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Statistics on the Code on Access to Information

     The Government received 538 requests for information under the Code on Access to Information in the first quarter of 2009, a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said today (July 3).

     The number of requests received since the introduction of the code in March 1995 and up to the end of March 2009 totalled 26,651. Of these, 1,353 requests were subsequently withdrawn by the requestors, 973 requests covered cases in which the bureaux/departments concerned did not hold the requested information and 63 requests were still being processed by bureaux and departments.

     Among the 24,262 requests which covered information held by bureaux/departments and which the bureaux/departments had responded to, 23,713 requests (98%) were met, either in full (23,179 requests) or in part (534 requests); 549 requests (2%) were refused.

     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 first quarter of 2009, The Ombudsman received five complaints relating to the code.

     The Ombudsman completed investigations of seven complaint cases (including cases carried over from previous quarters) in this quarter. Out of the seven completed cases, one was partially substantiated while six were settled by offering assistance and clarification to the complainants. As at March 31, 2009, The Ombudsman was still investigating five 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," the spokesman said.

Ends/Friday, July 3, 2009