Ministry of Justice introduces new draft version of the Law “On information” for public discussion
According to the Minister of Justice Oleksandr Lavrynovych, the draft law has been drawn up by the Ministry taking into consideration the Recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 5 October 2005 in which PACE calls on Ukraine to declassify all official documents which are not on open access in contravention of legislation. In the same resolution PACE stresses the need to observe Article 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine regarding freedom of information.
In view of this, the draft law contains a norm prohibiting state authorities and bodies of local self-government from independently defining the regime of access to information, this including classification of documents as confidential.
Another important innovation is the streamlining of procedure for formulating formal requests for information from state authorities and bodies of local self-government. The draft law in particular offers clear regular of the regime of access to information.
The current law “On information”, the Minister of Justice stressed, does not provide solutions to these issues. The greatest difficulties at present arise in the sphere of access of members of the public to information which is held by state authorities and bodies of local self-government. This is demonstrated by the number of complaints about requests for information having being turned down. The mechanism for providing information following such requests is also inadequate.
The new draft version of the Law “On information” is made up of 8 sections and sets out the following provisions: regime of access to information; rules and procedure for receiving information in response to such requests; complaints against decisions, actions or omissions of state authorities and bodies of local self-government; citizens associations, businesses, institutions or organizations regardless of their form of property; protection of information; liability for violations of legislation on information, etc.