The translation of this document is outdated.
Translation validity: 13.06.2022.–30.04.2023.
Amendments not included: 20.04.2023.
Text consolidated by Valsts valodas centrs (State
Language Centre) with amending laws of:
15 May 2003 [shall come
into force on 17 June 2003];
26 November 2003 [shall come into force on 25 December
19 February 2004[shall come into force on 17 March
22 December 2005[shall come into force on 1 February
5 October 2006 [shall come into force on 14 October
12 March 2009; [shall come into force on 1 April
12 June 2009 [shall come into force on 1 July
3 September 2015 [shall come into force on 6 October
19 May 2022 [shall come into force on 13 June 2022].
If a whole or part of a section has been amended, the
date of the amending law appears in square brackets at
the end of the section. If a whole section, paragraph or
clause has been deleted, the date of the deletion appears
in square brackets beside the deleted section, paragraph
The Saeima1 has adopted and
the President has proclaimed the following law:
Freedom of Information Law
Section 1. Terms Used in the Law
The following terms are used in the Law:
1) information - data or compilations of data in any
technically possible form of fixation, storage or transfer;
2) circulation of information - the initiation,
creation, compilation, collection, processing, use and
destruction of information;
3) documented information - information the entry of
which into the circulation of information can be identified;
4) institution - a public entity, its authority or
official, and also a person who implements State administration
tasks delegated thereto, provided that such person in the
circulation of information is associated with the implementation
of the relevant tasks;
5) re-use - the use of generally accessible information
at the disposal of an institution and created by an institution
for commercial or non-commercial purpose, which is not the
initial purpose for the creation of such information, if it is
performed by a private person who uses information at the
disposal of an institution for purposes other than performing
State administration tasks;
6) open data - freely available and free-of-charge
information without any restrictions for re-use that allows
editing and automated processing with freely available
7) metadata - structured information that describes a
specific set of information;
8) high-value datasets - the documents the re-use of
which, due to the number of potential users, is associated with
important benefits for society, the environment and the economy,
in particular because of their suitability for the creation of
value-added services, applications and new, high-quality and
decent jobs, and of the number of potential beneficiaries of the
value-added services and applications based on those
9) dynamic data - the digital documents subject to
frequent or real-time updates due to their volatility or rapid
obsolescence (data generated by sensors are typically considered
to be dynamic data).
[22 December 2005; 5 October 2006; 3 September 2015; 19 May
Section 2. Purpose and Scope of
Application of the Law
(1) The purpose of the Law is to ensure that the public has
access to information which is at the disposal of institution or
which an institution has a duty to create in conformity with its
competence. The Law determines uniform procedures by which
private persons are entitled to obtain information from an
institution and to use it.
(2) The Law applies to documented information which is within
the circulation of information of institutions.
(3) Information shall be accessible to the public in all cases
unless this Law specifies otherwise.
(31) The requirements of the Law for institutions
in relation to the ensuring of access on the Internet to
generally accessible information which contains high-value
datasets or refers to dynamic data shall be also applicable to
the capital companies controlled by public entities acting
1) public service providers in the fields of water supply,
energy, transportation, and postal services;
2) public service providers in compliance with that laid down
in Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on public
passenger transport services by rail and by road and repealing
Council Regulations (EEC) Nos 1191/69 and 1107/70;
3) air carriers who fulfil the provision of public service
obligations in compliance with that laid down in Article 16 of
Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of
the Council of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the
operation of air services in the Community;
4) Community shipowners fulfilling public service obligations
in compliance with that laid down in Article 4 of Regulation (EC)
No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23
October 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and
by road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) Nos 1191/69 and
(4) The Law does not apply to the exchange of information
(5) The Law does not apply to the information which is at the
disposal of a capital company controlled by a public entity and
is included in the list of high-value datasets in accordance with
that laid down in Section 10, Paragraph 2.2 of this
Law, provided that such information is related to the activities
performed in free competition in the field of the provision of
public services and the public procurement rules do not apply to
it or the information has been prepared outside the scope of the
field of the provision of public services.
[22 December 2005; 19 May 2022]
Classification of Information
Section 3. Classes of
Information to which this Law applies shall be classified as
1) generally accessible information;
2) restricted access information.
Section 4. Generally Accessible
Generally accessible information is information other than
classified as restricted access information.
