Chapter I.
General provisions, definitions and scope


Article 1. This decree regulates a matter which falls within the competence of both Communities and Regions.

Article 2. The purpose of this decree is to develop and specify passive open government, as recognised in article 32 of the Constitution, and active open government.

Article 3.

1 public authority:

  1. a legal person established by virtue of or pursuant to the Constitution, a law, a decree or edict;
  2. a natural person, an association of natural persons, a legal person or association of legal persons, the operation of which is determined and controlled by a);
  3. a natural person, an association of natural persons, a legal person or association of legal persons, to the extent that these have been charged by an public authority in the sense of a) with the performance of a service of collective interest or to the extent that they perform a service of collective interest and make decisions binding on third parties.

    The judiciary does not fall under the above definition, except when it acts in an other quality than as judiciary. The legislative councils and any bodies associated with them do not fall under the above definition, except in cases involving matters related to public procurements and members of personnel of their services. To the extent that it is acting in a judiciary quality, neither does the executive power fall under the definition above;

2 environmental authority :

  1. an public authority;
  2. any legal person, natural person or association thereof which is under the supervision of an public authority, insofar as it has public responsibilities or duties or performs public services relating to the environment.

    The judiciary does not fall under the above definition, except when it acts in an other quality than as judiciary. The legislative councils and any bodies associated with them do not fall under the above definition, except in cases involving matters related to public procurements and members of personnel of their services. To the extent that it is acting in a judiciary quality, neither does the executive power fall under the definition above;

3 authority: an public authority or environmental authority;

4 administrative document: the carrier – in whatever form – of information an authority has at its disposal;

5 environmental information: information about:

  1. the environment;
  2. measures and activities that lead or may lead to pressure on the environment, as well as the analyses and assessments thereof that are relevant for the measures and activities referred to in e);
  3. the pressure the measures and activities referred to in b) place on the environment by means of the factors of environmental disruption such as pollution factors;
  4. nature, buildings and areas of cultural beauty, the health, safety and living conditions of the population and the impact on these, in each case insofar as these are or can be affected by the state of the environment, the measures and activities referred to in b), or the factors of disruption referred to in c);
  5. measures and activities aimed at preserving, restoring or developing the elements referred to in d), or at preventing, limiting or compensating for pressures on the environment, as well as the analyses and assessments of such measures and activities;

6 private information: information concerning an assessment, a value judgement, or which comprises the description of the behaviour of a specifically named or easily identifiable natural person;

7 application: the request to make public, correct or complete administrative documents, unless specified otherwise;

8 communication: any notification, message, information campaign or awareness-raising campaign or any other communicative initiative aimed at the public in general or at particular target groups and originating from an authority – irrespective of the media or channels used.


Article 4.

1.

This decree applies to the following authorities:

  1. the Flemish Parliament and its associated agencies and institutions;
  2. the dependent services, agencies and legal persons of the Flemish Community or the Flemish Region;
  3. municipalities and districts;
  4. provinces;
  5. other municipal and provincial agencies and institutions, including non-profit associations where one or several municipalities or provinces control at least half of the votes in one of the administrative or management bodies or take care of half of the financing;
  6. the associations of provinces and municipalities referred to in the law of 22 December 1986 concerning intermunicipal authorities and the forms of cooperation regulated in the decree of 6 July 2001 concerning intermunicipal cooperation;
  7. the public centres for social welfare, hereinafter referred to as O.C.M.W.s (for "Openbare Centra voor Maatschappelijk Welzijn") and the associations referred to in section 12 of the organic law of 8 July 1976 concerning the O.C.M.W.s;
  8. the polders, referred to in the law of 3 June 1957 concerning polders, and the water control authorities, referred to in the law of 5 July 1956 concerning the water control authorities
  9. the church councils and the bodies entrusted with the administration of the temporal possessions of the official religions;
  10. all other bodies within the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community.

2.

Articles 10, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17, 2, are applicable to other authorities than those referred to in 1, insofar as this decree prohibits or restricts the public nature of administrative documents on grounds falling under the Flemish Community or the Flemish Region.


Article 5. This decree does not prejudice decreed provisions providing for a more open government.

Article 6.

1.

For the purposes of this decree, the terms of decision and execution begin on the day after the date of registration of the application, and in the event of no such registration having taken place, on the day after the date of receipt of the application.

2.

For the purposes of this decree, the terms of decision and execution begin on the day after the date of registration of the application, and in the event of no such registration having taken place, on the day after the date of receipt of the application.