain or advantage

Research, statistics and analysis

2.13 (a) Information relating to incomplete analysis, research or statistics, where disclosure could be misleading or deprive the department or any other person of priority of publication or commercial value.

Third party information

2.14 (a) Information held for, or provided by, a third party under an explicit or implicit understanding that it would not be further disclosed. However such information may be disclosed with the third party’s consent, or if the public interest in disclosure outweighs any harm or prejudice that would result.

Privacy of the individual

Business affairs

Premature requests

Legal restrictions


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