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1 PROPOSAL of law No. 21/X explanatory memorandum To the law No. 65/93, of 26 August amended by Law No. 8/95 of 29 March and no. 94/99, of 16 July, which transposes to the internal legal order the directive 90/313/EEC of 7 June 1990 on the freedom of access to information on the environment , was the process of change in the way public authorities regard the right of public access to information. More recently, the Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003, in the wake of the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters, comes to extend the right of access are currently in force, revoking Directive No. 90/313/EEC. Thus, it becomes necessary to proceed to the transposition of Directive 2003/4/EC for the internal legal order, and it was chosen to create a specific regime for access to environmental information, revoking the law No. 65/93, as regards this issue. This option is based on the fact that the regime of access to environmental information to be comprehensive and more permissive than the General system of access to administrative documents. Nevertheless, it was considered that the legal regime set out in law No. 65/93, apply by default in all that is not provided for in the proposed law, particularly with regard to intervention and the Commission's powers of access to administrative documents as independent body. Were heard the environment non-governmental organizations was triggered the query of the National Association of Portuguese municipalities.
So: under d) of paragraph 1 of article 197 of the Constitution, the Government presents to the Assembly of the Republic, the following Bill: 2 article 1 scope and object this law regulates access to environmental information held by public authorities or for them and lays down the conditions for their exercise, transposing for the internal legal order the directive no. 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 on public access to environmental information and repealing Council Directive 90/313 No./EEC of the Council.
Article 2 this Law Aims aims: a) guarantee the right of access to environmental information held by public authorities or on their behalf; b) ensuring that environmental information is disseminated and made available to the public; c) promote access to information through the use of computer telecommunication and/or electronic technology.
Article 3 definitions for the purposes of this law: (a)) ' public authority ', i) the Government or other public administration central, regional or local level, as well as the Government agencies of the autonomous regions, including advisory bodies; II) Any natural or legal person who has responsibilities or exercising public administrative functions relating to the environment or providing public services relating to the environment under the supervision of an inspection body or authority referred to in the previous point, namely public undertakings. b) environmental information ' means any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form on: 3 i) the State of elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural areas, including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its components , including genetically modified organisms, and the interaction among these elements; II) factors such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the environment referred to in (a); III) policy measures, in particular legislative and administrative plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements or factors mentioned in (i)) and (ii)), as well as measures or activities designed to protect them; IV) reports on the implementation of environmental legislation; v) cost-benefit analysis and other analyses and economic scenarios used in the framework of the measures and activities referred to in (iii)); vi) the State of health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain, where relevant, conditions of life, cultural sites and buildings, to the extent that they are or may be affected by the State of the elements of the environment referred to in point (i)) or, through those elements, by any of the factors or measures referred to in subparagraphs ii and iii)). c) "information held for a public authority" shall mean any environmental information held by a public authority and which has been drawn up or received by the said authority; d) ' information held on behalf of a public authority, environmental information physically held by a natural or legal person on behalf of a public authority; e) ' public ' means one or more natural or legal persons, associations, groups and organisations, including non-governmental organizations. 4 f) ' applicant ' means any natural or legal person requesting environmental information.
Article 4 measures to be taken by the public authorities 1-the right of access to environmental information is ensured by the public authorities which shall for this purpose: a) make available to the public lists with the names of the public authorities; b) make available to the public lists or registers of environmental information held by public authorities or held on behalf of the public authorities or indication where information is accessible; c) Designate, in each public authority, responsible for information and disclose to the public their identity; d) create and maintain information query facilities; and) inform the public about the right of access to information and support in the exercise of this right; f) Adopt procedures to ensure the uniformity of environmental information to ensure accurate, up-to-date and comparable information. 2-the measures referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be taken, where applicable, by electronic means.
