Access to official documents

The principle of public access promotes the transparency of the administration and strengthens public trust in state institutions. The Federal Department of Finance FDF and its offices actively provide timely and objective information on decisions and interrelations from the Department; in the case of long-term projects this is also done at intermediate stages. More comprehensive information (legislative texts, press releases, basic information, reports, brochures, etc.) are published on the websites of the FDF and its offices.

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act in force since 1 July 2006, every person may also request access to official documents without having to demonstrate a special interest. Access to public documents may, however, be restricted or denied for the protection of prevailing public or private interests. This is for instance the case if access to official documents would endanger the freedom of an authority to develop its views and plans of action, or if it would endanger the internal or external security of Switzerland. Other exceptions from the principle of public access are also provided if professional, business, or manufacturing secrets would be divulged. The right to access exists only with respect to documents prepared or received by an authority since 1 July 2006.

To whom should the enquiries be addressed?

In principle, enquires should be addressed to the authority in the FDF (office or agency) which produced the document in question. The contact persons at these offices and agencies are listed below and they will gladly provide you with further information.

Enquiries may be made by post, email, fax, or telephone. They must be formulated in a way that allows the responsible authority to identify the desired documents. For this purpose, as much information as possible should be included about the document (e.g. date, title, reference number, time period, specific event, subject matter, preparing or receiving authority, other affected authorities).

Access to official documents is in principle subject to a fee. Fees of less than CHF 100 are not invoiced.

Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication FOITT
Freedom of Information Act Requests
Monbijoustrasse 74
3003 Bern

Fax: +41 (0)58 465 90 30