Accessing HK's Code on Access to Information -

accessinfo.hk

 

Guy Freeman, 16th September 2015

Right to Information

Access Info Europe’s vision is that the right of access to information contributes to more open, participatory, just, and equal societies.

Our vision is that there exists in Europe an empowered and informed citizenry which makes use of and defends the right of access to information.

Our vision is also that there is full recognition of the public’s right to information as a fundamental human right by all relevant national and international bodies.

From http://www.access-info.org/mission-and-strategy:

Right to Information

We don't know, because Hong Kong doesn't have an RTI law, so it is not rated by rti-rating.org

How good is Hong Kong's RTI law?

If Hong Kong doesn't have an RTI law, what am I discussing?

Hong Kong has a "a formal framework for access to information held by government departments" 

called a Code of Access to Information

which you can read at access.gov.hk

What can I request under the Code?

You can ask for any information from any Government department!

Except when it's exempt. Clear?

What can I request under the Code?

The Code does not oblige departments to -

  • acquire information not in their possession
  • create a record which does not exist
  • provide on request information which is already published, either free or at a charge, or
  • provide information available through an existing charged service.

So how do I make a request under this Code?

Written requests may be made by letter [...] and should be addressed to the Access to Information Officer of the department concerned.

That's a little too 19th-century for me.

So how do I make a request under this Code?

New answer:

accessinfo.hk

Why should I use accessinfo.hk to make a request?

  • No need to find contact info, just the department
  • Electronic: access from anywhere
  • Public, so transparent/accountable
  • Public, so information available to everyone

How do I use accessinfo.hk to make a request?

Now what?

Help me maintain and improve accessinfo.hk!

  • Complete translation into Chinese(s)
  • Ensure custom text for Hong Kong is accurate, especially any legal text
  • Spread the word!

Now what?

Let's start using accessinfo.hk to open up the HK Government

  • This is only a "political" site in a narrow sense; it is only making it easier to make requests under the Government's own Code on Access to Information
  • It is our right to access the information!
  • If you feel the Government is unnecessarily opaque, use this site to get them to open up

Now what?

Let's start using accessinfo.hk to open up the HK Government

  • To help each other make requests, I propose running "access-athons"
  • These will be longitudinal events, where every couple of weeks a group of requesters checks in with each other and shares updates, questions and insights about the process and website
  • Keep up with updates at facebook.com/accessinfo.hk and twitter.com/accessinfohk

Accessing HK's Code on Access to Information

By slygent

Accessing HK's Code on Access to Information

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