Law on Access to Public Information limits access to information

Mar 30th, 2012 | By | Category: Access to information, Monitoring, Ukraine

Internationally praised, the Ukrainian FOI Law on Access to Public Information in practice limits access to some information which was previously available to citizens.

Since 2005 Maidan monitors the government’s practice of issuing illegally classified acts – e.g. legislation marked “For official use” (meaning – to be used internally by the government), “Not for publication”, etc. These classifications are not defined by any laws and are left over from the old Soviet practice of classifying as many documents as possible.

Recently Maidan’s lawyer sent a request for information to the Ministry of Justice asking to provide the number of legal acts marked “For official use” and other legally undefined classifications that were issued in 2011. He has been sending such requests since 2005 and has always got a meaningful answer with actual numbers which we always published.

This year for the first time he has been denied access to this information. Ministry of Justice replied that the information requested “is not the subject of regulation by the Law on Access to Public Information”. Original refusal is here (in Ukrainian).

We had previously warned of Major problems in the practical implementation of the Law “On access to public information” in Ukraine. Another alarming finding confirms our conclusions.

More similar publications will follow soon. We are systematizing the findings of our monitoring of the practical implementation of the Law on Access to Public Information.

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