CHAPTER 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS-Article 1

The purpose of this law is to ensure the public’s right to and freedom of access to information. This law provides for duties of public institutions to provide and disseminate information publicly, in conformity with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia and article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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CHAPTER 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS-Article 2

This law has the following objectives:

a) To promote and ensure the fulfillment of public institutions’ obligations of broadly providing and disseminating information to the public;

b) To ensure public participations in political, economic, social, and cultural affairs of the nation, as described in article 35 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia;

c) To provide information to the public as part of an awareness of responsibilities, activities, actions and decisions taken by the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia in order to strengthen accountability and truth before the public;

d) To assist the public in following up the public institutions’ working activities to ensure that public funds shall be used as planned;

e) To promote the good management of various documents and databases of public institutions so as to make policies of providing services to the public;

f) To encourage public institutions to fulfill their duties with good quality, effectiveness, transparency, and accountability;

g) To reduce the confidential information as much as possible.

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CHAPTER 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS-Article 3

This law is applicable to all pieces of information, which shall be provided by public institutions both at national administration and subnational administration across the Kingdom of Cambodia, with the exception of a certain number of confidential information laid down by this law.

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CHAPTER 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS-Article 4

Technical terms used in this law includethe followings:

- Information: refers to all pieces and all formats of official documents under the possession of public institutions;

- Public Information: refers to the information that public institutions must widely disseminate to the public;

- Confidential Information: refers to the information that public institutions cannot disclose to the public;

- Officer: refers to a person who fulfills his/her functions in public institutions;

- Officer in Charge of Information: refers to a person appointed by public institutions having function of managing and providing information to the public;

- Information Office: refers to a place, established by public institutions, where information is managed and provided to the public;

- Public Institutions: refer to ministries/institutions, or other entities performing public functions including national and subnational administration, created by law or/and other regulations;

- Requester: refers to a natural or legal person who makes a request for information;

- National Administrations: refers to ministries, institutions or equivalent public entities, and subordinate specialized departments;

- Subnational Administrations: refers to capitals/provinces, municipalities/ districts/khans, and communes/sangkats under the authority of each council.

- Obstruction against the Implementation of Public Works refers to the act of obstructing by violence against the implementation of public works or the works for the interests of the public;

- Exception refers to the exceptions to any part or section of a confidential document as stipulated in the prohibition provisions;

- Succession refers to

1. Transferring the rights and obligations of the deceased to one or more successors by will or by law

2. Transferring the heritage of the deceased to one or more successors by will or by law.

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CHAPTER 2-RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PROVIDING INFORMATION-
Article 5


All persons have the right to and freedom of access to information held by public institutions under the provisions of this law.

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CHAPTER 2-RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PROVIDING INFORMATION -
Article 6


All public institutions shall abide by the principle of maximum disclosure. Forward this end, they shall regularly update and broadly disseminate information about action plans, budgeting, fulfillment of tasks, responsibilities, and other decisions in connection with national and public interests such as:

a) Organization and functioning of all public institutions, including working activities and other achievements;

b) Public institutions’ development plan of infrastructures and all sectors;

c) Detailed information about services mechanism, together with list of fees of the public services to be provided by public institutions to the public;

d) Laws, regulations, policies, decisions, and duties of public institutions relating to rights, freedoms, obligations, and public interests;

e) All aspects of functioning and procedures at courts, including administrative affairs, which are of the interest of and have direct connection with the public, except for a certain number of prohibited provisions;

f) Annual budget plan attached with detailed information on spending budget in current fiscal year and audited financial statement of the previous year;

g) Official requests or complaints mechanism establishing for the public in connection with action or omission of public institutions, together with summary of the requested complaint or other direct actions of members or response of public institutions.

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CHAPTER 2-RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PROVIDING INFORMATION -
Article 7


All public institutions shall facilitate access and shall be open in providing all kinds of information to the public upon request without any discrimination, with understandable formalities and within established timeframes, and reasonable fees, excepting the confidential information under prohibited provisions.
In the case of public interest greater than the preservation of confidential information as stipulated in the prohibition provisions, the confidential information must be provided to the public on request.

