Revised version of the bill on access to public information agreed
A negotiation group on revising the draft bill on access to public information has agreed a final version of the bill which will be tabled in parliament to be adopted in its second reading and in full. A joint statement was issued on Tuesday by the author of the original bill, Andriy Shevchenko (BYuT) and Olena Bondarenko from the Party of the Regions, one of the authors of an alternative draft bill (on amendments to the Law on Information and others) and one of her Party colleagues.
As reported, the bill proposed by Andriy Shevchenko, was effectively drawn up by civic organizations and attempts to bring Ukraine’s legislation into line with European standards. There has been little enthusiasm from some parliamentary quarters, and the last attempt to vote on it gained only one vote from the Party of the Regions and none from the Communists.
It was after public appeals, including to European structures, regarding the need for a bill on access to public information, that Bondarenko and Landys put forward an alternative. A thorough and damning analysis of the latter can be found here.
Final consideration of the bill was deferred originally for a week to enable negotiations with the Party of the Regions. It was then delayed because of the long sessions over the highly contentious Tax Code last week.
The compromises are clearly to avert total failure to pass a law which is absolutely vital for the country.
The statement reads that the negotiation groups believes it expedient to pass a new version of the Law on Information on the basis of the draft law proposed by Bondarenko and Landyk, and bearing in mind Andriy Shevchenko’s draft law No. 4485.
The negotiation group is asking the Verkhovna Rada to review in one day the drat laws No. 2763 and No. 7321 in the space of one day, no later than 3 December 2010, At the press conference, a more realistic date of the end of December was given.
The statement reads that the group is beginning a revision of the Bondarenko – Landys draft law and will be guided by the following recommendations: that the new version of the Law on Information must take into account the recommendations of the Council of Europe with regard to freedom of speech and access to information, be coordinated with the agreed draft law on access to public information and must not reduce the scope for journalists’ professional activities.
From information at: