Source: "Blic"

When Mr. Rodoljub Sabic was appointed to the function of the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance of the Republic of Serbia in December 2004, he had no office, no associates and no resources.

In what will certainly become an anecdote for future generations, he paid for the making of the official seal of the Commissioner’s Office with his money and he made do with was available until July 2005. Then an office and five associates were provided to him and he operated with those associates until the second half of 2009.


Source: "Nin" magazine

Interview: Rodoljub Sabic, Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection


I sought protection from the competent authorities only once, several years ago. I did that although I did not consider the threats to be particularly serious even then because they were not addressed to me but to my family members. And the response of the competent authorities was such that it was obvious that even if threats had been serious, I could have hardly expected any assistance and protection

Source: "Politika"

What is the purpose of different treatment of pirated software in the private sector, on the one hand, and in the public sector, on the other hand

In the previous month, inspectors from the Tax Administration intensified control of the use of illegal, so-called pirated software. This news has recently been published by all information agencies.

Source: "Blic"

Citizens are increasingly addressing the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection with requests to protect the right to personal data protection. The most recent example of this is the case of “arguments” between parents and schools in connection with data collection for the “Single Information System in Primary and Secondary Education in the Republic of Serbia”. People do not understand on what basis certain data are requested from them and who needs them and why. They fail to understand, for example, who and why needs information about whether they are married, single or divorced, about their ethnicity, about whether they are hired into indefinite or fixed-term employment etc. and they demand explanations, and rightly so. They receive various “explanations”, which they often find difficult to accept. The following explanation forwarded to me by a parent is certainly one of the most “creative” ones: “If such data are not entered in the database, children will de facto not be treated as pupils in the Serbian education system, they will simply not exist!!”

Source: "Blic"

„Do you have any other job than writing letters to municipal administration?“ This was laconic „answer“ sent by e-mail to one request for free access to information on work of Prijepolje municipality. The applicant of the request for accessing information has also sent me the copy of the „answer“ sent from the address oprijep@gmail.com.

Source: "Politika"


Rodoljub Šabić, Commissioner for Information of Public Importance


Minutes from the tenth session of the State Council of Prosecutors from November 2009, which has been published last week in the media, has opened up additional sensitive questions regarding general election of prosecutors and judges.  Chairlady of the High Judiciary Council  Nata Mesarović has once again opposed hearsays that  BIA has checked the candidates for judges, and from the State Council of Prosecutors they pointed out that checks of special prosecutors by BIA have been provided in Article 16 of the Law on Organization and Authorizations of State Authorities in Suppressing Organized Crime and other Heavy Criminal Acts (Zondosok ).

Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, Rodoljub Šabić, noted that the Law does not envisage check of candidates for prosecutors’ positions and passed decision to execute supervision over implementation of the Personal Data Protection Act in the procedure of electing prosecutors and their deputies.

Does Article 16 of the Law on Organization and Authorizations of State Authorities in Suppressing Organized Crime and other Heavy Criminal Acts offer enough of a base for processing data, performed by BIA?

That provision pertains to the very narrow circle of persons, to persons from one Prosecutor’s Office and two courts, and even in their case not regarding re-election, because it pertains to already elected persons. Especially, there is no base for its application on all participants of the general elections procedure. Already at first sight one can see that this is about legally-technically extremely poorly written, unclear and imprecise provision, which can hardly present reliable base for anything. So, in that Article, titled  „Property Status Data” pertaining to  the obligation  „of persons performing function, that is, performing jobs in Special Prosecutor’s Office and  special court departments” to deliver to the Agency for Fight Against Corruption complete and  exact data  on their property, a provision on safety check of those persons has also been inserted. It is not clear whether that check pertains to property data, or to something else. And what else? Besides that, it has been determined that the method of performing those checks and data recording shall be regulated by the Governmental Act. I am asking – by what Act? And isn’t regulation of personal data protection by the Governmental Act  contrary to the constitutional provision according to which data processing shall be regulated solely by the law?


Do property status data have anything to do with the worthiness of the candidates or is worthiness understood broader than acquiring property in a way making the holder of the judiciary function unworthy?

It is sure that the method of acquiring property can be related to honesty, so for one of the elements of worthiness concept. But it is also sure that the worthiness concept also includes other characteristics like conscientiousness, fairness and impartiality, stateliness...


Is it disputable if BIA gave data to DVT on Special Prosecutors and deputies in the period when they were simultaneously, due to re-election, also candidates for Prosecutors’ functions?

Each personal data processing which is not based on strict legal base or on consent of the person whose data are in question, is at least disputable.


Why is the legal provision on safety checks so imprecise?

It is unpermittedly imprecise. Regardless of warnings of the Citizens’ Protector and me, we do not have a single more precise provision. Not in a single law do we have defined the very concept of security check. Actually we have it only in the Data Secrecy Act, but it pertains to extremely narrow field – access to secret data. For all the other situations we do not have defined the concept of check, or precisely determined what actions, measures or activities it understands, as well as for determining for what facts shall those actions and measures be undertaken. There is unpermittedly too much space for „free interpreting”.


What would be legal consequences of illegal and unconstitutional personal data processing?

As first we should eliminate possible dilemmas. As I said, processing data on anyone’s personality, without the knowledge of that person is permitted only when strictly provided by the law. It is not disputable that BIA and other security authorities, as well as Public Prosecutor’s Offices are authorized to deal in such data processing, but for legally determined purposes– in order to oppose criminal and in order to protect state security. However DVT is not a prosecutor’s office, and it is not any prosecution authority. On the contrary, that is an authority the purpose of which is to protect prosecutor’s independence. Not a single legal provision envisages that in the general prosecutors’ election procedure DVT shall process candidates’ data which have been previously checked by BIA, nor have the necessary legal authorizations been determined for that purpose for BIA. Personal data processing without legal ground, or without consent of the person whose data are in question in that and in any other case would be an infringement. Depending on the specific circumstances, secret processing can also be criminal act of unauthorized personal data processing.