Right to access information

The right to information access is a fundamental human right protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, the European Convention on Human Rights and Freedoms, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the Right to Access to Information Act (NN 25/2013, 85/2015). Right to access information The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia and the Right of Access to Information Act guarantee the right of users to seek and obtain information held by public authorities in the Republic of Croatia, irrespective of the purpose for which the information is to be used. This right is reflected in the obligation of the public authorities to provide access to the requested information or to disclose information irrespective of the request made when such disclosure derives from an obligation stipulated by law or other regulation.

The Law on Access to Information gives all domestic and foreign natural and legal persons the right to access information in the same way and under equal conditions. Information is any information held by a public authority body, irrespective of the form in which it was created.

Obligations of the Law on Access to Information Act are the bodies of public authority referred to in Article 5, point 2 of the Act, and include

  • Government bodies

  • State administration bodies

  • Local and regional self-government units

  • Legal entities and other bodies with public authority

  • Legal persons performing public service

  • Legal persons to whom he is the founder RH or JLPRS

  • Enterprises that are majority owned by the state or JLPRS

  • Legal entities that are funded mainly or wholly from the budget or public funds based on a special regulation

There are about 6,000 public authorities, and their list is kept by the Information Commissioner and is available here http://tjv.pristupinfo.hr/

Public authorities under the Right of Access to Information Act have the following obligations to ensure citizens’ access to information.

  • proactive disclosure of information (article.10.)

  • the submission of certain documents to the Central Catalog of Official Documents of the Republic of Croatia (Article 10a) – for certain groups of public authorities,

  • savjetovanje s javnošću (čl.11.) – za pojedine skupine tijela,

  • publicity of work (Article 12),

  • enabling access to information at user’s request (Article 14)


At the same time, in order to ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Law on Access to Information, public authorities have the following obligations:

  • determination of information officers (Article 13),

  • keeping an official register (Article 14)

  • cooperation with the Information Commissioner (Article 60)

  • reporting on the implementation of the Law (Art. 60)

Information officers are a key link in the implementation of legal provisions in public authorities. Pursuant to Article 13, the public authorities are obliged to appoint an information officer and inform the Information Commissioner of that information in the List of Public Authorities (link to the Public Prosecutor’s Office). Also, information and contact of the information officer of the body shall be published on the website, in accordance with Article 13.

For more information on determining the information officer, please refer to the Guidelines for the Implementation of Article 13 of the Right of Access to Information Act, available here: Instructions, Guidelines, Forms

nformation Officers, especially newly appointed, are advised on regular education, promotional events and webinars of Information Commissioners as well as manuals and promotional materials, especially  Manual for information officers in public authorities.

Public authorities are under an obligation to maintain the Official Register in accordance with the provisions of the Ordinance on the organization, content and manner of keeping an official record of exercising the right of access to information and re-use of information (OG 83/14)

The public authority shall have the obligation to keep the Official Registry in a suitable electronic form in the form of MS Word, Excel, Access Database, Application or other program informatic form, where it is necessary to include all constituent parts of Form 1 contained in the Rulebook.

Find out more about how to keep an official register available in the Information Officer’s Manual.

The Information Commissioner by December 31 of the current year is determined and on the web site of the Commissioner announces the contents of the report and the manner of his delivery. The law enforcement report is provided through the “Pristupinfo” application, with access secured by a unique username and password. The application is available on the Information Commissioner’s Web site http://izvjesca.pristupinfo.hr/

Proactive disclosure of information

Public authorities are obliged to publish, ex officio and on a pro-active basis, information important for their work and organization. This legal obligation is based on the principle that citizens have the right to know how they decide on their behalf and what the results and outcomes of those decisions or, for example, how the public authorities spend public money.

Public authorities are required to publish a large part of their information on their work on their official website, in an easily searchable way and in a machine readable form, as stipulated in Article 10, paragraph 1 of the Right of Access to Information Act. The proper fulfillment of the obligation of proactive disclosure of information, which represents a specific foundation for the transparency of the work of the public authorities, has a double effect: the greater the degree of its fulfillment, the smaller the number of individual requests for access to information, which facilitates the work of the public authorities; Also, the need for additional administration and engagement of information officers regarding the processing of requests for access to information is diminished, since in the case of disclosed information, the public authority body of the beneficiary should be informed that the information is publicly disclosed and provided with a link to the information published on the web site. And most importantly – users gain access quickly, free and effectively and in the same way.

