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Law on Access to Public Information

THE LAW OF UKRAINE
On Access to Public Information

This Law determines procedures for exercising and s ecuring the right of
every person to access to information of public int erest possessed by government
agencies and other providers of public information as identified by this Law.
Chapter
. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Public Information
1. In the context of this Law, public information s hall be understood
as:
1) information possessed by government agencies and other public
information providers identified by this Law (herei nafter referred to as
information, information providers, etc.);
2) information of public interest (importance), i.e . information that indicates
threats to state sovereignty and territorial integr ity of Ukraine; enables citizens to
make informed political choices; guarantees awarene ss of events and facts
affecting one’s life; ensures realization of consti tutional rights, freedoms and
duties; helps prevent violations of human rights, d eception of the public, hazardous
environmental and other consequences of actions of commercial entities, or
absence thereof, etc.

Article 2. The Aim and Scope of the Law
1. The aim of this Law is to ensure transparency an d openness of
government agencies and to provide mechanisms for r ealization of the right of
every person to access to public information.
2. This Law shall not apply to relations pertaining to receipt of information
by government agencies when performing their functi ons.

Article 3. Guarantees of Observance of the Right to Access to Public
Information
1. The right to access to public information shall be guaranteed by:
1) information providers being under the obligation to provide and disclose
information;
2) establishment of special information services an d/or systems within
information providing entities to secure access to public information in accordance
with the established procedures;

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3) simplification of procedures for submission of requests and receipt of
information;
4) free access to open sessions of government agenc ies;
5) parliamentary, civil, and state control over obs ervance of the right to
access to public information and information access modes;
6) legal responsibility for violation of the legisl ation on access to public
information.
Article 4. Principles of Securing Access to Public Information

1. Access to public information under this law shal l be secured in
accordance with the following principles:
1) transparency and openness of activities of gover nment agencies;
2) free receipt and distribution of information, ex cept when restricted by the
law;
3) equal rights of every person in terms of access to public information,
regardless of race, political, religious, and other beliefs, sex, ethnic and social
origins, material status, place of residence, langu age, or other characteristics;
4) unimpeded and timely provision of complete, auth entic and accurate
information to the requestor by information provide rs.
Chapter
. INFORMATION ACCESS MODES
Article 5. Types of Information in Terms of Informa tion Access Modes

1. Information access modes shall be understood as legally established
procedures for receipt, storage, use, and distribut ion of information. In terms of
access mode, information shall be categorized as op en information and restricted
information.
2. Restricted access to information shall be applie d exclusively in order to
protect national security, territorial integrity, o r law and order, prevent riots or
crimes, support public health service, protect repu tation and rights of other
persons, prevent disclosure of confidential informa tion, or maintain authority and
impartiality of justice if potential damage caused by publication of such
information outweighs public interest for such info rmation.
3. Access to information of public interest or info rmation that has been
previously disclosed shall not be restricted. Article 6. Open Information

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1. Information not legally qualified as restricted information shall be
considered open. The right to have access to open i nformation can not be
restricted.

2. Access to open information is secured by:
1) systematic and timely publication of information through:
public telecommunications networks, including offic ial web-pages;
information stands;
direct release of information to mass media;
any other means not prohibited by law.
2) provision of information on request.
Article 7. Restricted Information
1. Restricted information shall include:
1) secret information;
2) confidential information.
2. Secret information shall be understood as legall y restricted information
the disclosure of which may harm persons, society, and the state.
3. Confidential information shall be understood as restricted information
possessed, used and managed by natural persons and legal entities, except
government agencies, that may be disclosed at their discretion in keeping with
procedures and subject to conditions established by them. Commercial secrets,
personal information, or any other confidential inf ormation except information of
public interest shall be qualified as confidential information.
4. Government agencies and other information provid ing entities identified
by article 12 of this Law that possess confidential information may manage this
information strictly within the scope of their auth ority, and according to legally
established procedures and with consent of persons who provided it, except in
cases stipulated by the law.
5. Natural persons and legal entities, except gover nment agencies,
possessing commercial, personal, corporate, profess ional, banking, and other
information purchased with their own funds, or info rmation affecting their
professional, business, production, banking, commer cial, and other interests,
provided such information is not legally restricted , shall independently determine
its access mode, including its confidential status, and shall take measures to secure
its protection.
6. Restrictions shall apply to access to informatio n but not the documents. If
a document contains restricted information, access shall be granted to sections of
the document not containing restricted information.

