Taras Shevchenko speaks at the press conference “Access to Information or Bureaucratic Profanation?”

January 27, 2012

January, 27, MLI director Taras Shevchenko andpublic experts presented results of the studies on implementation of the Law ofUkraine”On Access to Public Information” by government officials.

 “In recent months, there were somenegative examples of court decisions in which judges defend the interests ofthe government and defy the Law “On Access to Public Information”. The judgeswidely use legislation to protect the privacy and at the same time ignore thedirect rule on transparency of information on senior persons and on thedisposition of budgetary funds. Such examples of unbalanced interpretation ofthe legislation can be seen not only in the decisions of local courts (forexample, the case of the journalist Sergei Leshchenko against Vyshgorod DistrictAdministration), but also in the decision of the Constitutional Court ofUkraine (the case on the official interpretation of the provisions of Parts 1 and2 of Article 32, Parts 2 and 3 of Article 34 of the Constitution, the judgmentof January 20, 2012),” said Taras Shevchenko.

According to the UkrainianCenterfor Independent Political Research, the Law “On Access to PublicInformation” is performed only 50% by the central bodies of executivepower. “Citizens can obtain information primarily through the request forinformation, but can not fully do so through the official website of theauthority or through the register of public information,” the expert MaxymLatsyba stressed. “The main causer of the such situation is the Cabinet ofMinisters, which has not yet adopted all the necessary legislation and has notshown enough attention to the implementation of the law.”

 The situation with the implementation of theLaw “On Access to Public Information” at the local level wascommented by the director of the Center for Independent Political Research ViktorTaran: “As a result of monitoring, which ran from July 2011, the majorityof local authorities carried out the norms of the Law nominally. However, the lackof budgetary and logistical support prevents them from fulfilling the Lawentirely. The Cabinet and the State Treasury has not yet found the way toorganize the payment of requested copies of documents by persons asking forthem.”