Article 10 of the Law provides the information that the public authorities should publish on their website, which can be fundamentally divided into several groups, with the aim of achieving:

the public authorities are obliged to publish the general acts and decisions that the bodies adopt, affecting the interests of the user, and the reasons for their adoption; draft laws and other regulations and general acts for which a public consultation procedure is conducted, in accordance with Article 11 of the Law, as well as conclusions from official sessions of public authorities and official documents adopted at these sessions as information on the work of formal working bodies on which decides on the rights and interests of users.

the public authorities are obliged to publish laws and other regulations relating to their field of work, then annual plans, programs, strategies, instructions, work reports, financial reports and other relevant documents pertaining to the scope of work of the public authorities, tender documents, documentation required for participation in the bidding process, and information on the outcome of the bidding process as well as information on the internal organization of the public authorities, with the names of the head of the body and the head of the organizing units and their contact details;

the public authorities are obliged to disclose data on the source of financing, budget, financial plan or other appropriate document for determining the revenues and expenditures of the public authorities, as well as data and reports on the execution of the budget, financial plan or other appropriate document, information on the granting of grants, sponsorships , donations or other assistance, including the list of beneficiaries and amounts, information on public procurement procedures, bidding documents, contract performance information and other information for which publication obligation is required under the law regulating public procurement;

the public authorities are obliged to publish information on public services provided by the public authority in a visible place, with links to those electronically, registers and databases or information on registers and databases under the authority of public authorities, as well as information about the manner of access and re-use, information on the manner and conditions of the exercise of the right of access to information and the re-use of information at a visible location, contact information for information officers, forms required or forms links and the amount of fee for access to information and reuse of information, Feasibility Criteria, Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Information on the Methods of Submitting Citizens and Media Queries, as well as other information (news, press releases, activity data) for the purpose of informing the public about the work and exercising the rights and performing the obligations of the user.

The obligation of proactive disclosure does not apply to information whose access is restricted under the Act.

Citizens may file a petition with the Information Commissioner if he or she notices any irregularities in a proactive announcement or the omission of disclosure of information that is required by the law of the public authorities.

A special form of proactive disclosure of information is the obligation of the public authorities (bodies of state administration and other state bodies, legal entities established by the Republic of Croatia by law or by-law or whose establishment explicitly provides, and units of local and regional self-government) to comply with Article 10a of the Act for the purpose of permanent availability of information, submits certain information (documents) electronically to the Central Catalog of Official Documents of the Republic of Croatia for their permanent availability.

The information for which the obligation to deliver is general acts and decisions made by public authorities, affecting the interests of users, the reasons for their adoption (Article 10, paragraph 1, item 2) and annual plans, programs, strategies , instructions, reports, financial reports and other relevant documents relating to the scope of work of the public authorities (Article 10, paragraph 1, item 2). The Central Catalog also includes laws and other regulations and acts published in the Official Gazette.

The Central Catalog and Method of Organization Management is regulated by a special Rulebook on the Central Catalog of Official Documents of the Republic of Croatia (NN 124/2015), http://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2015_11_124_2356.html

The Central Directory is headed by the Central State Office for the Development of the Digital Society

CENTRAL CATALOG OF OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS

For more information on which information public authorities have an obligation to publish on an internship page and how to find it, please refer to the Implementation Guidelines of Article 10 of the CPWA and other guidelines and guidelines available here: Instructions, Guidelines, Forms

Every legal and natural person has the right to contact the Commissioner if he or she notices that the public authority does not disclose information in accordance with the Law. The Information Commissioner within the scope of inspection supervision specifically monitors to what extent the public authority body fulfills the obligations of proactive disclosure of information. Public authorities are referring to the application of a self-assessment questionnaire quality enhancement tool available here Documents and publications

Publicity Sessions (Publicity Work)

Public authorities are obliged to provide the public with the means to inform the public of the agenda of the sessions or sessions of the official bodies and the time of their maintenance, the manner of work and the possibilities for immediate insight into their work (attendance of the sessions), as well as the number of persons simultaneously assured of immediate attendance at sessions whereby the order of registration must be taken into account.

