Comparative Provisions on National Security and Deliberative Process Exceptions, Select Countries

India (Rank 2, Global RTI Rating of 89 countries)
National Security
Sec 8 (a): (a) information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence;

Mexico (Rank 7, Global RTI Rating)
Article 13. Information is categorized as classified if its disclosure could: I. Compromise national security, public security or national defense; II. Impair ongoing negotiations or international relations, including that information which other states or international organisms give as confidential to the Mexican State; xxx

South Africa (Rank 12, Global RTI Rating)
Defence, security and international relations of Republic 41. (1) The information officer of a public body may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if its disclosure— (a) could reasonably be expected to cause prejudice to— (i) the defence of the Republic; (ii) the security of the Republic; or (iii) subject to subsection (3), the international relations of the Republic; or would reveal information— (i) supplied in confidence by or on behalf of another state or an international 
 organisation; (ii) supplied by or on behalf of the Republic to another state or an international organisation in terms of an arrangement or international agreement, contemplated in section 231 of the Constitution, with that state or organisation which requires the information to be held in 
 confidence; or (iii) required to be held in confidence by an international agreement or customary international law contemplated in section 231 or 232, xxx

Philippines

Sec 6 (a) The information is specifically authorized to be kept Secret under guidelines established by an executive order, and in fact properly classified pursuant thereto: Provided, That 1) The information directly relates to national security or defense and its revelation may cause grave damage to the national security or internal and external defense of the State; or 2) The information requested pertains to the foreign affairs of the Republic of the Philippines, when its revelation shall/may unduly weaken the negotiating position of the government in an ongoing bilateral or multilateral negotiation or seriously jeopardize the diplomatic relations of the Philippines with one or more states. Provided further, That the executive order shall specify the reasonable period after which the information shall be automatically declassified or subject to mandatory declassification review, and that any reasonable doubt as to classification and declassification shall be settled in favor of the right to information;

Institute for Freedom of Information (A partnership program of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and Action for Economic Reforms) Unit 1403 West Trade Center, 132 West Avenue, Quezon City Tel: 426 – 5626 Website: http://ifoi.ph

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Deliberative Process

Sec 8 (i): (i) cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers: Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over: Provided further that those matters which come under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be disclosed;

Article 14. The following will also be considered exempted information: xxx VI. That which contains the opinions, recommendations or points of view that are part of a public servant’s deliberative process, until that time when a final decision is adopted, which itself must be documented. xxx

Operations of public bodies 44. (1) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the information officer of a public body may refuse a request for access to a record of the body— (a) if the record contains— (i) an opinion, advice, report or recommendation obtained or prepared; or (ii) an account of a consultation, discussion or deliberation that has occurred, including, but not limited to, minutes of a meeting, for the purpose of assisting to formulate a policy or take a decision in the exercise of a power or performance of a duty conferred or imposed by law; or (b) if— (i) the disclosure of the record could reasonably be expected to frustrate the deliberative process in a public body or between public bodies by inhibiting the candid— (aa) communication of an opinion, advice, report or recommendation; or (bb) conduct of a consultation, discussion or deliberation; or (ii) the disclosure of the record could, by premature disclosure of a policy or contemplated policy, reasonably be expected to frustrate the success of that policy. xxx

Sec 6 (b) The information consists of records of minutes and advice given and opinions expressed during decision-making or policy formulation, invoked by the Chief Executive to be privileged by reason of the sensitivity of the subject matter or of the impairment of the Chief Executive’s deliberative process that would result from the disclosure thereof. Once policy has been formulated and decisions made, minutes and research data may be made available for disclosure unless they were made in executive session. The information consists of records of minutes and advice given and opinions expressed during decision-making or policy formulation, invoked by the Chief Executive to be privileged by reason of the sensitivity of the subject matter or of the impairment of the Chief Executive’s deliberative process that would result from the disclosure thereof. Once policy has been formulated and decisions made, minutes and research data may be made available for disclosure unless they were made in executive session.

Institute for Freedom of Information (A partnership program of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and Action for Economic Reforms) Unit 1403 West Trade Center, 132 West Avenue, Quezon City Tel: 426 – 5626 Website: http://ifoi.ph

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