Law No. 12 of 2020 regarding the Right to Information Act
In implementing the provisions of this law, the meaning of the words indicated next to each of them means:
Entity (s): Ministries, public authorities and institutions and other general legal persons, Kuwaiti companies in which the state or one of the aforementioned entities contributes to a rate exceeding 50% of its capital, and private companies and institutions that keep information or documents on behalf of these entities.
Concerned employee: The employee designated by the agency to receive requests for information, consider and respond to them.
Information: the statement, statement, knowledge, or content that relates to a topic, and the information is either written, drawn, read, audible, visual, or other means.
Person: Every natural or legal person who has an interest in obtaining information from the authority.
Every person has the right to access the information in the authorities ’ possession and obtain it in a manner that does not conflict with this law and the legislation in force.
He is also entitled to review administrative decisions that affect his rights and to know the information contained in each document related to it.
Entities shall facilitate obtaining information for persons and ensure its disclosure in the time and manner stipulated in this law.
It must also appoint one or more specialized employees to consider requests for information that he has sufficient experience and expertise in its work, and grant him the necessary powers to search and access the required information and present it to those who request it.
Each authority must organize, classify and index the information and documents it has in accordance with the established professional and technical principles, and classify what must be considered confidential and protected in accordance with the law within two years from the effective date of this law.
Entities are obligated to publish on their website within three years from the effective date of this law a directory containing lists of information available to be disclosed and in particular the following:
1- Laws, systems, regulations and decisions by which they operate, general policies that affect individuals, and the procedure followed in decision-making processes, including the channels of supervision and accountability.
2- The organizational structure, terms of reference, functions and duties, as well as organizational policies and documents.
3- A guide of the names of the heads of the authorities and the occupants of the leadership positions or those similar, their powers and duties, and the mechanism for communicating with them.
4- Information about the entity’s programs, projects and activities, and the procedures that individuals can identify with, including performance and quality indicators, purchases and tenders.
5- Putting a feature on the website for the participation of individuals with their suggestions, opinions and complaints in everything related to the entity’s work and the mechanism for responding to them.
6- A simple guide on how to submit a request with its information and any data related to information officials.
7- Services and usufructs provided to the public, any public support programs, the list of beneficiaries and the conditions for using them.
8- Announcing public vacancies, terms and conditions of appointment, names and results of tests and personal interviews for those accepted.
9- The locations of used, radioactive, and hazardous wastes, their nature, risks, the amount of emissions from manufacturing, and the measures taken to limit the resulting damages, if any.
10- Determining the locations of mines different from the wars and the signs indicating them, if any.
And any other information that the authority deems necessary to publish.
This guide should be updated whenever the need arises.
The request to obtain information shall be submitted in writing to the entity that has the information on the form prepared for that purpose, accompanied by the data and documents as specified by the executive regulations.
Upon delivery of the application, the competent employee must give the applicant a notice indicating the application number, the date it was submitted, the type of information requested, and the time required to respond to it.
The concerned employee – after presenting to the head of the agency or whoever he delegates – must respond to the applicant within ten working days from the date of his receipt, and this period may be extended for a similar period or more if the request contains a large number of information, or access to the information requires the signal of an entity Repeat with notifying the student of that—provided that the total of these periods does not exceed in all cases three months.
Upon approval of the request, the competent employee must enable the person to view his information, and to receive copies of the documents associated with them in the event of his request after paying the fee specified by the executive regulations.
If the request contains more than one piece of information, and some of it falls within the scope of privacy protection specified in this law, then the authority must split the request whenever possible; otherwise, it will be rejected.
The competent employee shall notify the student in writing of the rejection of his application, with an explanation of the reasons for the rejection.
The agency is prohibited from disclosing information in the following cases:
1- If the disclosure affects national security, public security or defence capabilities, and it includes:
Weapons, tactics, strategies, forces, and military operations.
– Intelligence information related to thwarting hostilities and crimes against the internal and external security of the state.
– International communications and correspondence related to defence affairs, military alliances, and the strategic interests of the country.
2- If confidentiality is established according to the constitution, law, or a decision of the Council of Ministers – based on the proposal of the concerned minister – considering the papers included in them as confidential and for the period specified by the Council.
3- If this leads to an impact on the course of justice or results in harm to others.
4- If the information is related to private or medical life, personal status, accounts and bank transfers unless the person with the capacity agrees to disclose it.
5- If the information includes a trade secret and its publication would weaken the commercial and financial interest of those concerned.
6- If the information reached the state through another country or international organization and its publication would harm relations with that state or organization.
7 – If the disclosure of the information would cause a serious and grave danger affecting the economy of the country or affecting the public confidence in the currency, public health or the environment.
8- If the disclosure of the information causes a danger to an individual’s life, health or safety.
9- If confidentiality is established according to a decision of the competent court, the Public Prosecution, or the General Department of Investigations.
10- Information related to family disputes, juvenile cases, and ongoing investigations in criminal cases.
In all cases of rejection of the request or failure to respond, the applicant may submit a grievance to the authority, and it must respond to it within sixty days, and the refusal of the grievance shall be made by a letter stating the reasons for the rejection, and the failure to respond is considered as a rejection of the grievance.
The executive regulations organize grievance procedures and decide on it.
Litigation measures may not be taken before the grievance is decided.
A penalty of imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years and a fine not exceeding three thousand dinars, or one of these two penalties:
1- Every specialized employee who refuses to provide information to the applicant without a legal justification.
2- Every specialized employee who gave incorrect information to the applicant.
3- Whoever deliberately destroys documents or documents related to information.
4- Anyone who violates the confidentiality of the information stipulated under this law or any other law.
The Public Prosecution Office is exclusively competent to investigate, act and prosecute in all crimes stipulated in this law.
The executive regulations of this law shall be issued by a decision of the Minister of Justice within six months from the date of its issuance.
The Prime Minister and the ministers – each within his jurisdiction – shall implement this law, and it shall come into force six months after the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.
Deputy Emir of Kuwait
Nawwaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Issued at Seif Palace on: 12 Muharram 1442 AH
Corresponding to: August 31, 2020