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Freedom of Information Act (No. 26 of 1999)
The object of the Freedom of Information Act is to extend the right of members of the public to access to information in the possession of public authorities by making available to the public information, and creating a general right of access to information in the possession of public authorities limited only by exceptions.
Right to access information (Section 11)
It shall be the right of every person to obtain access to an official document.
Obligated entities (Section 4)
“Minister” means the Minister of Government to whom responsibility for information is assigned. And "public authority" means Parliament; the Court of Appeal, the High Court; the Cabinet; a Ministry; the Tobago House of Assembly; a municipal corporation; a company incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago which is owned or controlled by the State; among others.
Time limits to provide the information (Section 15)
As soon as practicable but in any case not later than 30 days after the day on which the request is duly made.
Active transparency (Section 7)
A public authority shall cause to be published in the Gazette and in a daily newspaper: a statement setting out the particulars of the organization and functions of the public authority, indicating the decision-making powers and other powers affecting members of the public; a statement of the categories of documents that are maintained in the possession of the public authority; a statement of the procedure to be followed by a person when a request for access to a document is made to a public authority; among others.
Appeal procedures (Sections38A and 39)
A person aggrieved by the refusal of a public authority to grant access to an official document, may, within 21 days of receiving notice of the refusal, complain in writing to the Ombudsman. Also, a person aggrieved by a decision of a public authority may apply to the High Court for judicial review of the decision.