The existing legal framework is not restrictive, and it guarantees the Freedom of access of information (FOAI) to everybody, including the freedom of CSO employees and activists to receive, collect and distribute information. According to State and entity laws on freedom of access to information, disclosure is the rule, and non-disclosure its exception. Non-disclosure is exception in cases of specific commercial information, protection of private data and specific public interest. The regular term is a 15 days and can be prolonged by previous cases of non-disclosure. The sanctions are going from 500 to 7.500 EUR for institution and 500 – 5.000 EUR for officials. However, entity laws are not in compliance with State law regarding sanctions because breaching of provision FOAI at entities are regulated by other laws – criminal laws, misdemeanor law, administration laws and etc.

Various forms of violations were recorded in practice, such as the impossibility of determining accountability of public officials and the lack of adequate sanctions for withholding information, all underlining the necessity of harmonizing entity and State laws. With respect to intervention/interference from public authorities current practice still shows inconsistences between laws at different authority levels.

0 – 20 Fully disabling environment20 – 40 Disabling environment
40 – 60 Partially enabling environment60 – 80 Enabling environment
80 – 100 Fully enabling environment

Following the CSO campaign adoption of amendments to the BiH law on Freedom of Access to Information is postponed as well as harmonization of Entities laws with BiH law in terms of time limits, methods of communication with those who request information, sanctioning the public body and the responsible person in the event of non-compliance. The harmonization of other relevant laws with the Law on Freedom of Access to Information is also recommended.

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