Implementation of access to public information effectively stalled
The Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech, Andriy Shevchenko does not believe that the amendments put forward by Parliament’s Speaker Lytvyn and condemned by media and human rights groups will be passed before the Law on Access to Public Information comes into force on 9 May. However he warned at a press conference on Friday that work to make the Law really come into effect is basically stalled. He said that those in authority had not drawn up the subordinate legislation which the Law entails, and that “those responsible for implementing the law have not been appointed in all bodies of power”. He added that few of them have prepared themselves for the entry into force of the Law.
Andriy Shevchenko predicts that officials will sabotage implementation of the Law. “We understand that enormous resistance from the system is to be expected since this system developed over decades and it’s simply necessary to break down the mentality”.
He pointed out that amendments need to be made to over 50 laws in order to bring them into line with the Law on Access to Public Information. In fact, he specified, for the Law to work fully, amendments are needed to 51 laws and 4 codes. “We’ll see which (law) works and then see what changes are needed. The main thing is to prevent revision of this law”.
Shevchenko informed that his committee had received the proposal from Volodymyr Lytvyn, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, containing suggestions from subdivisions of parliament, committee secretariats regarding amendments to the Law on Access to Public Information. He considers that there are some which need to be taken into account, but there are others which fundamentally change the philosophy behind the law.
From a report at