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7. Restricted information shall be provided if it is of public interest and if the
right of community to know the information outweigh s the right of information
provider to its protection.
Article 8. Natural Persons’ Access to Their Persona l Information

1. Every natural person shall have the right to:
1) know, during the time when information is being collected but before it is
used, precisely what data relating to that person i s being collected and for what
purpose, how, by whom, and for what purpose it is u sed, transferred or distributed;
2) access to information relating to that person th at is being collected and
stored; the right to question its authenticity, com pleteness, etc., except in cases
stipulated by the law;
3) demand correction of inaccurate and outdated per sonal data, deletion of
personal data being collected, used or stored in de fiance of legislation.
4) access, if ordered by the court, to personal dat a of other persons if
required for enforcement and protection of one’s ri ghts and lawful interests;
5) receive compensation for unlawful disclosure of information relating to
that person.
2. The scope of personal data that is being collect ed, stored and used by
information managers shall be limited to the extent possible and used exclusively
for purposes and in ways stipulated by law.
3. Information managers whose registers contain inf ormation on natural
persons are obliged to:
1) provide it in an unimpeded manner and free of ch arge at the request of
persons the information is related to except in cas es stipulated by law;
2) use it for purposes and in ways stipulated by la w;
3) take measures to prevent other persons from gain ing unauthorized access
to such information;
4) correct inaccurate and outdated personal data at their own discretion or at
the request of persons it is related to.
4. Information on natural persons shall not be stor ed longer than required in
order to fulfill the purpose for which it was colle cted.
5. Denial of access of natural persons to their per sonal information,
concealment of information, unlawful collection, us age, storage and distribution of
information may be subject to appeal.
Article 9. Secret Information

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1. Secret information shall be understood as information which contains
national, official, professional, or banking secret s, investigative secrets, and other
secrets envisaged by the law.
2. Official secret shall be understood as secret in formation legally identified
as such, disclosure of which may harm society and t he state, obstruct exercising of
powers by national and local government agencies, a nd which does not contain
state secrets.
3. Official secret information includes:
1) information contained in documents of government institutions, namely
departmental official mail, staff reports, recommen dations related to the
institution’s policy development and decision-makin g prior to public discussion of
such documents and/or their adoption;
2) information collected by government agencies as part of exercising their
control functions before a decision is made on the case.
Information containing official secrets shall becom e open upon adoption of
decisions as determined by section 3 of this articl e.
4. Documents containing official secret information shall be labeled “for
official use only”.
5. Legal status and access modes of other types of secret information
identified in Section 1 of this article shall be de termined by relevant laws.

Article 10. Protection of Informers
1. Officials and employees of government agencies ( informers) who, in
defiance of non-disclosure policy for restricted in formation, uncover facts of
unlawful actions and corruption-related activities of higher officials of national and
local government agencies shall be relieved of lega l responsibility provided that
their intentions are good and they are convinced th at disclosure of such
information meets public interests.

Chapter
II. PARTIES IN THE AREA OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
ACCESS
Article 11. Definitions and List of Parties

1. The following shall be the parties in the area o f access to public
information:

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1) information requestors—natural persons and legal entities, except for
government agencies;
2) information providers—subjects identified in Art icle 12 of this Law;
3) officials or structural units of information pro viding entities that deal with
information requests (hereinafter—information offic ials);
4) the Commissioner of the Ukrainian Parliament for Human Rights
(hereinafter— Human Rights Commissioner).
Article 12. Information Providers
1. For the purpose of this Law, information provide rs shall be understood as:
1) government agencies;
2) legal entities financed by national or local bud gets, concerning
information on the use of budget finds;
3) legal entities with powers delegated by the gove rnment or local self-
government institutions according to the law or con tract to provide educational,
recreational, social, or other government services, concerning information on their
performance;
4) commercial entities that have dominant positions in the market, special or
exclusive rights, or are natural monopolies, concer ning information on supply
conditions and prices of goods and services.
2. In terms of the obligation to disclose and provi de information on request,
as provided by this Law, information providers also include commercial entities
possessing:
1) information on the environmental situation;
2) information about the quality of food and househ old products;
3) information concerning accidents, disasters, nat ural hazards and other
emergencies, both imminent and potential, which thr eaten citizens’ health and
security;
4) other information of public interest.
Article 13. Obligations of Information Providers
1. Providers shall be under the obligation to:
1) publish information about their activities and d ecisions;
2) maintain and regularly update registers (lists) of documents in their
possession;
3) maintain chronological files of copies of offici al documents and records
for public access;

