Summary: You Need to Pay For Access – The Data is Sold at Cost-Price to Cover the Running Costs of the Register
|Request sent to||Centre of Registers (Click here)|
|Outcome of request||Information Refused|
|Time taken to respond||1 working day (Deadline is 20 working days)|
|Reason for refusal
||Must pay for access.
(They are charging “cost-price” for the information.)
Another law overrides FOI law.
A request for access to a copy of the full company register database was sent to the Central Register on 27 September 2013 by our partner in Lithuania, Mantas Dubauskas. Lithuanian law requires the administration to answer access to information requests within 20 working days.
On 30 September, the next working day, the Central Register responded that according to the Company Register Law, there are fees established for accessing data in the register. We were also informed that the Civil Code contained exceptions which meant that, in the following cases, payment was not required:
1) individuals accessing information about themselves;
2) law enforcement authorities, courts, tax administrators;
3) other state registers
This means that journalists or civil society representatives do have to pay to access information in the company register.
The Central Register added that its services are not paid for from the state budget, and that their running costs are covered by the payments made by users of the company register.
On 11 October, an Administrative appeal was sent to the Central Register which argued that access to information is a fundamental human right, that the company register was a public dataset collected as part of a public function of the government, that public information should be provided to citizens for free or at the most at cost price and that requiring citizens to pay for information was a violation of their right to freedom of information.
On 29 October, we had to re-send the appeal because we got no response from the Central Register. Two days later, a representative from the Central Register called Mantas in order to respond to our arguments orally. However, we requested that a formal response be sent in writing.
On 7 November 2013, the Central Register sent its response via email, in which it repeated the same arguments again. It also argued that the prices being charged for accessing company registers were in line with the access to information law, because it was established at cost-price, to cover their own running costs given that they do not depend on the State budget.
Did you know?: In 2012, the Central Register’s income from registration fees amounted to 11 million Litas, and revenue from selling access to information in the database added up to 3,279 million Litas in total, which is roughly three times less.
Accessing the Lithuanian Company Register
|Information available||Code number, name and registered adress, legal form and legal status.|
|Provision for public access||You can search on the website (Click here) by using the name of the legal entity, its business code, the legal form, legal status or municipality. You are allowed to perform a maximum of 100 searches per day!Prices for using information in the Register of Legal Entities are: 7.75 Litas for separate financial report (or 31 Litas for financial statement) and 3 Litas for every scanned page. According to Civil Code, information of Register of Legal Entities is public. Information can be provided for free only to:
|Cost per record||7.75 Litas for separate financial report (2.24 euros)
31 Litas for financial statement (8.98 euros)
3 Litas for every scanned page (0.87 euro)
|Cost for whole database||Data not available.|