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RTI Reforms Would Leave Denmark in 78th Place Globally

85px-National_Coat_of_arms_of_Denmark.svgThe new right to information (RTI) legislation being proposed by the Danish government, the Act on Openness in Administration, signally fails to address the very serious problems in the current regime. Alongside minor improvements in some areas, there is substantial regression in terms of the regime of exceptions. Indeed, the new proposals score just one point out of a possible 30 for exceptions on the RTI Rating, a recognised international methodology for assessing the quality of legal frameworks for RTI, developed by the Centre for Law and Democracy and Access Info Europe (available at: www.RTI-Rating.org). The proposed law scores just 63 points out of a possible 150, which would put Denmark in 78th place globally out of 93 countries with RTI laws, just up from its current dismal ranking of 85th place.

Click here to read the Analysis
Click here for RTI Rating results for Denmark’s draft Act on Openness in Administration
Click here for the RTI Rating results for Denmark’s current law

“Developed democracies are no longer at the forefront on this key democracy issue,” said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “The Danish government has simply failed to take advantage of this opportunity to undertake the serious root-and-branch reform which is needed to bring it more into line with international standards on RTI.”

The Danish proposals have come under significant fire for their restrictive treatment of ministerial information. However, an analysis by CLD demonstrates that this problem is just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to several new exceptions, the major problems with the current system – including its limited scope, flexible time limits for responding to requests, the absence of a public interest override for exceptions and the lack of a dedicated administrative appeals body – have not been addressed.

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