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CHAPTER 2-RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PROVIDING INFORMATION -
Article 8


Public institutions shall perform the following obligations:

a) To create an information office within each institution, both at national and sub-national level, by providing financial supports, materials and proper means to officers officers in charge of information, in order to facilitate the provision of information to the public with effectiveness.

b) Each information office shall be leaded by a vice-president of institution, who has expertise and experiences in the field of information under responsibility of the institution, and by subordinate officer in charge of information as deemed necessary.

c) The appointment of officers in charge of information shall be determined by the decision of public institutions.

d) To train officers in charge of information to gain more expertise and capacity in relation to the right to access to information, so that this law shall be implemented effectively.

e) To encourage specialized units under the institution itself to cooperate and take responsibility for the search of information for providing to the public, upon request of the chief of information office.

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CHAPTER 2-RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PROVIDING INFORMATION -
Article 9


Officers in charge of information shall have the following duties:

a) To be a potentially spokesman of the institution, for which she/he is currently working, in response to the public;

b) To be responsible before the head of institution for the proper provision of all piece of information to the public;

c) To be a focal coordinator in his/her institution and in communication with the public for receiving request for information from the public;

d) To closely cooperate with all specialized units of his/her institution in searching for, collecting and compiling documents, and assisting in searches of records upon request of requester;

e) To assist all persons who seek for information, including provide support for preparing application forms for requesting for information and other procedures set out by this law;

f) To cooperate with other relevant specialized units of his/her institution in classifying information which falls within the scope of the confidential information or records which fall or not within the scope of exemption;

g) To be responsible for preparing communication plans of information and public dissemination of the implementation, responsibilities, duties, and achievements of public institutions.

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CHAPTER 3-PROCEDURES OF REQUESTING AND PROVIDING INFORMATION-Article 10

All persons whether natural persons or legal persons shall be entitled to request all kinds of information from public institutions without any discrimination.

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CHAPTER 3-PROCEDURES OF REQUESTING AND PROVIDING INFORMATION-Article 11

A requestfor information shall be made in writing with its detailed descriptions about the requested information and its format to be submitted to public institutions.

Procedures and formalities for requesting information shall be determined as follows:

1. Formalities for requesting for information:

- Name, sex, age, nationality, occupation;

- Current address andelectronic address(if any);

- List of detailed information to be requested.

2. Requester who has no ability to fill out application forms by him/herself due to illiteracy or disability may make a request for information orally. Officers in charge of information who received such a request shall gratuitously assist in writing information upon request accordingly and note his/her name in a certified copy and requester’s receipt.

3. Requester may submit a written request for information directly or via its authorized representative to officers of public institution or officers in charge of information, or may send it by post or by email to public institutions possessing that information.

4. Officers of public institutions or officers in charge of information who received a request for information shall duly register and issue receipts to the requester.

5. Requester shall take receipts from the officers of public institution or officers in charge of information right after filing application forms. For those making requests for information by post or by email, receipts shall be issued based on the type of means of the request.

6. Officers of public institution who received a request for information shall forward such a request to officers in charge of information within 24 (twenty four) hours of working days.

7. In the event that a request for information is wrongly addressed to competent institutions possessing information, officers in charge of information shall return such a request to the requester as soon as possible and shall give more information as much as possible about the public institutions holding the requested information.

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CHAPTER 3-PROCEDURES OF REQUESTING AND PROVIDING INFORMATION-Article 12

Public institutions shall provide precise information with its nature and format as requested by requester, including but not limited to:

1. A true copy of documented information from original documents;

2. A copy of documented information can be in writing, audio, picture, video, disk, or other forms;

3. Records in form of code numbers, acronyms, braille or other symbols;

4. In case a request for information is made in multi-languages, public institutions may provide information in Khmer or in language of its original format to requester;

5. In case the form in which the available information is too fragile, some conditions of access must apply.

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CHAPTER 3-PROCEDURES OF REQUESTING AND PROVIDING INFORMATION-Article 13

Officers in charge of information shall promptly examine a requests for information and give a written response to its requester by notifying if there is or no such requested information or if it’s the confidential information, which is prohibited by law from revealing publicly. The response shall be given no later than 5 (five) working days, commencing from the date of receiving the request.

A positive response shall be indicated there in the public service fees applicable for receiving the information. Updated March 05, 2019

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CHAPTER 3-PROCEDURES OF REQUESTING AND PROVIDING INFORMATION-Article 14

Public institutions shall provide information to requester as follows:

1. To provide information to the requester within 15 (fifteen) working days, starting from the date of receiving an official response from the requester, mentioning his/her agreement on service fees, as specified in Article 13 of this Law;

2. In the event that the provision of information cannot be done within the duration as described in the above item 1, public institutions may continue such delay for a period of no longer than 40 (forty) working days from the date of the reception of the request, by giving the reasons in writing of such delay back to the requester.

