COMMISSIONER
FOR INFORMATION OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
AND PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

logo novi


COMMISSIONER
FOR INFORMATION OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
AND PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION



logo novi

COMMISSIONER
FOR INFORMATION OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE AND PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

The project "Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms in Public Finance", which the Commissioner implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since April 2010, was successfully completed at the end of June 2012.

Along with the Commissioner, national partners on the project were the Public Procurement Office and the State Audit Institution.

  • The activities within the project component implemented by the Commissioner were focused on several key areas:
  • Training of public authorities for the implementation of the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance;
  • Capacity development for the Commissioner through modes of professional improvement;
  • Strengthening regional and international cooperation;
  • Improving outreach towards public authorities and general public;
  • Hands-on assistance to the Commissioner in the production of knowledge products, such as studies, analyses, model laws and by-laws.

Someof the key activities implemented within the project are the following:


Publications and Regulation

  • With the aim of facilitating the implementation of the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance both for public authorities and information requestors, the Commissioner published the Handbook for the Implementation of the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance (2010).

  • Proactive information publishing was improved by the adoption of a new by-law Instruction for the Creation and Publication of the Information Booklet on Public Authority Work and the accompanying Commentary on the Instruction, the model of which was produced within the scope of the project.

  • Since it came into force in 2004, the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance was subject to several revisions. The necessity of its improvement is conditioned by a mass use of the Law and its significance in the fight against corruption and for the development of democratic society in Serbia. However, its implementation continues to face challenges. That is why a model of changes to the Law was produced within the scope of the project, which served as a basis for the draft Law which brings changes and amendments to the existing one.

  • As a useful resource for public authorities, all those who implement the Law in practice or study it from an academic angle, the Commissioner published a collection of summaries of its decisions in a publication with the title „Free Access to Information – A Selection from the Commissioner's Practice". The publication was distributed to 1.000 public authorities and is available for download on the Commissioner's website.

  • Within the scope of the project, the Commissioner launched a new website (www.poverenik.rs), more user-friendly and with improved organisation of the content, facilitating access to a significant quantity of material pertaining to two domains within the Commissioner's competence - free access to information and personal data protection. The website also offers easy access to all relevant information and documents about the work of the Commissioner as an independent body.

  • The Commissioner's website was enriched with dozens of summaries of the Commissioner's decisions and opinions so that it could serve as a resource center for lawyers and all those interested in the issues under the Commissioner's competence.

  • The Commissioner launched the website 'You have the right to know' (www.pravodaznas.rs and www.pravodaznam.rs) targeting high school population with the aim to educate it on free access to information of public importance, the role of the Commissioner and the practical aspects of using the Law.

  • Comparative analysis Facilitating Access to Information for Research Purposes - A Comparative Survey by Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Center for Law and Democracy, encompasses legislation pertaining to free access to information, personal data protection and/or other relevant legislation in order to assess whether access to information should be granted if necessary for research purposes and if so, under which conditions access to information may be granted. This analysis of international and comparative legal framework and practice, in particular the EU regulations and standard setting pertaining to the treatment of the requestors of information needed for scientific and other types of research, was commissioned in order to strike appropriate balance between freedom of information and legitimate limitation of the right on the one hand, and the need for researchers to access restricted documents on the other.

  • The aim of the comparative analysis Advancing Democracy: Improving horizontal accountability and transparency in Serbia by Fabrizio Scrollini is to examine different approaches and best practices vis-a-vis relationship between the parliament as the legislative authority and independent authorities in the domain of freedom of information and personal data protection. It covers countries with developed freedom of information legislation, as well as personal data protection and strong institutions established with the competence in both or one of these domains. The analysis contains a thorough overview of the relationship between the Serbian National Assembly and the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection and proposes recommendations aimed at the enhancement of the relationship between the Serbian National Assembly and the Commissioner.


Seminars – Furthering the Right to Free Access to Information

  • With the aim of strengthening proactive infromation publishing, the Commissioner held a series of seminars in 2010 and 2011 for public authorities throughout Serbia on the implementation of the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance, with the particular focus on proactive information publishing (the new Instruction for the Creation and Publication of the Information Booklet on Public Authority Work and the Commentary to the Instruction). The seminars attracted more than 200 participants.

  • A series of seminars for judges of misdemeanour courts on the implementation of the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance attracted more than 100 participants throughout Serbia.


Regional and International Cooperation

  • One of the first project activities was the international conference 'Freedom of Access to Information and the Position of Whistleblowers' , held on 29 June 2010 in Belgrade, which gathered more than 70 participants. It was the first expert event on the topic in Serbia. The focus of the conference was on two key aspects of free access to information – the position and protection of whistleblowers, and data secrecy as a limitation to free access to information. Among the key note speakers were the Slovenian and the Hungarian Information Commissioners, legal experts from academia and civil sector from Serbia, Ireland, Great Britain and Romania, as well as representatives of OSCE (OIDHR) and the Council of Europe.

  • International conference "Administrative Transparency in the EU" was organised within the scope of the project in Belgrade, on 18 November 2010, in cooperation with SIGMA programme (a joint initiative of OECD and EU). The purpose of the event was to present the latest study on the EU Member States' policies on transparency and open government, produced by SIGMA (the idea for the study came from the Serbian Commissioner); to promote discussions on sound policies and regulations on transparency and openness in public administration; to promote the key role of accountability institutions and mechanisms in building democratic states.

  • The International Right to Know Day, 28th of September, was marked in 2010 and 2011 within the scope of the project. Traditionally, since 2006, this event features awards to public authorities for special contribution to free access to information. The Commissioner's message for the Day in 2010 targeted public authorities in Serbia and the need for their improvement in the implementation of the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance, with the emphasis on proactive information publishing. The highlight of the event in 2011 was the Award for the Best Information Booklet of a public authority, awarded for the first time. The award went to Ministry of Defense. Marking of the Right to Know Day was organised in cooperation with the OSCE Mission in Serbia.

  • The project enabled participation of three representatives of the Commissioner at the 7th International Conference of Information Commissioners, held in Ottawa, Canada, in October 2011.

  • One representative of the Commissioner took part at the First Global Conference on Transparency Research (May 2011) in New Jersey, USA, an interdisciplinary event which gathered both the representatives of academia and practitioners from various sectors.


Capacity Building for the Commissioner

  • With the aim of transferring best practice and building knowledge of the Commissioner's staff, the project enabled a study visit of the Commissioner's staff to the Slovenian Information Commissioner, as well as exchange of experience on-the-job during a visit of the Slovenian colleagues to the Serbian Commissioner when the two teams discussed particularly intriguing cases they work on.

  • Considering that the Commissioner's staff delivers presentations and training sessions as a part of their regular duties, and wishing to improve presentation skills of its staff, the Commissioner organised a specialised 'training of trainers' within the scope of the project.

  • With the help of external consultants, a protocol of internal communication for the Commissioner and the accompanying action plan were produced, as documents which are to strengthen channels and methods of communication within the institution.
Normal 0 21 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

The project “Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms in Public Finance”, which the Commissioner implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since April 2010, was successfully completed at the end of June 2012.

Monthly Statistical Report

31.5.2024.

PENDING: 14.044

DONE: 158.382

Read more