General right of access to information

Documents drawn up or held by authorities are in the public domain unless provisions have been issued in an act concerning their secrecy. Provisions on the access to documents are issued in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities. Everyone is entitled to receive information about any official document in the public domain, regardless of whether he or she is party to the matter. At its discretion, an authority may also disclose information concerning a document that has not yet been made public.

Processing times and fees to pay

The Act on the Openness of Government Activities includes provisions on the maximum time by which a request for a document must be processed. As the general rule, the matter must be considered without delay. The matter must be decided and access to the document granted within two weeks from the date when the request was received or, in the most complicated cases, within one month of the request.

There is no fee to pay for accessing information regarding an official document, if the information is provided verbally, the document is provided for reading at the office of the authority or it is sent by e-mail. However, a fee may be charged if the retrieval of the document involves special costs. A fee corresponding to the cost of copying or printing the document may also be charged.

Right to access information in the national information system for the administration of justice

Under the Act on the Openness of Government Activities, section 24, subsection 1, paragraph 28, information held in the national information system for the administration of justice is secret. Notwithstanding the provisions on secrecy of information, the Legal Register Centre may disclose basic information regarding court proceedings or other court records data held in the national record and case management system, provided that:

1) the information to be disclosed and held by a court is public under the provisions of the Act on the Publicity of Court Proceedings in General Courts;

2) the court has not restricted access to information held in the national system; and

3) the search criteria does not include a person’s name or other identifying data.

Requests for information concerning basic information on court proceedings or other court records data should be sent by e-mail to raportointi@om.fi

 
Published 28.5.2018