What is the principle of public access to official documents?

The principle of public access to official documents means that the general public and mass media shall be provided transparency in relation to the activities of public authorities. The right to examine official documents that are public is part of the principle of public access to official documents.

Everyone is entitled to examine official documents, such as decisions and reports drawn up at the Authority and documents submitted to the Authority within the framework for case handling. Some information in the documents may be protected by professional secrecy. A confidentiality assessment is therefore conducted in each case before a document is disclosed.

What is an official document?

A document is public in Ei's activities if it is stored at Ei and, according to specific rules, if it is deemed to have been received or drawn up at Ei. The document may be a ordinary paper document or an electronic document, but equally as well a recording that can be read, listened to or understood in some other way using a technical tool. A document is an item that contains information of some kind.

How do I get access to official documents?

If you want to read a decision or order documents in a particular case, contact the Registrar at Ei. You can call, email or visit Ei's office in Eskilstuna and order the documents you require.

How soon can I receive the documents?

A request for the disclosure of an official document shall be examined promptly by the Authority. This means you are entitled to the opportunity to examine a document as soon as possible or at least receive a notification of when it can take place.

If the document contains information subject to professional secrecy, a confidentiality assessment shall be conducted in the individual case. The confidentiality assessment may take around a working day depending on how extensive the requested material is. If the document is deemed to contain information subject to professional secrecy, you will be notified of this and that the document will therefore not be disclosed in whole or in part. You may then request a formal decision on confidentiality from the Authority, which is required in order for you to appeal the decision to a higher instance.

Can you receive documents electronically?

The Authority may issue documents in electronic format but has no obligation to disclose documents by email or other electronic format. Ei's policy is to fulfil a request to receive documents electronically as far as possible, for example via email.
In general, it is cheapest to receive documents via email, which is free-of-charge in many cases when ordering individual documents.

Does it cost anything?

You are entitled to examine official documents free-of-charge at Ei's premises, provided that the documents are not subject to professional secrecy. Ei does not have any obligation to provide access to documents on the Authority's premises if there are significant obstacles.

Anyone wishing to examine an official document is also entitled to receive a printout or copy of the document for a fixed fee if it is subject to disclosure. The fee for receiving a copy of a document depends on how extensive it is and how you want it delivered. Normally, the fee is invoiced, but sometimes the documents are sent by post with cash on delivery. The cost is regulated by the Fee Ordinance (1992:191).

Ei charges a fee for paper copies as follows:

 
Paper copy, 1–9 pages Free-of-charge 
Paper copy, 10 pages SEK 50
Paper copy, more than 10 pages SEK 50 + SEK 2 per page
Postage or cash-on-delivery postage charges may be added to this.  

Fee for documents in electronic format

For orders that take longer than 15 minutes to complete, the fee is SEK 50 per started 15 minute period starting from 16 minutes. This means that the cost for the first hour will be SEK 150, and the following hour will be SEK 200.

Can you be anonymous?

An authority is not permitted to investigate the identity of the person making the request, or for what purpose the request is made to an extent greater than is necessary for the authority to be able to investigate whether there are obstacles to disclosing the document. The provision means that everyone is entitled access to all official documents at an authority without needing to reveal their identity or the use for which the document is intended, the so-called protection of anonymity. However, if you reveal your identity in your request, such as in an email for example, then you are no longer anonymous.
If the documents contain information that is subject to professional secrecy, Ei may ask if you are a party in the case as there may be confidentiality rules to your benefit.

Description of Ei's official documents

According to the Public Access and Secrecy Act (2009:400), each authority must draw up a description of the authority's official documents. The purpose is to facilitate the search for official documents.

If you want to examine Ei's description, please contact the Authority's Registrar registrator@ei.se