(Citizens Observatory) The new legislation on public transparency makes deep incursions into citizens’ rights. Drafted by secret services, the bill intends to address issues regarding public transparency. It is not clear what issues it wants to address since no needs analysis has been presented. What is known is that secret services and enforcement agencies will gain more citizens’ data and new powers to interfere in their privacy and exert pressure arbitrarily and without any safeguards. Paradoxically, the bill actually leads to less transparency. Fore example, information on how government-owned companies spend their money will be exclusively accessible to enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, a wide spectrum of issues that have been red-flagged for years remain unresolved, including a genuine control over lobbying. Actual drafters of legislation will remain obscure under the proposed regime whereas public interest non-governmental organisations will now be subject to radically more stringent obligations that lobbyists acting on behalf of business. The doors have been opened to chaos in the established access to public information practice. No sufficient case has been made for the law and the legislative impact assessment is highly general and patchy. Nor is clear whether the draft was based on prior expert assessments.
Original article by Citizens Observatory
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