221 normative-legal acts in Ukraine are classified as “for service use only”, “secret” or “top secret”


221 normative-legal acts and 10391 acts, which have been registered in Ukraine from the moment of establishment of state registration of normative-legal acts (from 1 January 1993 to 21 January 2005) contain access restriction because of classifications “for service use only”, “secret” and “top secret”. The overwhelming majority of these acts have been issued by the Ukrainian Security Service, Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine. This information was obtained from Lydia Gorbunova, a deputy of the Minister of Justice of Ukraine, who referred to the data of the Unified state register of normative-legal acts of Ukraine possessed by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

L. Gorbunova communicated that during 12 years the State tax administration of Ukraine had registered 4 normative-legal acts with restricted access, but not a single such act had been registered from 1 January 2004 to 31 January 2005. According to the words of the deputy of the Minister of Justice, during the past 13 months 74 normative-legal acts with restricted access have been registered in Ukraine, among which, along with the acts of force agencies, there were 3 normative-legal acts issued by the National Bank of Ukraine.

The reasons, according to which an informational item may be classified as state secret, the level of secrecy and the circle of persons, who have the access to such information, are established by state experts. This information was given to LIGABiznesInform in the press-service of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. The experts also assess the validity of secret classifications and necessity of declassification of the acts with giving them the status “declassified”. State experts in charge of secrets are appointed by corresponding Edict of the President of Ukraine, follow in their activities the laws of Ukraine and are responsible in accordance with the law. These norms are stipulated by the Law of Ukraine “On state secrets”.

In compliance with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers “On approval of the Instruction on the procedure of registration, storage and use of documents, files, editions and other material carriers of information, containing confidential information owned by the state”, the classification “for service use only” is given by the organs owning or possessing these data. At that, according to the Law “On information”, the persons, owning the professional, business, industrial, bank, commercial and other information, determine the access to it, including the categories of confidentiality, by themselves.

L. Gorbunova also pointed out that, in accordance with the operating laws, in particular, the Constitution of Ukraine, the Ministry of Justice was not empowered to solve the questions concerning the status of information with the restricted access. According to the Law of Ukraine “On state secrets” and the above-mentioned Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, any public divulgation of information with the restricted access is prohibited.

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