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CHAPTER 3-PROCEDURES OF REQUESTING AND PROVIDING INFORMATION-Article 15

Public institutions may deny providing information to requester based on the following conditions:

1. Requested information is under prohibited as specified in Article 20 of this law;

2. Requester failing to fully fill in the application forms as stated in article 11 of this law;

3. Requester obstructs the operation of the public institutions and/or officer of public institutions or officer in charge of information;

4. Requested information has recently been provided by the same public institution to requester within a period of 40 (forty) days.

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CHAPTER 3-PROCEDURES OF REQUESTING AND PROVIDING INFORMATION-Article 16

A requester who has been refused information by a public institution with clear grounds as provided in Articles 11 and 15 of this Law may submit a revised application.

If the public institution fails to provide information within the time limit as set out in Article 14 of this Law without clear reasons, the requester may appeal to competent institutions, as stated in Article 26 of this Law.

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CHAPTER 3-PROCEDURES OF REQUESTING AND PROVIDING INFORMATION-Article 17

The officer in charge of information shall examine the application to determine if the information requested falls under exceptions and shall classify the categories of information, which is not falling under the prohibitive provisions so as to provide for the requester as follows:

1. Any parts of a confidential document which is not falling under the prohibitive provisions for disclosure by pointing out the provisions of a specific law on the basis of which any part of a confidential information has been cut out and notifying the requester of the rights to appeal/challenge as provided in article 26 of this law;

2. Any parts of the document, which is still valid pursuant to laws, before its legally determined date for disclosure, where the concerned individual or ministry/institution agrees to disclose it for public interest.

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CHAPTER 3-PROCEDURES OF REQUESTING AND PROVIDING INFORMATION-Article 18

Officers in charge of information of all public institutions shall be responsible for fulfilling their obligations as set forth in this provision and shall not create any obstructions in providing information to the public by reason of exceptions as provide in articles 15, 17 and 20 of this law.

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CHAPTER 3-PROCEDURES OF REQUESTING AND PROVIDING INFORMATION-Article 19

Public institutions shall provide information to the requester as follows:

1. The provision of information and services on preparing information application forms shall be free of charge.

2. The service fees charged for providing a copy of document in writing, sound, picture, or other forms shall be fixed by joint-Prakas between the Ministry of Economy and Finance and relevant ministries/institutions.

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CHAPTER-4 CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION -Article 20

Public institutions may refuse to provide information to the public if disclosure of the information would cause damage to national defense and security matters, relations with foreign countries, national economy and finance, and internal meetings of public institutions, appointment and examination processes, would constitute a violation of privacy of an individual or obstruct law enforcement officers in the course of their duty, namely as follows:

1. Information harmful to the national security and defense matters:

a. National strategic plans pertaining to the national security and defense matters, plans to safeguard the territory against foreign threats, the importation, production, storage and use all kinds of weapons systems;

b. Information concerning strategy, intelligence, operation, tactic and technique related to the operation of national defense;

c. Figures, deployment of strength and national defense capacity, implementation of national defense systems, weapons development plans and military equipment for national defense;

d. Images data and maps relating to military base and/or military installation situation and condition, weapons production or storage locations, and military science research buildings;

e. Secret military data or information on national defense capacity of foreign countries that can endanger the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Cambodia;

f. Data related to military cooperation with other countries that has been agreed as state secret;

g. State encoding system and/or state intelligence system.

2. Information causing damage to foreign or international relations:

a. Secret position, bargaining power, and strategy that will be and has been taken by the state in relation with foreign countries or the international community;

b. Secret diplomatic communication or correspondence with foreign countries or the international community;

c. All communication and encoding systems used for connecting with foreign countries or the international community;

d. Protection and security of Cambodian military base and strategic infrastructure overseas.

3. Information causing harm to the national economy and finance:

a. Preliminary plans of sale or purchase of national or foreign currency, shares and vital assets of the state;

b. Preliminary plans of exchange rate adjustments of foreign currency, government loans, tax reform, tariff, or state revenues;

c. Preliminary plans of sales or purchases of state property or foreign investment;

d. Secret statements, facts, letters, figures, or contents of accounting or administrative documents as set forth in the law on Banking and Financial Institutions.