Public authorities are not obliged to provide direct insight into their work when it comes to matters where the law is to be excluded by the law, that is, information on which there are restrictions on access to the law.

This obligation primarily applies to state bodies and representative bodies of local and regional self-government units as well as other public authorities when justified.

Citizens can file a petition with the Information Commissioner if he finds irregularities in securing the public’s work. On the manner of securing the public of the sessions (public of work), please refer to the Public Work Guidelines available here Instructions, Guidelines, Forms

Action on request

Request for access to information

The request is submitted to the public authority body and it is obliged to decide on the request (provide information or restrict access in whole or in part by the adoption of a decision) within 15 days from the date of filing of a formal request.

The user can apply in written (including e-mail) or verbal.

The written request contains:

  • the name and seat of the public authority body to which the request is based,
  • the information that is relevant to the identification of the requested information (description information),
  • name and surname and address of the applicant’s physical person, company, or the name of the legal person and its head office.

The applicant is not required to state the reasons for which he or she is seeking access to information nor is it obliged to apply for the application of this Act.

Access to information in proceedings before public authorities is not subject to administrative and court fees.

In case of incomplete or unreasonable request, the public authority shall without delay invite the applicant to correct it within five days of receiving the call for correction. If the claimant fails to correct the claim in an appropriate way, and on the basis of the submitted information it can not be established with certainty what the requested information is about, the public authority will reject the request by a decision.

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The request for access to information is not considered to be an insight into the entire case file, explanations or instructions related to the exercise of a right or obligation to perform, the analysis or interpretation of a regulation or the creation of new information.

In the case of incomplete or unreasonable request, the public authority shall without delay invite the user to correct it within five days of receiving the call for correction. If the claimant fails to correct the claim in an appropriate way, and on the basis of the submitted information it can not be established with certainty what the requested information is about, the public authority will reject the request by a decision.

The application of the Right to Access to Information Act is excluded (Article 1) when it comes to submissions to parties (and their equal persons) in judicial, administrative and other law-based procedures that provide access to information from these proceedings by a regulation.

In addition, the law does not apply to information that is subject to confidentiality, in accordance with the law governing the security and intelligence system of the Republic of Croatia, as well as information that represents classified information held by an international organization or other state, and classified information of public authorities or are exchanged within the framework of cooperation with international organizations or other countries.

In some cases, the public authority will not be able to decide on the claim, but it is mandatory to forward the request to the other body.

The first is where the public authority does not have the information, but has the knowledge of the body it owns. It shall then be required without delay and not later than eight days after receipt of the request to submit the request to the body and inform the applicant accordingly. The time limits for exercising the right of access to information are counted from the day when the competent authority of the public authority received the referral.

The second is where the public authority receives a request for access to information classified as a degree of confidentiality, in accordance with the law governing the confidentiality of data, and is not the owner of it. In such case, it shall without delay and at the latest within eight days from the receipt of the request, submit the request to the owner of the information and inform the applicant thereof.

The third is the case when the public authority receives a request for access to international information. It shall then be required without delay and not later than eight days after the receipt of the request, to inform the owner of the information and to notify the applicant thereof. Exceptionally, the public authority will act upon a received request for access to international information if it is apparent from the information itself that it is intended for immediate disclosure.

The general deadline for deciding on the application is 15 days from the receipt of a due request. In certain cases, the time limit for the decision on the application may be extended for 15 days, counting from the day the public authority body was to decide on the request for access to the information,

  • if the information has to be sought outside the headquarters of the public authorities,
  • if one request requests a greater number of different information,
  • if this is necessary to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the information requested, or
  • if it is necessary to carry out a test of proportionality and public interest.

The public authority shall be obliged to inform the applicant of the extension of the deadline without delay and at the latest within eight days from the date of receipt of the due process request and state the reasons.

