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Access to Information
(HKLRC Consultation Paper)

On 6 December 2018, the Access to Information Sub-committee of the Law Reform Commission published a consultation paper to invite public views on whether reform of the current regime on access by the public to information held by the Government is needed; and if so, what kind of reform is to be preferred.

At present, access to government-held information is based on an administrative regime set out in the Code on Access to Information ("the Code") which has been in operation since 1995.

In deciding the key features of the proposed access to information regime, the Sub-committee has studied the law and practice of relevant common law jurisdictions, and found that the public's need to obtain more information about public bodies should be balanced with other types of rights including privacy and data-protection rights, and third-party rights.

The Sub-committee’s provisional views are that although the existing Code is effective and cost-efficient, legislation should be introduced to implement an access to information regime with statutory backing. The proposed legislative regime would have exempt information categorized into absolute and qualified exemptions, like most common law jurisdictions. It is also the Sub-committee's tentative recommendation that the proposed regime should have certain review and appeal stages.

The Sub-committee would welcome views, comments and suggestions on any issues discussed in the consultation paper. The consultation period will end on 5 March 2019.

Executive Summary (PDF) (MS Word)
Consultation Paper (PDF) (MS Word)

Important Notices