Access to Information Guidelines

ACCESS TO INFORMATION GUIDELINES

1. Introduction

1. Introduction

The National Council for Law Reporting (Kenya Law) is a state corporation established under the National Council for Law Reporting Act No. 11 of 1994, with the mandate of publishing the official law reports of the Republic of Kenya, known as the Kenya Law Reports, and the consolidation, revision and updating of the Laws of Kenya under the delegated authority from the Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya.

At the Apex of Kenya Law is a Council comprising nine members who are in charge of vision casting, policy making and corporate governance.

The Chief Executive Officer/Editor is a member of the Council in ex-officio capacity. The Secretariat is headed by CEO/Editor who is charged with the day-to-day running of the organization in the execution of Kenya law’s strategy. The CEO/Editor leads a dynamic team of 73 staff who comprise of lawyers, legal researchers, sociologists, accountants and human resource experts.

Access to Information Act 2016, Part II, Section 4 provides that every citizen has the right of access to information held by—(a)the State; and(b)another person and where that information is required for the exercise or protection of any right or fundamental freedom.

Kenya Law in carrying out its mandate, and in its daily administrative functions gathers information which includes-public legal information, staff data, processes, policies, and financial status stored in various forms.

To guide in the implementation of the Access to Information Act 2016, Kenya Law shall use the following guidelines.

2. Disclosure of information by Kenya Law

2. Disclosure of information by Kenya Law

a) Information relating to the functions, responsibilities, operations and services of Kenya Law is accessible at www.kenyalaw.org.

b) Information that is not available on the Kenya Law Website shall be made available upon request.

c) Information will be made available to the Requester, in the original language of the
information requested.

d) Kenya Law shall facilitate access to the following information;

i. The particulars of the organization, functions and duties;

ii. The powers and duties of its officers and employees;

iii. The procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability

iv. Salary scales of its officers by grade;

v. The norms set by it for the discharge of its functions;

vi. Guidelines used by the entity in its dealings with the public or with corporate bodies, including the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions;

vii. Guide sufficient to enable any person wishing to apply for information under the Access to Information Act identify the classes of information held by Kenya Law

e) Information shall be disseminated taking into consideration the need to reach persons with disabilities, the cost, local language, the most effective method of
communication in that local area, and the information shall be easily accessible and
available free or at cost taking into account the medium used.

3. Withholding Information

3. Withholding Information

Pursuant to Article 24 of the Constitution, the right of access to information under Article   35   of the Constitution shall be limited in respect of information whose disclosure is likely to
a)    Undermine the national security of Kenya
b)    Impede the due process of law
c)    Endanger the safety, health or life of any person;
d)    Involve the unwarranted invasion of the privacy of an individual, other than the applicant or the person on whose behalf an application has, with proper authority, been made;
e)    Substantially prejudice the commercial interests, including intellectual property rights, of that entity or third party from whom information was obtained;
f)    Cause  substantial  harm  to  the  ability  of  the  Government  to  manage the  economy  of Kenya;
g)    Significantly undermine a public or private entity's ability to give adequate and judicious consideration to a matter concerning which no final decision has been taken and which remains the subject of active consideration ;
h)    Damage a public entity position in any actual or contemplated legal proceedings; or
i)    Infringe professional confidentiality as recognized in law or by the rules of a registered association of a profession.
f)    For purposes of subsection (f) above; information relating to national security is expressly stated in Access to Information Act no. 31 2016 Part II.
g)    For documents designated “Controlled” and have been requested under these procedures, the Quality Management Representative (QMR) will be required to Stamp them “Uncontrolled” before they are issued.

4. Access to Information Officer

4. Access to Information Officer

The CEO/Editor is  the  information  Access  Officer  under  Access  to  Information  Act  2016.  The CEO/Editor may delegate the performance of his/her duties as an Information Access Officer under the act to any officer in Kenya Law.