4. Any disclosed information prejudicing the criminal investigation process, law enforcement and the court confidentiality limited to, when applicable:

a. Obstructing law enforcement officers in investigating a criminal offense;

b. Revealing the identity of protected informants, witnesses, and/or victims having knowledge of a criminal act;

c. Damaging equipment, facilities, and/or infrastructures of law enforcement agencies;

d. Endangering the security and/or lives of law enforcement officers or their families;

e. Prejudicing criminal investigations related to the prevention of transnational crimes.

5. Information constituting a violation of privacy of a private person:

a. Medical history and psycho-physical therapy of a private person;

b. Information patterning to evaluation in relation to capacity, intelligence, educational or psychological records of a private person;

c. Statutory and testamentary successions;

d. Information revealing the identity or name of either party in a civil case in relation to fatherhood, motherhood, marriage, divorce or parental authority;

e. Information revealing the identity of minor in a civil case or accident, and other criminal cases;

f. Information revealing the identity of victim in rape case;

g. Information about financial situation, property, income, and bank accounts of a private person unless otherwise stipulated by laws;

h. Information concerning secrecy in intellectual property and trade secret;

i. Personal correspondence.

6. Information classified as confidential related to internal meetings of public institutions, process of appointments and examinations which organized by the public institution.

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CHAPTER 4-CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION –Article 21

To ensure the protection of national sovereignty, defense of national security, governance process and protection of everyone’s right to life in conformity with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, public institutions shall provide accessible confidential information to the public after the following time frames:

1- Up to 90 (ninety) days from the date of creation or issuance of the record of the classified information related to internal meetings of public institutions, process of appointments and examinations which is organized by the public institution as stipulated in Article 20 above.

2- Up to 30 (thirty) years from the date of creation or issuance of the record of information related to national security and defense matters, foreign or international relations, national economy and finance, as stipulated in the Article 20 above.

3- Up to 60 (sixty) years from the date of creation or of issuance of the record of information related to the functioning of the criminal justice system or information constituting a violation of privacy of an individual as stipulated in the article 20 above.

With the exception of cases related to crime of genocide, crime against humanity, or war crimes or serious violations of human rights that shall be disclosed as soon as available, public institutions shall make the information available to the public when the court of law completely closes the case.

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CHAPTER 4-CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION –Article 22

With respect to confidential information, official in charge of information shall perform the following:

- Register the official confidential information;

- Take out any expired confidential information from the confidential information list;

- Remove any information from the confidential information list with consent of its right holder.

Mechanisms and procedures for defining, classifying, registering confidential information, and deleting the information from confidential information list as set forth in Article 20, 21 of this Law shall be provided by a sub-decree.

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CHAPTER 4-CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION –Article 23

To protect and serve the public interests and promote the public’s right to information in accordance with legal principles, a public institution may decide to reduce the timeframe on confidential information either in part or in whole as prescribed in article 21 of this law and make it available to the public.

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CHAPTER 5 INFORMATION REVELATION PROTECTION Article 24

No person shall be criminally, civilly and disciplinarily responsible for the denunciation of a felony or a misdemeanor they had known and/or during the performance of their function or duty made before the judicial authority or other competent authorities.

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CHAPTER 5 INFORMATION REVELATION PROTECTION –Article 25

Officials in charge of information shall not be criminally, civilly and disciplinarily responsible for the decision of providing information to the public made within their cope of work and position as officials in charge of information. This principle is not applicable in case where officials in charge of information fulfill their duties with bad faith, which is contrary to their competence and position granted by laws.

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CHAPTER 6 APPEAL AND ENFORCEMENT OF DECISIONS –Article 26

Requester shall have the right to appeal to the head of the public institution to which the request for information was addressed if the requested information is not provided in accordance with article 14 or was rejected by public institution without any proper reasons as stated in articles 15 and 17 of this law.

At the sub-national level, if the requester is not satisfied with the decision of the officer in charge of information, he/she may file a complaint to the head of institution or the ombudsman located in the area where the information is requested. The appeal must be made within 30 (thirty) working days from the date requester received denial letter from the public institution. Public institutions must respond to complaints within 15 (fifteen) working days from the date of receipt of the complaint.

In the event that the requester is not satisfied with the head of the concerned public institution’s decisions, he/she may reject such decisions by appeal within 30 (thirty) working days to the capital or provincial courts of first instance and continue to lodge an appeal against decisions of the capital or provincial courts of first instance in accordance with legal proceedings.

