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Freedom of Information Policy

What Does Freedom of Information Mean:
The process of providing individuals with public data for a fee is called "freedom of information," or as it is known, a "right to information policy."

Who Can Request the Information:
Every individual has the right to submit a request and know information related to the platform's activities and has the right to view public information - unprotected - in exchange for a financial fee. The applicant doesn't need to have a certain quality or interest in this information to obtain it, nor will it not expose the person to any legal accountability related to this right, which strengthens the system of integrity, transparency, and accountability.

The Rights of Individuals to Access Public Information
1. The right to access and obtain any public information – unprotected – by any public entity.
2. The right to be informed about the reason for the denial of the request for access to information.
3. The right to file a notice of appeal against the decision to refuse the request for access to information.

The Importance of Freedom of Information Policy
Open data programs and policies have been launched around the world to support growth of the national economy and innovation agenda. Making specific datasets available for public access and use has benefited researchers, innovators, other members of the public and even companies and helped create a conductive environment for business growth, promoting an open and transparent government. Driving an open data program also represents the proactiveness of Saudi EXIM in upholding the right to access public information and making specific datasets open ahead of being requested. As such, it is expected that effective open data programs can be correlated with less Freedom of Information requests, potentially lowering government expenses.

This Policy applies to all requests coming from any individual to access or obtain public information – unprotected – produced or held by Saudi EXIM, regardless of the source, form or nature. This includes paper records, emails, information stored on computers, audio or video cassettes, microfiche, maps, photographs, handwritten notes or any other form of recorded information.
The following information should be considered as protected, and should not be disclosed:
1. Information that, if disclosed, may harm the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s national security, policies, interests, or rights.
2. Military and security information.
3. Documents and information obtained in agreement with another state and classified as protected.
4. Inquiries, investigations, checks, inspections, and monitoring in respect of a crime or violation.
5. Information that includes recommendations, suggestions, or consultations for issuing governmental legislation or decision not issued yet.
6. Commercial, industrial, financial, or economic information that, if disclosed, may result in gaining profits or avoiding losses in an illegitimate manner.
7. Scientific or technological searches or rights included intellectual property right that, if disclosed, may result in infringement of incorporeal right.
8. Tender and bidding Information that, if disclosed, may give rise to violation of fair competition.
9. Information and the like, which are protected, confidential or personal under another law, or require certain legal action to be accessed or obtained.

The Main Requirements for the Request to Access Public Information:
The request should be in writing or electronically.
The request should be filled out in a dedicated form made accessible by Saudi EXIM.
The request should clearly state that it is a request for Freedom of Information purposes.
The request should give details about how notices can be sent to the requester (for example: address, email, or through the Saudi EXIM website).
The request should be sent directly to the designated contact preferably via email.

The Main Steps for the Request to Access Public Information:
1. Applications should be submitted by filling out a “Public Information Request Form Public Information Request Form” – electronic format or paper – and submitting it to Saudi EXIM.
2. Data Management Office, in not less   more than thirty (30) days of receipt of a request to access or 
obtain public information, has to take one of the following steps:
Grant: If the Data Management Office grants a request to access to or obtain information in whole or in part, the applicant should be advised in writing the applicable fees, and the Data Management Office should make this information available to the applicant within a reasonable period that does not exceed ten (10) days of receipt of payment.
Denial: If the Data Management Office denies a request to access to or obtain information, rejection decision should be communicated in writing or electronically and should include the following information:
Whether the request is denied, in whole or in part.
A concise statement for the basis of denial, if applicable.
Notice of a right to appeal such denial, including notice as to the time and manner in which any appeal must be taken.
Extension: In the event the Data Management Office is unable to respond to the request for access in due time, the time in which to respond should be extended within reasonable time given the size and nature of information requested – for example not exceeding an additional thirty (30) calendar days – and the Data Management Office should provide the applicant the following information:
Notice of the Extension and the new date when the request is expected to be completed.
A concise statement for the basis of delay.
Notice of a right to appeal such delay, including notice as to the time and manner in which any appeal must be taken.
Notice: If the required information is available on the Saudi EXIM website, or is not within its competence, the individual requesting the information must be notified, in writing or electronically, including the following information:
The type of notice, for example, the required data is available on the Saudi EXIM website or is not within its jurisdiction.
The right to complain about this notice and how to exercise this right.
3. In the event the applicant wants to appeal a denial by Saudi EXIM, they could submit a written or electronic notice of appeal to the Data Management Office within a specific period of time, not exceeding ten (10) working days after receiving the decision. The Board of Grievances Data Management Committee, shall has to review the application, make the appropriate decision, and notify the applicant of the related fees – it is retrieved if the Committee Board approves the request – and the appeal decision.

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