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From: []
To: []
Sent: 20. March 2005
Subject: [Intl_FOIA] Hearing about Freedom of Information Law in Germany

A Freedom of Information Law has been promised since 1998.  

The Petition of 21. December 2001 on Freedom of Information suggests that the parliament should take the initiative. I appreciate that the Committee of Petitions supported this petition on 1. Decemer 2004. The vote by coalition parties and FDP (Free Democratic Party) says that the government has to take the petition into account. On 16. December 2004 the federal parliament approved this (BT Drucksache 15/4426). (English translation here)

The president of the German parliament send the Petition 22. December 2004 to chancellor Schröder.
An answer should have been given within 6 weeks, but I did not receive it up to now.

The government did not propose a law to parliament, therefore the parliamentary parties proposed their own draft to parliament
in December 2004:  

The draft law was translated to English and can be downloaded here: and comments are published here:

The parliament has invited all interested in the subject to give comments. 14 March 2005 a hearing is taking place: with Information and Data Commissioner of Brandenburg (Dr. Alexander Dix),
Greenpeace (
Dr. Manfred Redelfs), Transparency International (Dr. P. Eigen) and the Parliamentary Ombudsmann from Sweden.

The Parliament Bundestag plans to debate and finalize the law on 13 May 2005.
The draft law seems to need improvements to meet international standards.
There are too much exceptions, which can be used by administration to deny access.  


Walter Keim

OSCE will monitor access to public documents:
Who invites the Human Right Commissioner to Germany?:
Why are Patients Rights insufficient? :    

List of appendices:


Copy: CoE, OSCE



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