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4) provide special facilities for requestors to work with documents and
make notes and copies, etc.;
5) establish special departments or assign official s to provide access to
information to those who request it;
6) control compliance with the information access m odalities;
7) provide authentic, accurate and complete informa tion and, if necessary,
check whether the information provided is authentic and unbiased.
2. Information providers shall submit to the Human Rights Commissioner an
annual report on their compliance with information requests. The report shall
specify the following:
1) the number of information requests received and the number of requests
met;
2) the number of rejected requests, with references to the provisions on the
basis of which information access was denied;
3) the number of complaints about denying access to information;
4) amount of fees collected for providing requested information;
5) information on compliance with the obligation to publish information;
6) other information at the request of the Human Ri ghts Commissioner
unless provision of such information is prohibited by law.

Article 14. Obligation to Disclose Information. Ter ms of Disclosure

1. Information providers shall be obliged to disclo se information concerning:
1) organizational structure, mission, functions, au thority, main tasks,
working areas, and financial resources (structure a nd amount of budget funds,
procedures and mechanisms for their spending, etc.) ;
2) regulatory principles of activities, regulatory acts and individual legal acts
adopted by the provider, and draft resolutions;
3) services provided by those institutions, conditi ons for their provision,
forms and sample documents, instructions for comple tion thereof;
4) procedures for completion and submission of info rmation requests, and
procedures to appeal decisions of the information p roviders’, their actions or lack
thereof;
5) general information about the registration syste m and types of
information possessed by providers;
6) mechanisms or procedures for the society to pres ent its interests or
influence in some other way policy development or p owers exercised by
information providers;
7) plans and meeting agendas;

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8) locations where requestors can obtain the required forms;
9) general rules and working regulations of the ins titution;
10) reports, particularly on addressing information requests, etc.
2. Information identified by Section 1 of this arti cle shall be subject to
obligatory publication on the providers’ official w ebsites immediately following its
emergence, and within 5 calendar days following its emergence if published
otherwise.
3. Draft laws and regulations submitted to respecti ve providers for
consideration shall be published no later than with in 30 calendar days before
consideration.
4. Any information about facts that may harm one’s life, health and/or
property and related measures shall be disclosed im mediately.
Article 15. Officials Dealing with Information Requ est

1. Information providers shall be responsible for a ppointing and organizing
the work of information officials, i.e., authorized employees of respective
departments of the information providing entities w ho are to process, categorize,
and analyze information requests, control provision of requested information, and
provide advice on request development.
2. Requests that were registered in accordance with procedures established
by the information providers shall be processed by the authorized officials.
Article 16. Control of Enforcement of the Right to Access to Public
Information
1. The parliamentary control of enforcement of the right to access to
information by information providers shall be exerc ised by the Human Rights
Commissioner who, within his/her secretariat and bu dget, shall establish to this
end a department to control enforcement of the righ t to access to information.
2. The civil control of enforcement of the right to access to information by
information providers shall be exercised by People’ s Deputies of Ukraine,
members of local councils, non-governmental organiz ations, community councils,
and individual citizens by means of public hearings , public assessment process,
and so on.
3. The government control of enforcement of the rig ht to access to
information by information providers shall be exerc ised in accordance with
administrative procedures.

