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- 06 / 07 / 2018 -
New regulations on the right of access to information

On April 06, 2016 the National Assembly issued the Law No.104/2016/QH13 Law on access to information. This Law took effect since July 01, 2018.

Accordingly, Law on access to information No.104/2016/QH13 has remarkable new regulations as following:

This law provides for the exercise of the Vietnamese citizens’ right of access to information of state agencies, foreigners who residing in Vietnam have right on requirement to access to information directly relate to their rights and duties. However, people cannot access all of information, the Law clearly provides the inaccessible information and conditional accessible information in the following cases:

  1. Inaccessible information

– Classified information associated with politics, national defense and security, foreign relations, economics, science, technology and other fields as regulated by the law. Once classified information is declassified, citizens may access to it as regulated by the decision of the competent state agencies.

– Information the access to which is considered as harming the national interests, causing adverse influence on the national defense and security, international relations, social order and security, social ethics and the community health; harming human life, living or property of others; information classified as working secrets; those concerning internal meetings of state agencies; documents drafted by state agencies to serve their internal activities.

  1. Accessible information with particular conditions

– Information relating to a trade secret may be accessible if the trade secret holder has assented to the access to such information;

– Information relating to secrets and privacy of an individual may be accessible if such individual grants an assent; information relating to family secrets may be accessible if there is an assent granted by all members of that family.

In addition, Law on Access to information also provides Heads of state agencies may, during the execution of their functions, tasks and powers, and where necessary, decide the provision of information concerning trade secrets, personal secrets and privacy or family secrets for the purpose of protecting interests and health of the community as regulated by relevant laws without asking for the assent of relevant entities.

On the other hand, the citizens have right of access to information in two methods:

  1. Directly come the competent state agency to request for information (reading, writing, copy, scan, etc.)
  2. In cases the citizens cannot directly come to the competent state agency to request for information, they have right of requesting the competent state agency to provides via internet (email), fax or post office.

Two above-cases, applicants for the provision of information must pay fees incurred from printing, photocopying, duplication, sending information (if any).

Therefore, it can be seen that Law on access to information No.104/2016/QH13 is necessary and suit to the trend of expending the democratic freedom rights of citizens and commitments to implement human rights that Vietnam has signed or acceded to.