5. Application Process for Access To Information

  1. All Information requests shall be directed to;

    The CEO/Editor
    National Council for Law Reporting-Kenya Law
    ACK Garden Annex, 5th Floor, 1st Ngong Avenue, Ngong Road,
    P.O Box 10443 - 00100, Nairobi Kenya.
    Landline: 020 271 923 1, 020 271 276 7, 020 272 498 0
    Telkom Wireless: 020 - 201 161 4
    Email-editor@kenyalaw.org/info@kenyalaw.org

  2. An application to access information shall be made in writing in English or Kiswahili and the applicant shall provide details and sufficient particulars for the public officer or any other official to understand what information is being requested.
  3. Where an applicant is unable to make a written request for access to information in accordance with part (b)above because of illiteracy or disability, the Information Officer shall take the necessary steps to ensure that the applicant makes a request in manner that meets their needs.
  4. The Information Access Officer shall reduce to writing, in a prescribed form the request made under part (c) above and then furnish the applicant with a copy of the written request.
  5. Kenya Law may prescribe a form for making an application to access information, but any such form shall not be such as to unreasonably delay requests or place an undue burden upon applicants and no application may be rejected on the ground only that the applicant has not used the prescribed form.
  6. In the event that a request for information is sent to a specific staff member within the organization and not the Information Access Officer, that staff member shall be required to inform and forward to the Information Access Officer the request as soon as it is received.
  7. The Access to Information Officer (CEO/Editor) or delegated officer shall record the details of the requested information in the Access to Information Register within 24 hours upon receipt of the request for information application
  8. The officer receiving the request to information access shall acknowledge receipt of the application for request of information in writing within two (2) working days and advise the applicant how to access the request to access information
  9. Processing of urgent requests (information sought concerns the life or liberty of a person) shall be responded to by the officer within 48 hours upon receipt
  10. Processing of ordinary requests shall be responded to by the officer within twenty one (21) days
  11. Communication of any transfers of requests to the applicants shall be responded to within seven (7) days upon receipt and transfer to the relevant public institution within five (5) days of receipt of the application for request for information;
  12. In the event that the information requested is confidential in nature, the applicant will be required to sign the confidentiality agreement form.

6. Application Fees

6. Application Fees

a)    No fee may be levied in relation to the submission of an application. All legal information on the Kenya Law website is available for free.
b)    Kenya Law charges a prescribed fee for specified publications as per the product catalogue available on the Kenya Law website.

7. Correction of Information

a) At the request of the applicant, Kenya Law shall within reasonable time, at its own expense, correct, update or annotate any personal information held by it relating to the applicant, which is out of date, inaccurate or incomplete.
b) A request under this section shall be made in writing to Kenya Law containing the out of date, inaccurate or incomplete information and shall
c) State that it is a request to amend certain personal information relating to the applicant
d) Specify the personal information that is to be amended indicating how such information is out of date, inaccurate or incomplete;
e) Specify the remedy sought by the applicant.

8. Complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman

An Applicant has the right to apply for a review by the Commission on Administrative Justice for any of the following decisions by a public entity in relation to a request for information:
a) A decision refusing to grant access to the information applied for;
b) A decision granting access to information in edited form;
c) A decision purporting to grant access, but not actually granting the access in accordance with an application;
d) A decision to defer providing the access to information;
e) A decision relating to imposition of a fee or the amount of the fee;
f) A decision relating to the remission of a prescribed application fee;
g) A decision to grant access to information only to a specified person;
h) A decision refusing to correct, update or annotate a record of personal information in accordance with an application made under section

CAJ address is as follows
The Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ)
2nd Floor, West End Towers ,Off Waiyaki Way –Westlands
P.O. Box 20414 –00200
NAIROBI.
Tel:+254-20-2270000/2303000/2603765/2441211/8030666
Email: info@ombudsman.go.ke


9. CAJ Reporting requirements

a) The Information Access Officer shall prepare a report and submit quarterly reports to the Commission on Administrative Justice to CAJ within fourteen (14) days following the end of a quarter as per the CAJ reporting framework.
b) Reports shall be submitted via e-mail in PDF format (CAJ’s provided templates) or through the Commission’s system. The dedicated e-mail address for submission is certificationpc@ombudsman.go.ke
Failure to comply with the provisions of the access to information act will attract penalties as outlined in section 28 of the Act.