Section 5. Restricted Access
(1) Restricted access information is such information as
intended for a restricted group of persons in relation to the
performance of their work or official duties and the disclosure
or loss of which, due to the nature and contents of such
information, hinders or may hinder the activities of the
institution, or causes or may cause harm to the legal interests
(2) As restricted access information shall be considered to be
1) which has been granted such status by law;
2) which is intended and specified for internal use by an
3) which is a commercial secret, except for the case where a
purchase contract has been entered into in accordance with the
Public Procurement Law or other type of contract regarding
actions with State or local government financial resources and
4) which concerns the private life of natural persons;
5) which is related to certifications, examinations, submitted
projects (except for the projects the financing of which is
expected to be a guarantee provided by the State), invitations to
tender (except for the invitations to tender which are associated
with procurement for State or local government needs or other
type of contract regarding actions with State or local government
funds and property) and other assessment processes of a similar
6) which is for official use only;
7) which is the information of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organisation or of the European Union that is designated as "NATO
UNCLASSIFIED" or "LIMITE" respectively.
(3) The author of the information or the head of an
institution shall determine restricted access status for
information by indicating the grounds laid down in this Law or
(4) The author of information or the head of an institution
shall determine restricted access status for information for a
time period which is not longer than one year, with the exception
of the case referred to in Section 7 of this Law. The author of
information or the head of an institution may decide on setting a
new time period, also on cancelling the status prior to the
termination of the laid down time period. If the time period for
which restricted access status has been determined to information
has expired, or if the restricted access status has been
cancelled prior to the time period laid down in law, such
information shall become generally accessible information.
(5) Paragraphs three and four of this Section shall not apply
to cases where the restricted access status has been determined
to information by law.
(6) Information which is accessible to the public without
restrictions provided for in law or has already been published
shall not be considered to be restricted access information.
[15 May 2003; 26 November 2003; 22 December 2005; 5 October
2006; 3 September 2015]
Section 6. Information for the
Internal Use of an Institution
(1) Information which is necessary to an institution for the
preparation for resolution of matters shall be considered to be
information for the internal use of an institution.
(2) Restricted access shall also apply to the documents which
have been drawn up in connection with the preparation for
resolution of matters by an institution and which have been drawn
1) advisors or experts specially invited for the particular
2) one institution for the use by another institution.
(3) The restricted access status may be applied to information
for the internal use of an institution during the process of
preparation of matters only up to the time when the institution
takes the decision regarding the particular matter, or when a
document which has not been classified as a restricted access
document is sent to an addressee.
(4) Information for the internal use which has been classified
as restricted access information shall be registered by the
institution concerned in accordance with the procedures laid down
in laws and regulations.
Section 7. Information on a
(1) Information which is created by a merchant or belongs to a
merchant and the disclosing of which may have a significant
adverse impact on the competitiveness of the merchant shall be
considered to be a commercial secret.
(2) Information which is associated with the implementation of
State administration functions or tasks may not be considered to
be a commercial secret.
(3) A merchant, when providing information to an institution,
shall indicate whether the information is a commercial secret and
what is the legal basis for such a status.
(4) If an institution has received a request for the provision
of such information which is a commercial secret, it shall, prior
to providing such information or refusing to provide it,
ascertain the viewpoint of the merchant regarding the compliance
with the provisions of Paragraph one of this Section.
(5) Information on the commercial secret shall be restricted
access information until the merchant has notified an institution
regarding termination of commercial secret status or when the
information concerned has become generally accessible to third
[22 December 2005; 5 October 2006; 3 September
Section 8. Information on the
Private Life of a Natural Person
Information on the private life of a natural person shall be
protected by law.
Section 8.1 Information
for Official Use Only
(1) Information for official use only shall be considered to
1) information created in Latvia subject to protection which
is related to State security and does not contain an official
2) information that has been handed over to Latvia by a
foreign state, international organisation or the institution
thereof, and which is classified as "RESTRICTED", also
information created in Latvia associated with such
(2) No-one has the right to make public the information
created by a foreign state, international organisation or the
institution thereof for official use only without the consent of
the relevant foreign state, international organisation or the
(3) The status "information for official use only" for
information created in Latvia shall be laid down for one year.
