Access to documents. - Council of Europe. Committee of Ministers, Ministers' Deputies - Decision 641/1.3 (September 1998)

641st meeting – 15 and 18 September 1998

Item 1.3

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

(CM(97)54, CM(98)81, GR-AB(98)10)

Decisions

The Deputies

1. encouraged the committees subordinate to the Committee of Ministers to use the classifications "restricted" and "confidential" only for those documents for which the public disclosure would be detrimental to their work;

2. encouraged the committees subordinate to the Committee of Ministers to make their public documents freely available on the Internet, to enable the work of the Council of Europe to reach a wider public;

3. instructed the Secretariat to bring these decisions to the attention of the Partial Agreements with a view to aligning their policies on access to documents with that of the Committee of Ministers;

4. took note that documents of the Council of Europe and its subordinate bodies are distributed as follows :

- documents marked "restricted" are distributed to member Governments and the Secretariat of the Council of Europe;

- documents marked "confidential" are distributed to member Governments and the service or committee responsible for the document. Distribution to other parties requires written permission from the author service;

- documents marked "secret" are individually numbered and issued to persons authorised by the Private Office with signature for receipt;

5. adopted the Procedure for granting public access to documents issued with a security classification as it appears at Appendix 2 to the present volume of Decisions;

6. decided that secret documents will only be eligible for this procedure ten years after their date of issue;

7. decided to review these measures after they had been in operation for two years and for that purpose instructed the Secretariat to prepare a report in the year 2000 on the working of the new measures.



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