Freedom of Information Act

The German Freedom of Information Act (Informationsfreiheitsgesetz) entered into force on 1 January 2006. The Freedom of Information Act has, for the first time, created a legal right of access to official information held by Federal authorities. The Act applies to the Deutsche Bundesbank only insofar as the Bank performs “administrative functions under public law”. Furthermore, there are a number of exemptions: there is no right of access to information held by the Deutsche Bundesbank, for instance, with regard to data in the field of banking supervision protected pursuant to section 9 of the German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz), information subject to the statistical data secrecy provision under section 16 of the Federal Statistics Act (Bundesstatistikgesetz) or in respect of banking business under private law. In the case of personal data, access may be granted only if the public interest in making the information available outweighs the third party’s interest in protection.

A new feature is that fees and expenses must be charged for official acts pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act insofar as they do not concern the provision of spoken or simple written information.

Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act regarding any operational unit of the Deutsche Bundesbank may be sent to the adjoining address.