Article 17. Procedures for Exercising Control by th e Human Rights
Commissioner

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1. In addition to the powers provided by the Law of Ukraine On the
Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner, the Commi ssioner shall:
1) take part in development and implementation of t he national policy to
provide access to information;
2) conduct public awareness efforts in mass media, and carry out educational
activities related to access to information;
3) take necessary measures to promote access to inf ormation;
4) organize trainings for civil servants on securin g access to information;
5) carry out academic and expert research of access to information issues;
6) monitor and collate the results of efforts to pr ovide access to information;
7) inspect information providers in the process of addressing information
requests and disclosure of information, either foll owing complaints or on his/her
own initiative;
8) examine citizens’ complaints about violations of their rights and lawful
interests by information providers;
9) maintain and compile records of cases where the right to access to
information has been violated, and make proposals f or their elimination;
10) cooperate with international organizations and respective foreign
institutions on compliance with the international s tandards for securing access to
information.
2. The Human Rights Commissioner shall exercise con trol over legitimacy
of information providers’ decisions, their actions or lack thereof concerning:
1) compliance with information request registration procedures;
2) enforcement of legal terms and procedures to add ress information
requests;
3) restriction of access to information;
4) compliance with requirements for disclosure of i nformation and
protection of restricted information by information providers;
5) availability of registers for documents possesse d by information providers
which enable immediate retrieval of information, as well as additions to the
register;
6) compliance with requirements for storage and pro tection of information
against unauthorized deletion or access.
3. As part of control of the information providers addressing information
requests, the Human Rights Commissioner shall condu ct inspections based on
complaints or at his/her own discretion, during and following which he/she shall
have the right to:

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1) request from information providers explanations and relevant documents;
2) examine documents in possession of information p roviders, including
documents containing restricted information;
3) issue acts of response (submissions) requesting information providers to
bring their activities into accordance with the leg islation in force, in case violations
have been found;
4) issue acts of response (submissions) concerning disciplinary
responsibility of the officials for breach of legis lation on access to information;
5) submit proposals to information providers on imp rovement of access to
information.

Article 18. Registers of Documents in Possession of Information
Providers
1. In order to secure storage and access to informa tion, all documents in
possession of government agencies shall be subject to registration in the register of
documents.
2. The register of documents shall be understood as a system for recording
and storing information concerning documents in pos session of information
providers, the said system containing basic attribu tes of documents and
information.
3. Registers shall be developed in accordance with the guidelines issued by
the heads of government agencies.
4. Registers shall contain the following informatio n:
1) title of document,
2) date of development,
3) date of submission,
4) source of information (author, respective depart ment),
5) information access category,
6) reasons for classifying the information,
7) reasons and terms of information access restrict ion,
8) sector,
9) keywords,
10) type of medium (text document; tape; video reco rdings, audio
recordings, etc.)
11) type of document (regulatory acts, treaties, re solutions, minutes, reports,
press releases, draft resolutions, memorandums, sta tements, requests, proposals,
letters, etc.),

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12) form and location of document, etc.
5. Registers of documents shall not be qualified as restricted information.
6. Information providers shall bear responsibility for securing access to
registers of documents in accordance with the proce dures established by this Law.

Chapter
V. SECURING THE RIGHT TO ACCESS TO
INFORMATION BY MEANS OF INFORMATION REQUESTS
Article 19. Development of Information Requests
1. Every person shall have the right to address an information provider with
an information request, regardless of whether the d ocument in question is related to
that person, without specifying the reason for requ est.
2. Information requests may be individual or collec tive. They may be
submitted orally, in writing, by mail, fax, phone, e-mail, or by other means at the
requestor’s discretion.
3. Oral information requests shall be submitted to get access to operational
information or information required in order to pre vent unlawful actions or
emergencies.
4. Written requests may be submitted at will.
5. In order to simplify the procedure for developme nt of a written
information request, the latter may be submitted by means of filling in a respective
information request form which shall be provided by information providers and
can be found on the provider’s official website. Th e forms shall contain brief
instructions concerning procedures for submitting a n information request,
obtaining information, etc.
6. If a person is unable to submit a written reques t for valid reasons (i.e.
incapacitation, disability, etc.), it shall be comp leted by an official dealing with
information requests and bear the official’s name a nd contact phone number. A
copy of the request shall be provided to the reques tor.

Article 20. Requirements for Information Requests
1. An information request shall contain:
1) requestor’s name, mail or e-mail address, and p hone number if available;
2) general description of information, or the type, title and requisites of the
requested document;
3) ways and means to meet the information request;
4) boxes for signature and date, if the request is submitted in writing.