Article 5 dissemination of information 1-The public authorities collect and organize the environmental information held by or for them, within the framework of its tasks and ensure their public disclosure actively and systematically, through, in particular, of computer telecommunication and/or electronic technology, where available. 2-The public authorities shall ensure that the information referred to in the previous paragraph be progressively available in electronic databases easily accessible to the public through public telecommunications networks, in particular by creating links to internet sites. 3-the information referred to in this article must be updated and include, at least: 5 a) Texts of international treaties, conventions or agreements, national and Community legislation on the environment or relating to it; b) policies, plans and programmes relating to the environment; c) Reports on the implementation of the instruments referred to in paragraph 1(a); d) National Report on the State of the environment; e) data or summaries of data resulting from the monitoring of activities affecting, or likely to affect the environment; f) authorisations with a significant impact on the environment, environmental agreements, or reference to the place where such information can be requested or obtained; g) environmental impact studies and risk assessments concerning environmental elements mentioned in point (i))) (b) of article 3, or by reference to the place where such information can be requested or obtained. 4-national report on the State of the environment includes info on the quality of the environment and the pressures on, and is published annually. 5-The public authorities shall ensure that, in case of imminent threat to human health or the environment, caused by human activity or natural phenomena, are divulged immediately all information held by public authorities or held on his behalf, enabling the populations at risk to take action to prevent or reduce the damage caused by this threat. 6-the dissemination of information shall apply the fundamentals of rejection of the request for access to information laid down by this law.
Article 6 right of access to environmental information 1-public authorities are obliged to make available to the applicant environmental information held by or for them, without the applicant having to justify their interest. 2-for the purposes of the preceding paragraph, the applicant shall submit the request for information in writing, containing the essential elements of the identification of the same, as well as your name, address and signature. 3-access to environmental information can still be made through consultation with the public authority. 6 article 7 Information about measurement procedures public authorities, when requested, provide environmental information referred to in point (i))) (b) of article 3 of this law, and, when available, where can be obtained information on the measurement procedures, including methods of analysis, sampling and pre-treatment of samples used for collecting information , or reference to the standardised procedure used for the collection.
Article 8 Shortcoming of the request if the request is formulated in generic terms, within ten working days as of the date of receipt, the public authority invites and assists the applicant to put it precisely, providing inter alia information on the use of the records referred to in article 4.
Article 9 deadline for providing information 1-the environmental information is made available to the applicant as soon as possible, within the following periods: a) within 10 working days where the application the purpose information which the public authority, within their respective powers and legal determination, should be treated and collated; b) within a month in other cases. 2-In exceptional cases, if the volume or complexity of the information justify, the periods referred to in the preceding paragraph may be extended up to a maximum of two months, and should the applicant be informed of that fact with indication of the reasons, within 10 working days. 3-the time limits laid down in this article shall be counted from the date of receipt of the request by the public authority.
Article 10 information release Form 7 1-the public authority must make available the environmental information in the form or format requested by the applicant, unless: a) the information is already publicly available in another form or format easily accessible to the applicant, in particular pursuant to article 5; b) the public authority considers reasonable to provide the information in another form or format, and, if so, to communicate the reasons why you do it. 2-the reasons for the refusal to make available all or part of the information in the form or format requested shall be communicated to the applicant within 10 working days from the date of receipt of the request. 3-for the purposes of this article the public authorities shall ensure that the environmental information held by or for them to be maintained in forms or formats that are readily reproducible and accessible by data telecommunications networks or other electronic means.
Article 11 refusal of the request for access to information 1-Without prejudice to article 8 the request for access to environmental information may be refused when the requested information is not or should be in the possession of public authority or held on behalf of the public authority to whom the request is directed. 2-When the application concerns the ongoing procedures, incomplete documents or data or internal communications, access is deferred until the decision or dismissal. 3-When the request concerns internal communications, is granted when the underlying public interest in the disclosure of information prevail. 4-in the case referred to in paragraph 1, when the public authority is aware that the information is held by another public authority or is held on your behalf, must immediately refer the request to that authority and inform the applicant. 5-If a request refer to current procedure, public authority refers to the coordinating authority of the procedure, which informs the applicant of the foreseeable timeframe for its completion, as well as the legal provisions as provided for under the respective procedure concerning access to information. 8 6-the application of access to information may still be refused if the disclosure of that information would adversely affect: a) the confidentiality of the process, or of information held or held on behalf of public authorities, where such confidentiality is provided for by law; b) international relations, public security or national defence; c) the secret of Justice; d) the confidentiality of commercial or industrial information, where such confidentiality is provided for by national or Community law to protect a legitimate economic interest, as well as the public interest in maintaining statistical confidentiality or secrecy; e) intellectual property rights; f) the confidentiality of personal data and/or files relating to a natural person in accordance with applicable law; g) the interests or protection of those who have voluntarily provided information, without that is or will be legally obliged to do so, unless that person has authorized the disclosure of such information; h) the protection of the environment to which the information relates, such as the location of protected species. 7-the grounds for refusal referred to in (a)), d), (f)), g) and (h)) the preceding paragraph cannot be invoked when the request for information on emissions to the environment. 8-the grounds for refusal provided for in this article shall be interpreted restrictively by the public authorities, bearing in mind the public interest served by disclosure of the information and the protected interests underlying the refusal.
