Round table concerning Draft Law on the amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information was held today in the organization of the Ministry of Public Administration. Minister of Public Administration, Ms Suzana Pribilović, and Head of the EU delegation, Mr Aivo Orav, spoke in the introductory part of the round table.
Mr Orav pointed out that confidentiality of data represented a stable basis for the development of corruption. Efficient and service-oriented administration should provide access to all relevant information, particularly to research organization s and journalists.
He said that the last EC Report on Montenegro called on Montenegrin institutions to provide transparency and responsibility, particularly in the areas prone to corruption and in sectors in charge of allocating budget or property.
“It is essential that the law is amended and all recommendations in the EC report taken in to consideration”, said Mr Orav.
Minister Pribilović said that access to information had public importance and that it was an irreplaceable instrument for carrying out control over the work of state authorities.
“Recognizing the importance for constant improvement of the situation in this area, Government of Montenegro has recognized the need for proposing amendments to the present law, with the aim of improving normative framework and creating more efficient conditions for exercise of right to free access to information. Proposed amendments define the terms “information” and “state authorities” more precisely. That way it is clear what is considered an information and who this law shall apply to”, said Ms Pribilović.
Special emphasis has been put on the costs in the exercise of this right. According to the general standard, exercise of this right should be very simple, with as little costs as possible or with nos costs at all.
In addition, the amendments propose introduction of the new institute- abuse of the right to access to information. This institute obliges authorities to prevent any abuse of this right.
“Although we are aware of the fact that transparency of the work of state authorities is an ideal of every democratic society, we should also know that it does not necessarily mean absolute transparency and openness. Citizens shall use provisions of the law in accordance with their purpose and intention”, said Ms Pribilović.
Public consultation over the Draft Law on the Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information started on 17 September 2019 with the public tender for participation in the consultation.