The Government exists to serve the community well within available resources. To this end, it recognises the need for the community to be well informed about the Government, the services it provides and the basis for policies and decisions that affect individuals and the community as a whole.
The Code on Access to Information (the Code) defines the scope of information that will be provided, sets out how the information will be made available either routinely or in response to a request, and lays down procedures governing its prompt release.
The Code authorises and requires civil servants, routinely or on request, to provide information unless there are specific reasons for not doing so. These reasons are set out in Part 2 of the Code and will normally be referred to if a request for information is refused.
Requests for information will be handled as promptly and helpfully as possible and, if necessary, applicants may be approached to clarify their requests or the requests may be directed to the most appropriate department.
The Code also sets out procedures for review or complaint if a member of the public considers that the provisions of the Code have not been properly applied.
The Code can be accessed at http://www.access.gov.hk.