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Article 21. Deadlines for Addressing Information Requests

1. Information providers shall address the request as soon as possible but no
later than within 5 business days following receipt of request.
2. If the information request concerns information required for protection of
person’s life or freedom, or it is related to the e nvironmental situation, quality of
food and household products, accidents, disasters, natural hazards and other
emergencies, both real and potential, that threaten people’s security, response shall
be given immediately but no later than within 48 ho urs following receipt of
request.
3. Demands for immediate addressing of the request shall be motivated.
4. If the request is for a large volume of informat ion or requires processing
of a large amount of data, information providers ma y extend the term for
addressing the request to 20 business days specifyi ng the reason for such
extension. Information provider shall immediately n otify the requestor as well as
the Human Rights Commissioner in writing but no lat er than within 5 business
days.

Article 22. Charges for Provision of Information
1. Requested information shall be provided free of charge.
2. Should the information request require producing copies of documents
amounting to more than 50 pages the requestor shall be obliged to reimburse the
cost of copying and printing.
3. The cost shall be determined by the respective p rovider based on fair
market value of copying and printing within the lim its established by the Cabinet
of Ministers of Ukraine.
4. If provision of information is subject to charge s, the requestor shall be
notified immediately, and information request shall be addressed only upon
payment has been made for provision of information or relief from payment of
such charges has been ascertained.
5. Requestor’s personal information or information of public value shall be
provided free of charge.
Article 23. Denial or Deferral of Access to Informa tion
1. Information providers shall have the right to de cline a request if:
1) requested information is qualified as restricted information and is not of
public interest;

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2) information provider does not and is not supposed to possess requested
information;
3) information request cannot be met because it doe s not clearly specify the
information being requested;
4) the requestor has not paid the fees for addressi ng the information request
stipulated by the law and has not applied for relie f from payment;
5) required information has already been provided t o the requestor, and the
latter fails to provide a grounded explanation as t o the need for repeated receipt of
information.
2. Information provider’s response stating that req uested information can be
obtained from public sources, or a response that do es not address the request shall
be considered as denying access to information.
3. Requests forwarded to a wrong address shall be r e-addressed by the initial
recipient of request if the latter due to his/her s tatus or functions knows or is
supposed to know the location of the requested info rmation.
4. Each statement of denial shall specify:
1) official or employee of the information providin g entity responsible for
addressing the information request;
2) date of denial;
3) motivated reason for denial;
4) procedures for appealing against denial.
5. Deferral of the request may be allowed if the re quired information cannot
be made available within the time limit stipulated by this Law because of force
majeure. The requestor shall be informed in writing of such deferral along with an
explanation of the procedures for appealing against the decision.
6. Each statement of deferral shall specify:
1) the name of the official of the information prov iding entity responsible for
addressing the information request;
2) date of deferral notice, mailed or received;
3) reasons due to which the required document canno t be made available
within the time limit established by this Law;
4) the period over which the request shall be met.
Chapter V. PROCEDURES FOR APPEALING AGAINST
INFORMATION PROVIDERS’ DECISIONS, ACTIONS, OR LACK
THEREOF.

Article 24. The Right to Appeal against Information Providers’
Decisions, Actions, or Lack thereof.

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1. Information providers’ decisions, actions, or la ck thereof may be appealed
with the head of the providing entity or a higher a uthority, if applicable, the
Human Rights Commissioner, or a court.
2. The following are subject to appeal:
1) rejection of information request;
2) deferral of information request;
3) failure to provide information;
4) provision of information which the requestor con siders inaccurate or
incomplete;
5) untimely provided information;
6) other decisions, actions, or lack thereof which the requestor considers a
violation of his/her rights and lawful interests. Article 25. Appeals against Information Providers’ Decisions, Actions,
or Lack thereof to the Human Rights Commissioner

1. The appeal to the Commissioner for Human Rights shall be submitted in
writing by the person (complainant) who considers h is/her rights and lawful
interests to have been violated by the information providing entity or its
representative.
2. The appeal shall specify:
1) complainant’s name, mail address, as well as pho ne number and e-mail
address, if applicable;
2) name of the information provider, whose decision s, actions, or lack
thereof are appealed, the official’s position and p lace of employment, mail address
as well as phone number and e-mail address, if appl icable;
3) the content of the information request that was submitted to the
information provider;
4) reasons for the requestor to believe that inform ation provider’s decisions,
actions or lack thereof are unmotivated;
5) list of attached documents.
3. In case of appeal against the declined request o r provision of untrue
information, complainant shall attach a copy of inf ormation provider’s decision to
decline the request, or other written evidence (doc uments).
4. The Human Rights Commissioner shall be obliged t o examine the appeal
and verify legitimacy of information provider’s dec isions, actions or lack thereof
within a 20 calendar day period following receipt o f the appeal.

