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Statistics on the Code on Access to Information

     The Government received a total of 589 requests for information under the Code on Access to Information in the fourth quarter of 2008, a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said today (March 2).
     The total number of requests received since the introduction of the Code in March 1995 amounted to 26,113.  Of these, 23,304 requests (89%) were met, either in full (22,779 requests) or in part (525 requests).  Only 539 requests (2%) were refused, while 1,294 requests (5%) were subsequently withdrawn.  The bureaux/departments concerned did not hold the requested information in respect of 940 requests (4%).

     As at December 31, 2008, 36 requests were still being processed by bureaux and departments.

     Any member of the public who is dissatisfied with the response of a bureau/department under the Code may request the matter be reviewed.  He/she may also lodge a complaint with The Ombudsman. 

     In the fourth quarter of 2008, The Ombudsman received five complaints relating to the Code.  One complaint was subsequently withdrawn by the complainant.

     The Ombudsman completed investigation in respect of five complaint cases (including cases carried over from previous quarters) in this quarter.  Out of the five completed cases, three were substantiated while two were settled by offering assistance and clarification to the complainants.   As at December 31, 2008, The Ombudsman was still investigating eight complaint cases.

     "The statistics show that Government bureaux and departments have been complying with the Code to the general satisfaction of members of the public," said the spokesman.

Ends/Monday, March 2, 2009