Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of information Act (Cap. 496) EN / MT is a law that gives access to documents held by a public authority. This law gives a ‘right-of-access’ to eligible persons, increasing transparency and accessibility. Every person resident in Malta or who has been resident for a period of at least five years, and who is either a citizen of Malta or a citizen of any other EU member State, is eligible to make a request under the FOI Act.

A request for accessing a document or information under the FOI Act can be submitted online through the FOI Portal

Information regarding the Authority for the responsible use of cannabis (ARUC), pursuant to Article 17 of the FOI Act:

The Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC) is established as per Cap 628 of the laws of Malta.  The Authority is led by a Board of Directors headed by the Executive Chairperson.

The Authority’s main functions are:

  • Registering and Licensing of Cannabis Harm Reduction Associations (CHRAs).
  • Carry out and promote harm reduction campaigns and activities.
  • Organise and promote educational campaigns on the responsible use of Cannabis.
  • Organise training for key persons working within CHRAs.
  • Monitor the use of cannabis in Malta.
  • Act as a contact point with international organisations.

Setup databases and obtain access to international databases in the field of cannabis use.

Personal data about the founders, administrators and key officers of the associations (restricted)

Anonymised data about the members of the associations (restricted)

Operational data about the association (restricted)

Application processing data (restricted)

Public Service Management Code

Licensing & Registration Charter (restricted)

Licensing Council Charter (restricted)

Guidelines to the Application Process (Public)

Data Protection Privacy Notice (Website) (Public)

Cookie Policy (Public)

Risk Management Policy (restricted)

Authority Directives (restricted)

FOI Officers may be contacted by e-mail: [email protected] or by telephone: 25689314/306

FOI Requests may be submitted by e-mail to [email protected], through the FOI Portal via the e-ID or through the online form.

The tracking of the whole activity (seed to distribution) will avoid the potential for illicit trafficking of cannabis and diversion to non-registered members or the criminal world. Significantly, Cannabis Harm Reduction Associations will act as a safe space where to obtain cannabis and related health information.

Cannabis Harm Reduction Associations have several tools to implement a harm reduction approach, including educational activities organised at the distribution centre. Activities could range from the simple dissemination of health information to the realisation of regular talks and workshops aimed at promoting responsible cannabis use and sustainable cultivation practices. Information about the properties of different strains, including expected effects and how to prevent risks will be imparted by trained employees working within Cannabis Harm Reduction Associations. Pertaining to the core purpose of establishing a communal and safe space from where to obtain cannabis, therefore ensuring the social space acts as a protective factor for people who use cannabis, harm reduction messages will also be conscious and adapted to the necessities of different persons. In turn, such environment facilitates the exchange of experiences without the fear of criminal consequences and in turn promote the development of a less stigmatised society. The ARUC is presently developing comprehensive harm reduction training and certification process for prospective founders and workers of CHRAs.

An applicant whose request for information is refused, or who is otherwise not satisfied with the information provided, its format or the extension of the deadline for the submission of the notification indicating whether a request would be met or not, may address a complaint to the Public Authority.

The complaint should be addressed to the FOI Officer, who shall bring the complaint to the attention of the officer responsible. The officer responsible shall reply to the applicant within 10 working days from the receipt of the complaint. The applicant shall also be informed that he or she may appeal the decision or otherwise address a complaint to the Information and Data Protection Commissioner in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (Cap. 496 of the Laws of Malta).

The officer responsible shall inform the applicant of the decision taken with respect to his or her complaint, and in the event of confirmation of a decision not to release the pertinent information, shall explain the reasons thereof. Whenever the applicant’s complaint is related to the format of the information provided or to an extension of the deadline for the submission of the notification indicating whether a request would be met or not by the Ministry, and the original decision is upheld, the applicant shall be given an explanation as to why his or her complaint cannot be positively addressed.

An applicant may also make use of the Internal Complaints Procedure to report failure to meet deadlines or to send notifications. In those cases where the request for information can be met, but has not been met within the deadlines specified by the Act, the officer responsible shall waive any applicable fees for the submission of information.

Complaints may be submitted to the Public Authority by e-mail to [email protected], through the FOI portal via the e-ID or through the online form.

Payments can be made in cash or by cheque payable to the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality (MHSR), at the following address:


Accounts Section

Ministry for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality (MHSR), 201, Strait Street, Valletta

Applicants are requested to make an appointment with the FOI Officer before calling the Public Authority for payment and/or collection of documents.


Working Hours

Winter Hours

8.00am – 12.30 pm and 1.15pm – 5.15pm

Summer Hours

8.00am -1.00pm

Office of the Permanent Secretary,

Ministry for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality (MHSR), 201, Strait Street, Valletta VLT 1433

Telephone Number: 25689314