The institution which has laid down such a status for the
information may decide on the laying down of a new time period,
also on the cancelling such status prior to the termination of
the laid down time period. If in relation to information for
which the status of "information for official use only" has been
laid down the time period of such status provided for in law has
terminated or the status has been cancelled prior to the time
period provided for in law, such information created in Latvia
shall become generally accessible information.
(4) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for protecting
the information for official use only.
[26 November 2003]
Section 9. Recording of
(1) Each institution shall keep records on information.
(2) The person requesting information has the right to become
acquainted with the records on generally accessible
(3) A person has the right to become acquainted with the list
of restricted access information of the institution in which the
types of information, themes, separate documents and the types
thereof are included.
(4) [5 October 2006]
[22 December 2005; 5 October 2006 / Paragraph three shall
come into force on 1 January 2007. See Transitional
Provision of Information, Re-use and Protection of the Rights of
Applicant for Information
[22 December 2005]
Section 10. Duty to Provide
(1) The institution shall provide information upon its own
initiative or upon request of a private person, or as a
high-value dataset in accordance with that laid down in Paragraph
2.2 of this Section.
(2) Taking into account good administration principle, an
institution shall, upon its own initiative, ensure accessibility
of certain type of generally accessible information.
(21) An institution shall, upon its own initiative,
provide accessibility to generally accessible information posted
on the Internet in the form of open data together with
information metadata, provided that this is useful.
(22) The institution shall ensure access on the
Internet to the generally accessible information which contains
high-value datasets and metadata. The Cabinet shall determine the
formats of high-value dataset lists, their data and metadata, and
the procedures for distribution, and also the procedures for
distributing dynamic data.
(3) Generally accessible information shall be provided also
upon request of a private person. Such information shall be
provided to anyone who wishes to receive it, subject to the equal
rights of persons to obtain information. The applicant shall not
be required to specially justify his or her interest in generally
accessible information, and he or she may not be denied it
because such information does not apply to the applicant.
(4) If the entirety of the requested information also includes
restricted access information, an institution shall provide only
that part of information which is generally accessible. That part
of the information which includes restricted access information
shall be provided following the special procedures laid down in
(5) An institution may agree with an applicant for information
on permanent co-operation in transfer for re-use of the
information which is at the disposal thereof.
(6) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for posting
information on the Internet by institutions.
[22 December 2005; 5 October 2006; 3 September 2015; 19 May
Section 11. Form for Requesting
Information and Registration Procedures
(1) Information may be requested in writing, orally or
(2) All written requests for information shall be registered.
An institution may lay down procedures for registering requests
for information expressed orally and for such requests which are
submitted in electronic form and are not signed with an
electronic signature in accordance with the procedures laid down
in the laws and regulations.
(3) A request for information expressed in writing or in
electronic form shall indicate the applicant's given name,
surname or name (firm), address where the information is to be
sent, and the applicant for information shall sign it. The
requests for information shall be formulated as precisely as
(4) Restricted access information shall be requested in
writing. When requesting restricted access information, a person
shall provide grounds for his or her request and indicate the
purpose for which the information will be used. If restricted
access information is provided, the recipient shall undertake the
obligations to use this information exclusively for the purposes
it was requested for.
(5) An institution may refuse to satisfy the request if it has
not been prepared in accordance with the provisions of Paragraphs
three and four of this Section, or does not provide a description
according to which it is possible to identify the
(6) Correspondence between an institution and an applicant for
information and information regarding this person shall be
regarded as restricted access information.
[22 December 2005; 5 October 2006; 12 March 2009]
Section 11.1 Request for
Re-use of Information
(1) A request for the re-use of the information at the
disposal of an institution shall be drawn up in writing in
accordance with the request documentation requirements determined
for the relevant information group.
(2) In addition, the request shall indicate that the
information is requested for the purpose of re-use, and the goods
or services for the formation of which the requested information
[5 October 2006]
Section 11.2 Manner of
Issuing Requested Information
(1) Requested information shall be issued orally, in writing,
or, if it possible, by using electronic means of communication.
Restricted access information shall be issued in writing.
(2) When issuing the requested information, an institution
shall as far as possible take into account the manner of
receiving the information indicated by the applicant, especially
taking care of persons with visual or hearing impairments.
