Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union


Can you provide information about best practices regarding, first, the treatment of unofficial and working versions of documents and, second, best practices regarding potential abuses of right to information requests?


Input into ongoing discussion on legislation.


1.  Introduction

2.  Good practices related to documents under preparation

3.  Good practices related to vexatious requests

4.  References


Freedom of information (FOI) laws are fundamental components for healthy, open societies. Yet, in many countries, freedom of information laws are weak or contain loopholes that, in practice, restrict the right to access information. This Helpdesk answer explores good practices related to two types of request that tend to be exempted from freedom of information laws: preparatory document requests and vexatious requests. Preparatory document requests ask for working or unofficial documents related to a legislative process. Vexatious requests are those that are considered to be an abuse of the freedom of information process by the person or group making the request. In dealing with these requests, effective and open FOI regimes aim to provide clear and precise definitions of exemptions so as to avoid intentional mislabelling and non-disclosure.  


Iñaki Albisu Ardigo, Transparency International, [email protected]


Marie Chêne, Transparency International, [email protected]




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