Unhappy about the response you got?

If ...

  • You didn't get a reply within the target time (normally 10 or 21 calendar days)or
  • You did not get all of the information that you requested or
  • Your request was refused, but without a reason valid under the Code

... you can

  1. Ask for an internal review at the department.
  2. If that doesn't help, complain to the Ombudsman.
  3. Either way, also use other means to answer your question.

1. Asking for an internal review #

At the bottom of the relevant request page on accessinfo.hk choose "request an internal review". Then write a message asking for an internal review of your request. You may want to include a link to the request page, to make it clear which request you are talking about.

The internal review has the same target response times as a request for information. According to the Guidelines, it "should be considered by a directorate officer at least one rank senior to the officer who made the original decision".

2. Complaining to the Information Commissioner #

If you are still unhappy after the department has done their internal review, then you can complain to the Ombudsman. To do so, please visit the website of the Ombudsman.

To make it easier to send the relevant information to the Ombudsman, either include a link to your request on accessinfo.hk in your complaint or print out the whole page of your request and all attachments.

accessinfo.hk has no special facilities for handling a request at this stage - it passes into the Ombudsman's system. You can leave annotations on your request keeping people informed of progress.

If you reach this point, you should accept that you won't get the information quickly. Maybe you want to help the fight to improve Code on Access to Information, or maybe getting the information slowly is still worthwhile. You can also try and get the information by other means...

3. Using other means to answer your question #

You can try pursuing your problem or your research in other ways.

  • Make a new request for summary information, or for documentation relating indirectly to matters in your refused request.
  • If any other departments or publicly owned companies are involved, then make requests to them.
  • Write to your Legco member or other politician and ask for their help finding the answer. They can write directly to relevant departments, and can ask questions in the Legislative Council.
  • Ask other researchers who are interested in a similar issue to yours for ideas. There may be an Internet forum or group that they hang out in.
  • You could get in touch with Open Data Hong Kong and arrange a meeting with staff from the authority.