Laws & Policies

Records and Archives Law

The Records and Archives Law has a number of indirect implications on open data. This law provides a formal mechanism for requesting the government to release its records and archives.

The law permits members of the public to request access to government records after 30 years from its creation or formal archiving. This period is extended to 60 or 100 years for certain categories of information. The law places restrictions on the use of information obtained under this law specifically and does not allow its use for commercial purposes.

Even though this law is useful for accessing government data, it should not be seen as a restriction on the ability of the government to release open data. This law regulates the instances where members of the public have to right to request access to government documents, whereas open data relates to instances where the government voluntarily publishes its data on the internet. These are closely related concepts, but restrictions on one of them should not be assumed to apply to the other.