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14.10.2013

Dangerous public information draft bill withdrawn

   

A scandalous bill proposing dangerous restrictions on access to public information has been withdrawn following deservedly unfavourable publicity.  Somewhat strangely, it would appear to have been withdrawn over a week ago. 

As reported, three MPs from the ruling Party of the Regions registered draft bill №3301 on Sept. 20.  There was originally one other author, an MP from the opposition Batkivshchyna Party, however he withdrew his support immediately.  The bill had proposed to declare any information about an individual confidential and therefore able to be divulged only with the person’s consent.  It would have also removed the requirement for bodies of local self-government to publish individual acts making it even easier for such local bodies to conceal corrupt dealings involving public funding, allocation of land etc.  There were a number of other provisions which would make it easier for officials to refuse to provide information when requested.

The civic movement Stop Censorship and others came out with public statements calling on the MPs to withdraw the bill. 

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