Chapter II – Requests for re-use (Art. 4)
Art. 4 Open Data Directive - Processing of requests for re-use
- Public sector bodies shall, through electronic means where possible and appropriate, process requests for re-use and shall make the document available for re-use to the applicant or, if a licence is needed, finalise the licence offer to the applicant within a reasonable time that is consistent with the time frames laid down for the processing of requests for access to documents.
- Where no time limits or other rules regulating the timely provision of documents have been established, public sector bodies shall process the request and shall deliver the documents for re-use to the applicant or, if a licence is needed, finalise the licence offer to the applicant as soon as possible, and in any event within 20 working days of receipt. That time frame may be extended by a further 20 working days in the case of extensive or complex requests. In such cases, the applicant shall be notified as soon as possible, and in any event within three weeks of the initial request, that more time is needed to process the request and the reasons why.
- In the event of a negative decision, the public sector bodies shall communicate the grounds for refusal to the applicant on the basis of the relevant provisions of the access regime in that Member State or of the provisions transposing this Directive, in particular points (a) to (h) of Article 1(2) or Article 3. Where a negative decision is based on point (c) of Article 1(2), the public sector body shall include a reference to the natural or legal person who is the rightsholder, where known, or alternatively to the licensor from which the public sector body has obtained the relevant material. Libraries, including university libraries, museums and archives, shall not be required to include such a reference.
- Any decision on re-use shall contain a reference to the means of redress where the applicant wishes to challenge the decision. The means of redress shall include the possibility of review by an impartial review body with the appropriate expertise, such as the national competition authority, the relevant access to documents authority, the supervisory authority established in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 or a national judicial authority, whose decisions are binding upon the public sector body concerned.
- For the purposes of this Article, Member States shall establish practical arrangements to facilitate effective re-use of documents. Those arrangements may in particular include the means to supply adequate information on the rights provided for in this Directive and to offer relevant assistance and guidance.
- The following entities shall not be required to comply with this Article:
- public undertakings;
- educational establishments, research performing organisations and research funding organisations.
Public sector bodies are increasingly making their documents available for re-use in a proactive manner, by ensuring online discoverability and actual availability of documents and associated metadata in an open format that can be machine-readable and that ensure interoperability, re-use and accessibility. Documents should also be made available for re-use following a request lodged by a re-user. In those cases, the time limit for replying to requests for re-use should be reasonable and in accordance with the equivalent time for requests to access the document under the relevant access regimes. Public undertakings, educational establishments, research performing organisations and research funding organisations should however be exempt from that requirement. Reasonable time limits throughout the Union will stimulate the creation of new aggregated information products and services at pan-Union level. This is particularly important for dynamic data (including environmental, traffic, satellite, meteorological and sensor generated data), the economic value of which depends on the immediate availability of the information and of regular updates. Dynamic data should therefore be made available immediately after collection, or in the case of a manual update immediately after the modification of the dataset, via an application programming interface (API) so as to facilitate the development of internet, mobile and cloud applications based on such data. Where this is not possible due to technical or financial constraints, public sector bodies should make the documents available in a timeframe that allows their full economic potential to be exploited. Specific measures should be taken in order to lift relevant technical and financial constraints. Should a licence be used, the timely availability of documents may be a part of the terms of the licence. Where data verification is essential in the light of justified public interest reasons, in particular for public health and safety, dynamic data should be made available immediately after verification. Such essential verification should not affect the frequency of the updates.
Tools that help potential re-users to find documents available for re-use and the conditions for re-use can facilitate considerably the cross-border use of public sector documents. Member States should therefore ensure that practical arrangements are in place that help re-users in their search for documents available for re-use. Examples of such practical arrangements are assets lists, which should preferably be accessible online, of main documents (documents that are extensively re-used or that have the potential to be extensively re-used), and portal sites that are linked to decentralised assets lists. Member States should also facilitate the long-term availability for re-use of public sector information, in accordance with the applicable preservation policies.