Federal Act
Governing Access to Information held by the
Federal Government
(Freedom of Information Act)
of 5 September 2005
(Federal Law Gazette I,
p. 2722)

The Bundestag has passed the following legislation:

Section 1
Underlying principles
(1) Everyone is entitled to official information from the authorities of the Federal
Government in accordance with the provisions of this Act. This Act shall apply to
other Federal bodies and institutions insofar as they discharge administrative tasks
under public law. For the purposes of these provisions, a natural or legal person shall
be treated as equivalent to an authority where an authority avails itself of such a
person in discharging its duties under public law.
(2) The authority may furnish information, grant access to files or provide information
in any other manner. Where an applicant requests a certain form of access to
information, the information may only be provided by other means for good cause. In
particular, substantially higher administrative expenditure shall constitute good
(3) Provisions in other legislation on access to official information shall take
precedence, with the exception of Section 29 of the Administrative Procedure Act
(VwVfG) and Section 25 of Book Ten of the Social Code.
Section 2
For the purposes of this Act,
1. official information shall be defined as every record serving official purposes,
irrespective of the mode of storage. This shall not include drafts and notes which
are not intended to form part of a file;
2. a third person shall be defined as anyone on whom personal data or other
information are held.

Select target paragraph3