(3) An institution may refuse to fulfil a request for
information or the fulfilment conditions thereof if the request
for information or the fulfilment conditions thereof are not
commensurate with the resources at the disposal of the
institution, to wit, as a result of the fulfilment of the request
for information or the fulfilment conditions thereof the work of
the institution or the rights of another person are
(4) An institution may invite a private person at a time
acceptable to the institution and the private person in order to
acquaint the private person with the requested information at the
institution if the request for information is incommensurably
large or the provision of the information outside the institution
is not possible due to the conditions of storage of the
(5) An institution has no obligation to collect, produce,
store or modify information exclusively for the purpose of
satisfying a request for re-use of information.
[22 December 2005; 5 October 2006; 3 September
Section 12. Refusing Requested
Information and Procedures for Providing a Statement on the
(1) If an institution refuses to provide information which has
been requested in writing, it shall specify in its written
refusal on what grounds the request has been, wholly or in part,
refused, and where and within what time period this refusal may
be contested or appealed.
(2) If the requested information is not at the disposal of the
institution, the institution shall provide a statement regarding
the location of the information and the procedures for accessing
the information, if the latter is known to the institution.
(3) If the information which is requested from the institution
is available free of charge on the Internet, the institution may
refuse to issue the requested information by indicating the
address of the website where the relevant information is
available, except for the case when the applicant has indicated
that due to his or her legal status, health condition or other
justified circumstances it is not possible to acquire the
information on the Internet. If the text of a law or Cabinet
regulation is requested from the institution, the institution may
refuse to provide it indicating when and in which number of the
newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis the information was
published, also a website on the Internet where the relevant law
or regulation is available.
(4) In the case referred to in Section 11.2,
Paragraph four of this Law, the institution shall draw up a
refusal to exercise a request for information or certain
condition thereof if, after the receipt of a notification
regarding the possible manner of issuing the information, the
applicant for the information informs the institution in writing
that he or she does not agree with offered manner of issuing the
(5) If an institution refuses to provide the requested
information for re-use on the grounds of protection of
intellectual property rights of a third party, or if the
institution has no right to issue the requested information due
to the conditions laid down by a third party (licensor), it shall
point out the third party in its written refusal whose
intellectual property rights are protected, if known to the
institution, or the licensor who has granted the institution the
right to use the object of intellectual property rights.
Libraries, museums and archives do not need to provide such
indication in their refusal.
[22 December 2005; 5 October 2006; 12 Mach 2009; 3 Septmber
Section 13. Fee for the Provision of
(1) Generally accessible information which does not require
any additional processing shall be provided free of charge.
(2) The fee charged for the provision of information may not
exceed its production and processing (e.g. collection,
production, reproduction, dissemination) costs. When issuing laws
and regulations regarding paid services relating to issue of the
information, it shall be taken into account that the fee may not
include any other expenses which have been incurred in respect of
resolving legal or political issues associated with the provision
of answer to the request for information, and also the expenses
of searching for the information. If the information for re-use
is issued from a library, the National Archives of Latvia or a
museum deposit, the fee for the provision of information may also
include the costs for preservation and acquisition of rights.
(3) Every applicant for information may request exemption from
being charged a fee for the service. The Cabinet shall determine
the cases when a private person shall be charged a reduced fee
for the provision of information or shall be released from such
(4) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for performance
of payment for the provision of information, and also determine
the paid services and the amounts thereof.
(5) The same fee and provision procedures as for other
applicants for information shall be applied to a commercial
company founded by a public entity for the re-use of information
in its commercial activities.
[22 December 2005; 12 March 2009; 3 September 2015]
Section 14. Time Periods for the
Provision of Information
(1) An institution which has received a request for
information shall perform one of the following activities:
1) provide the answer referred to in Section 11.2,
Paragraph four, Section 12, Paragraph two, three or four of this
Law within seven days;
11) answer to the applicant within 10 days if it is
requested to provide the information only in electronic form and
it requires no additional processing;
2) answer to the applicant within 15 days, provided the
information requires no additional processing;
3) answer to the applicant within 30 days if information
requires additional processing, and notify the applicant thereof
not later than within 15 days.
(2) The time periods laid down in this Law and provisions of
Section 6 of the Law on Submissions shall be applied to the
provision of information.
