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Freedom of Information Policy

What freedom of information means:
It refers to the unprotected public information which the Ministry of Justice processes, regardless of the source, form or nature.  Open data fall under public information.  The process of providing public information to individuals for a fee is called freedom of information.

Who can request information:

1. Individuals have the right to access information related to the Ministry’s activities to enhance integrity, transparency, and accountability.
2. Every individual has the right to access or obtain unprotected public information; and the applicant does not necessarily have a certain status or interest in this information to be able to obtain it; and is not subject to any legal accountability related to this right.
3.  All the requests for access to information are treated equally and in a non-discriminatory manner.
4. Any restrictions on requesting access or obtaining protected information received, produced, or managed by the Ministry shall be justified in a clear and explicit manner.

The Rights of Individuals regarding Accessing or Obtaining Public Information:

1. The right to access and obtain any unprotected public information with the Ministry.
2. The right to be informed about the reason for the denial of the request for access to information.
3. The right to file a notice of appeal against the decision to deny the request for access to information.

Requestable and Excluded Information:

This policy applies to all requests to access unprotected public information produced or held by the Ministry, regardless of the source, form or nature; in order to improve performance, efficiency, and use of information.

This policy does not apply to protected information, including the following:

1. Information that, if disclosed, may harm the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s national security, policies, interests or rights;
2. Military and security information;
3. Documents and information obtained in agreement with another state and classified as protected.
4. Inquiries, investigations, checks, inspections and monitoring in respect of a crime or violation;
5. Information that includes recommendations, suggestions or consultations for issuing governmental legislation or decision not issued yet;
6. Commercial, industrial, financial or economic information that, if disclosed, may result in gaining profits or avoiding losses in an illegitimate manner;
7. Scientific or technological research, or rights including intellectual property rights that, if disclosed, may result in the infringement of an incorporeal right.
8. Tender and bidding Information that, if disclosed, may give rise to violation of fair competition.
9. Information that is protected, confidential or personal under another law, or requires certain legal action to be accessed or obtained.

Processing time:

1. The Ministry processes the request and notifies the applicant within 30 days of request receipt.
2. The individual is provided with the requested information within 10 workdays of the receipt of the amount.
3. If the ministry decides to extend the time frame, it shall not exceed the response time. 30 additional days, depending on the size and nature of the requested information.
4. In the case of appeal, the applicant must close the appeal within 10 workdays of the receipt of the Ministry's decision.

Policy Statement:

The main requirements for the request to access or obtain public information:
1. The request shall be in writing or electronically;
2. The request shall be filled out in the “Public Information Request Form” approved by the Ministry.
3. The request shall be for the purpose of accessing or obtaining public information:
4. The request shall be sent directly to the Ministry.

The main steps for the request to access public information:

1. Applications shall be submitted by filling out a “Public Information Request Form” – electronic or paper format – and submitting it to the Ministry.
2. Within 30 days of the receipt of the request to access or obtain public information, the Ministry shall take one of the following steps:
    1) Grant: If the Ministry grants a request to access or obtain information in whole or in part, the applicant shall be advised in writing or electronically of the applicable fees, and the Ministry shall make this information available to the applicant within 10 days of the receipt of payment. It is notable that requested non-open public information is provided for a fee.
    2) Denial: If the request to access or obtain information is denied, the rejection decision shall be communicated in writing or electronically, and shall include the following information:
         1- Whether the request has been denied in whole or in part;
         2- The basis for denial, if applicable;
         3- Notice of the right to appeal such denial, including the manner in which the appeal can be made.
    3) Extension: If the Ministry is unable to respond to the request for access in due time, the response time shall be reasonably extended depending on the size and nature of requested information, and the applicant is provided with the following information:
          1- Notice of Extension and the new date when the request is expected to be completed;
          2- The basis for delay.
    4) Notice: If the requested information is available on the Ministry’s website, or is not within its competence, the individual requesting the information shall be notified in writing or electronically, including the following information:
          1- The type of notice, for example, the required data is available on the Ministry’s website, or is not within its jurisdiction.
3. If the applicant wants to appeal a denial by the Ministry, they can submit a written or electronic notice of appeal to the Ministry’s Office within 10 workdays of receiving the Ministry’s decision. The Grievances Committee of the Information and Privacy Management Office shall review the application, make the appropriate decision, and notify the applicant of the review fees and the appeal decision. (Review fees are refunded if the Committee approves the application.)

Stages of data sharing process:

1. Application Processor: Partnership Directorate
2. Data Owner: Digital Transformation Division; Vision Realization Office; Business Intelligence and Decision Support Center; General Directorate of Client Services.
3. Data Privacy Office

To contact the privacy and data team:

Relevant legislation

• National data governance policies (issued by SDAIA): the main principles and general rules for the protection of personal data, and for data sharing Click here
• Electronic Transactions Law Click here
• Anti-Cyber Crime Law Click here
• Basic Controls for Cybersecurity Click here

Last Modified : 30 May 2022

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