  • information classified by the degree of secrecy
  • information that represents a business or professional secret
  • information that represents a tax secret
  • information that represents personal information
  • information that represents intellectual property, except in the case of explicit written consent of the right holder;
  • information access restricted in accordance with international treaties or information arising in the process of concluding or entering into international agreements or negotiations with other States or international organizations until the completion of proceedings or information arising in the field of diplomatic relations;
  • information for which specific limitations of access are prescribed by special laws.Apart from the reasons for limiting the access provided by law, public authorities may restrict access to information if there are grounds for suspicion that its disclosure:
  • prevent the effective, impartial and impartial conduct of a court, administrative or other legalized procedure, execution of a court decision or punishment;
    have disrupted the work of bodies that perform administrative oversight, inspection supervision, or supervision of legality.
    Also, public authorities may restrict access to information if:
  • information in the process of drafting within one or more bodies of public authority and publishing it before completion of complete and final information could seriously undermine the process of its creation;
  • information arising in the process of harmonization in the adoption of regulations and other acts and in the exchange of views and opinions within one or more public authorities, and its disclosure could lead to misreading the content of information, jeopardize the process of adopting regulations and acts or the freedom of giving opinions and expression attitudes.

By implementing the test of proportionality and public interest, the public authority should assess whether to give priority to the public’s principle or to protect the special interest deriving from the limitations. If classified information is concerned, the public authority body must seek the opinion of the National Security Council office. The test is not conducted if it is information about public funds available.

The public authority generally provides information via the user specified in the request (eg by mail, e-mail). If the user does not indicate how he wants to receive the information, the public authority will provide it in the most economical way.

The public authority may charge the costs incurred by providing and delivering information (costs of copying, scanning, postal charges) in accordance with the Special Criteria provided by the Information Commissioner (NN 12/2014). http://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2014_01_12_231.html

As a rule, the price of a single copy of A4 is 0.25 kn and the scanned page is 0.80 kn. In the event that the costs are more than 150 kn, the body will invite the user to pre-set the cost amount. It is recommended that the cost of up to $ 50.00 is not charged.

If the user feels that the information provided on the basis of the request is incorrect or complete, he may require its correction or amendment within 15 days of the date of receipt of the information. The authority of the public authority is obliged to decide on the request for amendment or correction of the information within 15 days from the date of receipt of the request.

The authority of the public authority does not issue a decision on the application:

  1. when providing the user with access to the requested information,
  2. when he notifies the user that he has received the same information and has not expired within 90 days from the filing of the previous application,
  3. when it notifies the user that the information has been published,
  4. when informing the user that as a party in the proceedings the availability of information from judicial, administrative and other law-based procedures established by a regulation,
  5. when it informs the user that there is an obligation to protect or maintain its confidentiality information, and it is the information that is subject to confidentiality, in accordance with the law governing the security intelligence system of the Republic of Croatia, to information that represents classified information held by an international organization or other state, classified information of public authority bodies arising or exchanged within the framework of cooperation with international organizations or other countries,
  6. when it notifies the user that the submission is not considered to be a request within the meaning of Article 18, paragraph 5 of the Right of Access to Information Act, whereby he is obliged to refer the user to the manner in which his claim is made,
  7. if the user does not correct the request within 5 days.

The public authority will reject the request if it does not have the information and has no knowledge of where the information is located.

The public authority shall by decision refuse the request and restrict access to information when it comes to information concerning all proceedings conducted by the competent authorities in the previous and criminal proceedings during the course of such proceedings, or when in other cases the restrictions referred to in Article 15, paragraphs 2, 3 , and 4. by conducting a test of proportionality and public interest, it is considered to be a prevalent protected interest.

The public authorities body will reject the request and

  • if it finds that there are no grounds for amendment or correction of the information provided under Article 24 of the Law on the Right to Access Information,
  • if information is not considered as information within the meaning of Article 5, paragraph 1, item 3 of the Act on the Right to Access Information.
  • if one or more interconnected applicants through one or more functionally related claims obviously misuse the right of access to information, and especially where, due to frequent requests for the same or identical information or requests that require a large amount of information, the workload and the regular functioning of public bodies authorities.

More information on how to deal with claims, rectification of incomplete or unreasonable request, extension of deadline for resolved requests, referral of requests, non-application of the Law on Access to Information, Legal Restrictions and Decision Making in Procedures to Obtain Access to Information, Appeal and Administrative Disputes found in the Information Officer’s Manual.

We also point you to the Guidelines of the Commissioner for Information on the Implementation of Benchmarking and Public Interest Guidelines for the Implementation of Article 16 of the Act on Access to Information – Implementation of Benchmarks and Public Interest Tests and Guidelines on the Institute of Abuse of the Misuse of Right to Access to Information.