Article 12 Refusal partial to environmental information held by public authorities or held in your name is partially available whenever it is possible to expunge the information covered by paragraphs 2 and 6 of article 11.
9 Article 13 Notification of refusal within ten working days as of the receipt of the request, the applicant is notified in writing of the total or partial refusal of the request for information, stating the reasons for the rejection as well as the information on the mechanisms for judicial review provided for in this law.
Article 14 means of challenge 1-an applicant who considers that his request for information has been ignored, wrongfully refused, in whole or in part, obtained an inadequate response or that has not been complied with this law, can challenge the legality of the decision, act or omission under the general terms of law. 2-the applicant may still file a complaint to the Commission on access to administrative documents (EACH), in accordance with the procedure and time-limits laid down in law No. 65/93, of 26 August, with the amendments introduced by law No. 8/95 of 29 March and no. 94/99, of 16 July. 3. The third parties harmed by the disclosure of information, they may also resort to means of challenge provided for in the preceding paragraphs.
Article 15 Committee on access to administrative documents 1-CADAzelar is responsible for compliance with the provisions of this law. 2-in cases of doubt about the application of this law, it is up to EACH to give opinion on access to environmental information, the request of the applicant or the public authority within the meaning of law No. 65/93, of 26 August with the amendments introduced by law No. 8/95 of 29 March and no. 94/99, of 16 July.
Article 16 Rates 1-access to any public registers or lists established and maintained pursuant to points (a)) and b) of paragraph 1 of article 4 and the consultation of the information referred to in paragraph 3 of article 6, is free. 10 2-public authorities may charge a fee for supplying information on the environment, in accordance with paragraph 2 of article 12 of the law No. 65/93, of 26 August with the amendments introduced by law No. 8/95 of 29 March and no. 94/99, of 16 July. 3-non-governmental organisations and similar environment covered by law No. 35/98, of 18 July, enjoy a 50% reduction in the payment of fees for access to environmental information. 4-The public authorities post on visible place the table of rates, as well as information on waiver, reduction or remission.
Article 17 Report 1-the environmental Institute draws up until 15 February 2009, a report on the implementation of this law, and to this end consult each. 2-the report referred to in the preceding paragraph is submitted to the European Commission until 15 August 2009.
Article 18 subsidiary legislation On everything that is not specifically covered by this law shall apply in the law No. 65/93, of 26 August, with the amendments introduced by law No. 8/95 of 29 March and no. 94/99, of 16 July, which regulates the access to administrative documents.
Article 19 amendment to law No. 65/93, of 26 August is amended article 2 of law No. 65/93, of 26 August, in the version given by law No. 8/95 of 29 March, and by law No. 94/99, of 16 July, which is replaced by the following:
«Article 2 [...] 11 1. This law regulates the access to documents relating to activities carried out by the entities referred to in article 3, without prejudice to legislation on access to information in environmental matters. 2. […]»
Article 20 Standard set is repealed paragraph 2 of the article 3 of law No. 65/93, of 26 August, with the amendments introduced by law No. 8/95 of 29 March and no. 94/99, of 16 July.
Seen and approved by the Council of Ministers of 23 June 2005 the Prime Minister the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Presidency
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