Section V.
Appeal procedure


Article 22.

The applicant may lodge an appeal against a decision made by an authority referred to in article 4, 1, either after the expiry of the term within which the decision had to be taken, or in the event of the decision being carried out reluctantly. He must lodge this appeal with an appeal body composed of officials and appointed by the Flemish Government.

The appeal must be lodged in writing, by fax or by e-mail within a period of thirty calendar days which, depending on the case, begins on:

  • the day after the decision is sent;
  • the day after the expiry of the term, referred to in article 20, 3, first subsection.
In keeping with article 35 the term to lodge an appeal will not start if no decision has been made.

Article 23. The appeal body that receives an appeal must immediately note this in a register, indicating the date of receipt. This registration is public to the applicant who has lodged the appeal and to the authority involved. The appeal body must inform the authority referred to in article 4, 1, of the appeal immediately.

Article 24.

1.

The appeal body pronounces on the appeal and informs the applicant of its decision in writing, by fax or by e-mail within a period of thirty calendar days.

If the appeal body is of the opinion that the information requested will be difficult to collect in a timely fashion, if the verification of the application as regards the grounds for exception referred to in articles 11 to 15 will be difficult to complete in time, then the appeal body must inform the party lodging the appeal that the period of thirty calendar days is extended to forty-five calendar days. The decision to extend the term must include the indication of the reason or reasons for the delay.

If the application for making public is refused on the basis of articles 13, 2 or 6, article 14, 3, or article 15, 1, 1, 5 or 7, then the appeal body is to contact the person concerned and asks whether the applicant has permission to get access to the administrative document requested.

If the application for making public relates to an administrative document which incorporates a work protected by intellectual property rights, the appeal body must in any event point out this fact in its decision.

2.

If the appeal body allows the appeal, it permits the making public, correction or completion.

3.

The authority that has the information in its possession or has deposited it in an archive, must implement the decision to allow the appeal as soon as possible and at the latest within forty calendar days. With the decision to extend the term, referred to in article 24, 1, second subsection, the period for the implementation of the decision is extended to at most fifty-five calendar days.

If the authority has not implemented the decision within the period referred to in the first subsection above, then the appeal body will carry out the decision as soon as possible.

For the authorities referred to in article 4, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9, the appeal body may direct an official to proceed on-site and carry out the decision himself. This can only be done after a warning in writing. The implementation is performed at the personal expense of the person responsible for the decision of the appeal body not being carried out.

Article 20, 3, second to fourth subsections, are similarly applicable.


Article 25. If an appeal is lodged, the appeal body can inspect all administrative documents on-site or they can be retrieved from the authority concerned. The appeal body can hear all experts and parties involved and may ask the personnel of the authority to provide additional information.

Article 26. The appeal body carries out its duties fully independent and neutral. It is not allowed to receive instructions with the hearing of appeals. Its members may not be evaluated and no disciplinary proceedings may be brought against them on the basis of the reasons constituting the grounds for their decisions within the framework of the tasks assigned to them in this decree.

Article 27. The appeal body is to deliver an annual report to the Flemish Government about the appeals that were lodged and the implementation of passive open government. The Flemish Government presents this annual report to the Flemish Parliament.