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Walter Keim, E-mail:
Torshaugv. 2 C
N-7020 Trondheim, 9. February 2006


Freedom of Information Task Force
Foreign Ministry
Auswärtiges Amt
Werderscher Markt 1
D-10117 Berlin


Subject: Application to Access Documents: € 107 for 4 copies?


I refer to the German Freedom of Information law and regulation of fees (Gebührenordnung, IFG-GebV, BGBl. 2006, I S. 6) and I apply for decree 508-1-516.20 of 22 November 2005 for German visa-issuing offices.

I refer to bill no. 00001/06 showing that this decree has already been found in the archive at costs of 106,80 Euro.

Since the 4 copies are now located I look forward to access to this 4 pages with costs of 40 eurocents for copying.

I would like to emphasize that the right to information is part of the right to freedom of expression, which is confirmed by international human rights treaties, specifically by the International Pact of Civil and Political Rights (article 19), and the Universal Declaration of Human rights (article 19), all of them ratified by Germany and incorporated into German law.

More than 60 countries adopted Freedom of information (FOI) laws. More than half of these countries guarantee FOI in constitutions.

UN, OSCE and AOS confirm in their Joint Declaration of 6. December 2004, that Access to Information is a human right:

The right to access information held by public authorities is a fundamental human right which should be given effect at the national level through comprehensive legislation (for example Freedom of Information Acts) based on the principle of maximum disclosure, establishing a presumption that all information is accessible subject only to a narrow system of exceptions...Access to information is a citizens’ right. As a result, the procedures for accessing information should be simple, rapid and free or low-cost.

"Right to Know" principle 4 of the Open Society Justice Initiative suggests the costs to limit to reproduction. The smae does the handbook of the Danish Human Rights Institute: “An Introduction to Openness and Access to Information”.


Walter Keim

Copy: Press council, Freedom of information commissioner, Council of Europe, OSCE, OECD, PACE and UN



Visitor No. since 10. October 2005

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