[22 December 2005; 5 October 2006; 12 March 2009]
Section 15. Control of a Decision
and Action of an Institution
(1) An administrative act issued by an institution regarding
refusal to provide the information or to exercise request for
information, and also the actual action expressed as
non-provision or undue provision of the information may be
contested or appealed in accordance with the procedures laid down
in the Administrative Procedure Law.
(2) A judgment of the District Administrative Court may be
appealed in accordance with the cassation procedure in the
Department of the Administrative Cases of the Senate of the
(3) If a request for information is received in electronic
form and is not signed with electronic signature in accordance
with the procedures laid down in the laws and regulations, the
applicant thereof is not entitled to request the provision of the
information through a court.
[12 March 2009]
Section 16. Protection of Restricted
(1) An institution shall ensure that the duty to protect
restricted access information is known by all persons to whom
this duty applies, if it is not laid down otherwise in law. A
written confirmation shall be required from the persons who
process restricted access information that they know the
regulations and undertake to observe them.
(2) If, due to illegal disclosure of restricted access
information, harm has been caused to its owner or another person,
or his or her legal interests have been significantly infringed,
these persons have the right to bring an action for damages for
the harm done, or for restoration of the rights infringed.
(3) If a person has unlawfully disclosed information which has
been recognised as restricted access information, he or she shall
be disciplinary or criminally liable.
[26 November 2003; 19 February 2004; 22 December 2005; 5
Section 17. Conditions for the
Re-use of Information
An institution, without restricting competition, may provide
for conditions for re-use.
[3 September 2015]
Section 18. Exclusive Agreement
(1) It is prohibited to grant exclusive rights for re-use of
information, with the exception of the case where exclusive
rights are necessary for the provision of information society
services in the public interest. Such agreements shall be
transparent, and they shall be published. The justification for
the agreement shall be reviewed at least every three years.
(2) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for granting
exclusive rights and publishing information regarding granting of
(3) An institution shall be provided, free of charge, with a
copy of cultural resources digitised on the basis of an exclusive
agreement which is accessible for re-use after the expiry of the
laid down exclusivity period.
(4) If exclusive rights for re-use of information apply to
digitising of cultural resources, such exclusivity period shall
not exceed 10 years.
[22 December 2005; 3 September 2015]
Section 19. Supervisory
[12 June 2009]
1. [22 December 2005]
2. [22 December 2005]
3. Section 9, Paragraph three of this Law shall come into
force on 1 January 2007.
[22 December 2005]
4. Information for which restricted access status has be
determined up to the day of the coming into force of Section 5,
Paragraph four of this Law and for which the abovementioned
status is not removed according the procedures laid down in this
Law shall be deemed to be restricted access information until 31
[22 December 2005]
5. Exclusive agreements which are entered into by 1 February
2006 and do not comply with the requirements of Section 18,
Paragraph one of this Law shall be terminated upon expiry of the
time period thereof; however, not later than by 31 December
[22 December 2005]
6. The Cabinet shall, by 31 December 2016, issue the
regulations referred to in Section 10, Paragraph six, Section 13,
Paragraphs three and four, and also Section 18, Paragraph two of
[5 October 2006]
7. [5 October 2006]
8. Section 15, Paragraph two of this Law shall not apply to
the matters in which the District Administrative Court has taken
a judgment until 31 March 2009. A judgement in such cases shall
be appealed in accordance with the procedures laid down in the
Administrative Procedure Law.
[12 March 2009]
9. If the exclusive agreement laid down in Section 18,
Paragraph four of this Law has been entered into until 1 July
2015 and its time period is longer than 10 years, it shall be
terminated or extended on the eleventh year after entering into
the relevant agreement and subsequently once every seven years,
[3 September 2015]
Informative Reference to European
[22 December 2005; 3 September
2015; 19 May 2022]
The Law contains legal norms arising from:
1) Directive 2003/98/EC of the European parliament and of the
Council of 17 November 2003 on the re-use of public sector
2) Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 28 January 2003 on public access to environmental
information and repealing Council Directive 90/313/EEC;
3) Directive 2013/37/EU of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 26 June 2013 amending Directive 2003/98/EC on the
re-use of public sector information;
4) Directive (EU) 2019/1024 of the European Parliament and of
the Council of 20 June 2019 on open data and the re-use of public
The Law has been adopted by the Saeima on 29 October
Rīga, 6 November 1998.
1 The Parliament of the Republic of
Translation © 2022 Valsts valodas centrs (State