If you ask state institutions for public information which is generally available, you do not need to explain why you need the information.
You may request public information from a state institution in any form – orally, in writing or electronically.

Read more if you want to request information that is not publicly available, but instead is restricted.


If your request for information does not require additional activities from the institution, it should provide the information within 5 working days from the day after the request was registered. If the request for information requires additional action by the institution, the information should be provided within 15 working days and the person requesting the information should be informed of the delay. The information may be provided orally, in written form and where possible, through electronic communication as well. 


In the situation where your request does not require additional activities from the state institution, the information should be provided free of charge. However, the state may require you to cover the fees necessary for finding or copying the information that you seek. In any case, the fee for the information cannot exceed the costs incurred by the institution to fulfil your request.

Refusal & Explanation

State institutions cannot refuse to give you access to public information in which they possess. Where an institution partly of fully denies you access to public information which it posesses, it must issue a written decision explaining:

  • the motivation, indicating the reasons for denying access to the information requested
  • the legal basis for such refusal, including a reference to a law or government regulation
  • the procedure and time-limits for appeal if you disagree with this decision

How to complain

Read more about how to complain if you have been denied access to public information.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education