HomePress Releases and PublicationsRIGHT TO KNOW DAY - 28 SEPTEMBER 2017
Thursday, 28 September 2017 11:27
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The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, the OSCE Mission to Serbia, the NGO Freedom of Information Coalition, the Journalists’ Association of Serbia and the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia held a meeting today in Belgrade to commend the International Right to Know Day, 28 September, with the attendance of numerous representatives from the media, citizens' associations, public authorities and members of the diplomatic corps. The addresses at the meeting were made by Mr Rodoljub Sabic, Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection and Ambassador Andrea Orizio, Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia.

The meeting was an opportunity to present the publication "VI - Free Access to Information – Commissioner's Attitudes and Opinions".

In commendation of the International Right to Know Day, Commissioner Rodoljub Sabic said:

“We are condemning, traditionally, the International Right to Know Day in Serbia, more precisely the 12th time. I must say that this time we are doing it in non-ceremonial circumstances. In parallel with this event, protests organized by media associations, associations of journalists, editorial offices and civil society organizations are running with the aim of protecting the freedom of the media and freedom of expression, and this is the reason why many of people who have always been here with us on this day won’t be here today. Recently, the international and European Federation of Journalists also expressed their concern about the state of media freedom in our country. The last desirable, sometimes dramatic, developments are evident in relation to the different government structures towards journalists. As a Commissioner, I recently had to publicly express my concern and dissatisfaction with the fact that government representatives have reacted sharply, furiously, rude, disqualifyingly to the legitimate right of journalists to request information in the possession of the government.

An inadequate attitude towards the public's right to know from the authorities expected, whose obligation is to make a special contribution to the exercise of this right, culminated in the past year.

The Government, whose legal obligation to enable the enforcement of the Commissioner's decision, failed to act so in all of 61 cases, when the Commissioner asked for it. The National Assembly, contrary to the law and the Rules of Procedure, failed to consider the Report of the Commissioner for the third year in a row. The Republic Public Prosecutor's Office filed more actions for annulment of the Commissioner's decisions in one year, than all the prosecutor’s offices in the state filed indictments against all violators of both laws protected by the Commissioner.

Despite the dissatisfaction of these unwanted circumstances, today's day is an opportunity to honour some people and organizations who valuably contributed to the affirmation of the public's right to know and to present them awards for that.

Having in mind the above mentioned circumstances, the Awarding Commission decided, this year, for the second time in a row, not to present the main recognition - Special Award and Statuette for the largest contribution to affirmation of the right to access information and transparency of work, in the category of all public authorities.

The Committee also decided not to present recognitions to any authority from the category of the so-called “highest state authorities”.

The Committee composed of the heads of the Journalists’ Association of Serbia and the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia, a representative of the academia and a representative of the NGO Freedom of Information Coalition selected awardees in some categories, while Commissioner Rodoljub Sabic presented the awards. ‘

The Award for contribution to the affirmation of freedom of information and transparency of work was presented:

- in the category of national public authorities, to the Commissioner for Protection of Equality.

- in the category of judicial authorities, to the Belgrade Appellate Court.

- in the category of provincial public authorities, to the Provincial Secretariat for Education, Regulations, Administration and National Minorities, and

- in the category of local self-government authorities, to the municipality of Ruma.

The award in the competition for "The Best Information Booklet on the Work of Public Authorities" was presented to Ministry of Mining and Energy.

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  • Version in Serbian only

    Збирни месечни статистички подаци у области доступности информацијама и заштите података о личности

    на дан 31.10.2017.

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CONTACT

Address book of the highest national authorities and selected non-governmental NGOs.

Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection

15, Bulevar kralja Aleksandra str, Belgrade 11000
Tel: +381 11 3408 900    Fax: +381 11 3343 379
Email: оffice@poverenik.rs