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CHAPTER 6 APPEAL AND ENFORCEMENT OF DECISIONS –Article 27

In the event that the lower courts or the higher courts order public institutions to provide information upon request, procedures for providing of information shall be implemented in accordance with articles 13 and 14 of this law.

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CHAPTER 7 PENALTIES –Article 28

Officials of public institution or officials in charge of information failing to fulfill their obligations as described in the provision of article 9, article 11, article 12, article 13, article 14, article 17, article 18 and article 23of this law shall be liablefor disciplinary sanctions without prejudice to criminal punishments.

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CHAPTER 7 PENALTIES –Article 29

In case there is an act of violence committed against officials of public institution or officials in charge of information performing their duties as stipulated in the paragraph 1 of article 26 of this law shall be punishable by the provision of article 506 (Obstruction against the implementation of public works) of the Criminal Code.

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CHAPTER 7 PENALTIES –Article 30

Whoever makes a lying denunciation to any public institutions or judicial authorities about an offense, causing the investigation to become useless, shall be liable to an imprisonment form 1 (one) month to 6 (six) months and/or to a fine from 100,000 (one hundred thousands) Riels to 1,000,000 (one million) Riels.

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CHAPTER 7 PENALTIES –Article 31

Whoever is obliged to provide or hold information of the public institution agrees to disclose confidential information to any incompetent persons in exchange for donation, gift, promise or any other interests, shall be punishable by the provision of article 32 (Corruption offenses) of the Law on Anti-Corruption.

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CHAPTER 7 PENALTIES –Article 32

Whoever is obliged to provide or hold confidential information, due to his/her own personal situation, career, occupation or mission, discloses or reveals the confidential information to any incompetent persons to be known about secrets of the public institution shall be liable to an imprisonment from 2 (two) years to 5 (five) years and to a fine from 4,000,000 (four millions) Riels to 10,000,000 (ten millions) Riels and shall be subject to be punishable by additional penalties as described in article 483 (Additional Penalties ) of the criminal code.

In the case that the confidential information is leaked by unintentional mistake or disobedience to internal rules shall be liable to an imprisonment from 6 (six) months to 2 (two) years and to a fine from 1,000,000 (one million) Riels to 4,000,000 (four millions) Riels.

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CHAPTER 7 PENALTIES –Article 33

Whoever is obliged to provide or hold information provides or facilitates access to confidential information from any foreign States or international agencies, causing damage to the national security and economy shall be liable to an imprisonment from 7 (seven) years to 15 (fifteen) years and to a fine from 10,000,000 (ten millions) to 20,000,000 (twenty millions) Riels and shall be subject to be punishable by additional penalties as described in the article 450 ( Additional penalties ) of the Criminal Code.

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CHAPTER 7 PENALTIES –Article 34

Whoever has no competent to hold information or whoever has been performing his/her duties in holding the public institution’s information intentionally keep or possess confidential information for personal purposes shall be liable to an imprisonment from 2 (two) years to 5 (five) years and to a fine from 4,000,000 (four millions) to 10,000,000 (ten millions) Riels.

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CHAPTER 7 PENALTIES –Article 35

Whoever is obliged to hold public information causes damage or destroys such information shall be liable to an imprisonment from 2 (two) years to 5 (five) and to a fine from 4,000,000 (four millions) to 10,000,000 (ten millions) Riels, and shall be subject to be punishable by additional penalties as stated in the Article 483 (Additional Penalties) of the Criminal Code.

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CHAPTER 8 TRANSITIONAL PROVISION –Article 36

The Press Law promulgated by Royal Krom No. NS/RKM/0895/07 on September 1st, 1995, and the provision of other related laws, as well as other texts supporting the implementation of this law shall remain applicable until the replacement of new provisions.

Officers in charge of information of municipal and provincial administration instituted by Joint Prakas No. 3527 PrK 443 PM.PrK dated 26 July 2012 of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Information shall continuously perform their duties until replacing by a new office in charge of information created under the spirit of this law.

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CHAPTER 8 TRANSITIONAL PROVISION Article-37

This law shall prevail in case of the provision of other laws contradict any provision of this law.

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CHAPTER 9 FINAL PROVISION Article-38

Any provisions that contradict this law shall be deemed as null and void.

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© Access to Information (Ministry of Information, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

អាសយដ្ឋាន: លេខ៦២ មហាវិថីព្រះមុនីវង្ស សង្កាត់ស្រះចក ខណ្ឌដូនពេញ
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