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PR(96)07: Access to documents kept by the EFTA Surveillance Authority

14.10.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority wishes to ensure that the public is actively informed of the functioning of the EEA Agreement and the activities of the Authority, and that access to documents kept by the Authority are granted whenever possible and without undue delay. In order to facilitate its contacts with the media and the general public, the Authority has established a set of simple rules for the handling of requests for access to documents. Such requests may be put forward in writing or even orally.

A request for access to documents shall be responded to, at the latest, within two weeks. Requests are responded to by Directors or College Members. The Authority's contact person with the media, Helga Óttarsdóttir, will assist those who seek access to documents kept by the Authority, and will transmit the requests to the respective Director or College Member, who will decide on the matter.

In view of provisions on business or professional secrecy, for reasons of protecting certain legitimate public and private interests, e.g. in competition cases, certain information cannot be disclosed. It shall be noted, however, that nothing prevents a party whose interests are protected by the Authority to make available to the public such documents or information.

If access is granted, the document is made available to the person requesting access either as a paper copy, or for consultation in the premises of the Authority.

In the case of a refusal of access to a document, the one requesting the document may request in writing a review by the Authority. The Authority shall decide on the matter within one month and state the reasons for its decision.

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