Party of the Regions offer their own version of access to public information
Two Party of the Regions National Deputies – Olena Bondarenko and Volodymyr Landyk – are proposing that parliament adopts not the draft Law on Access to Public Information, but draft amendments to a number of current laws which, they claim, will ensure access to information. They spoke about their draft No. 7123 on Tuesday at a press briefing.
Mr Landyk asserted that the draft law tabled by the Head of the profile committee, Andriy Shevchenko, does not envisage amendments to other laws, including that on information, the status of a National Deputy, the status of deputies of local councils, which could lead to discrepancies in current legislation.
He said that they had tried to deal with this via amendments to Shevchenko’s draft bill however a representative of the Human Rights Ombudsperson had then presented criticism. (As with Speaker Lytvyn’s remarks, reported yesterday, there is no explanation as to what these objections are – translator). They had therefore, he said, decided to go by their draft being mainly aimed at amending other laws. “The result will be the same – access to public information will be open”.
Ms Bondarenko said that their draft law envisages thorough work on terms “so that nobody mixes up public information, say, with confidential information about a person or some individual data with public information and so forth”.
Landyk suggested that their draft bill could be passed within a couple of months. He said that the draft law which he and Shevchenko had submitted had not been adopted in 2 years and four months “that means that something’s not right”.
As reported, the draft Law on Access to Public Information, tabled by Andriy Shevchenko, was withdrawn from parliament’s agenda yesterday. On 21 October, despite assurances to the Council of Europe, not to mention Ukrainian citizens, the draft law failed to gain enough votes largely because only one Deputy from the Party of the Regions supported it (and none from the Communist Party).