The 1999 Act on the Openness of Government Activities regulates access to documents held by public authorities and their confidentiality.
Section 12 of the Constitution states that everyone is entitled to obtain information about official public documents in the public domain. Official documents are public documents unless otherwise regulated. This principle of public access to official documents has in Finland for some 250 years. While freedom of expression ensures that everyone is entitled to publish and receive information, the principle of government openness is to safeguard that the public and the mass media have access to official documents.
It is not enough nowadays that the authorities to provide information upon request. Such information must also be made readily available. Article 20 of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities states: “The authorities shall see to it that the documents or the pertinent indexes which are essential to the general public’s access to information are available where necessary in libraries or public data networks, or otherwise easily accessible to the members of the public.”
For more information, see the Ministry of Justice website