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5. The Human Rights Commissioner may extend examination of the appeal
to no more than 35 calendar days if additional expl anations and documents or other
actions are required. The Human Rights Commissioner shall notify the
complainant of the extension of the term of examina tion of appeal within ten
calendar days following receipt of appeal.
6. The Human Rights Commissioner shall be obliged t o inform the
complainant and the information provider about the inspection results.
7. Based on the results of examination of the appea l, the Human Rights
Commissioner shall make a decision concerning the a ppeal and issue summons to
publish or provide respective information to the co mplainant in accordance with
this Law.

Article 26. Denial of Examination or Redress of App eals by the Human
Rights Commissioner
1. The Human Rights Commissioner may decline an app eal or leave it
without action if it does not meet the requirements stipulated by sections 1 and 2 of
Article 2 until necessary corrections are made by t he complainant.
2. The appeal shall be dismissed if:
1) it is not related to the respective provider’s a ctivities;
2) court ruling on the same case has entered into f orce;
3) information provider’s decisions, actions or lac k thereof were legitimate.
3. The Human Rights Commissioner shall inform the r equestor in writing on
rejection/approval of the appeal specifying the rea son for denial.
Article 27. Acts of Response of the Human Rights Co mmissioner

1. Based on the results of examination of the appea l, the authorized body
shall decide to approve or dismiss the appeal and m otivate the reason for dismissal.
2. In case of approval of the appeal, the Human Rig hts Commissioner may
request from information providers to:
1) bring their activities in accordance with this L aw, particularly provide
information that was withheld during processing of the information request,
provide authentic information, etc.;
2) bring officials to disciplinary responsibility f or infringement of legislation
on access to public information.

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Article 28. Responses to Requests of the Human Righ ts Commissioner

1. Information providers shall be obliged to take m easures in response to
such requests within 5 calendar days following the receipt of which he/she shall
notify the Human Rights Commissioner within the des ignated period.
2. Failure of the information providers to respond to the request may be
appealed to the court. Persons filing appeals with the court against the failure of the
information providers to respond to the request sha ll be relieved from payment of
the state duty.

Article 29. Responsibility for Violation of Legisla tion on Access to
Public Information
1. Persons found to have violated this Law shall be ar responsibility as
stipulated by the law.
2. Responsibility for violation of the acts related to information access shall
be borne by persons found to have committed the fol lowing transgressions:
1) unlawful denial of information;
2) providing false information;
3) untimely provided information;
4) deliberate concealment of information;
5) ungrounded refusal to disclose information;
6) ungrounded classification of certain types of in formation as having
restricted data;
7) other violations of the right to access to infor mation and legal interests of
natural persons and legal entities.
3. Persons who consider their rights and lawful int erests to have been
violated by information providers have the right to compensation for material and
moral damage in accordance with procedures establis hed by civil law.
Chapter VI. FINAL PROVISIONS
1. This Law shall enter into force three months aft er the day of its
promulgation.

2. Until the legislation of Ukraine is brought into compliance with this Law,
legislative acts of Ukraine shall be applied to the extent not contrary to this Law.

3. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, within two months following entry
of this Law into force shall:

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) determine payment procedures and fee limits for provision of information;

b) submit for consideration of the Verkhovna Rada o f Ukraine proposals to
bring the legislation of Ukraine in compliance with this Law;

c) bring its regulations in compliance with this La w;

d) ensure compliance of the regulations of Ministri es and other central
executive authorities with this Law;

e) provide for publication of regulations envisaged by this law.

4. The following shall become invalid:

) Articles 23, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 of the Law of Ukraine
On Information (October 2, 1992; # 2657-XII).

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