A case against Ministry of Finance

HCLU filed a case on 4 September against the Ministry of Finance for not releasing information on a billion HUF deficit in the budget of 2006.

Dr. Tamás Katona, under-secretary was referring to this information as „trade secret” on a press conference, on 18 July, 2006. But after receiving our official request for public interest data, he referred to it as it was only a „forecast” that, in his opinion, was not being data.

Both of the arguments are quite interesting since the Civil Code clearly defines that state or municipal budget and data related to them cannot be considered trade secret. According to the data protection act, all the information recorded by state institutions is public interest data. This rule is obviously covers budget deficit related information.

HCLU cannot accept that the Ministry of Finance conceals information on utilization of a billion HUF and arbitrarily overwrites the fundamental norms of freedom of information. The Ministry’s denial is illegal and decreases the trust in the Hungarian State by intentionally neglecting the principles of a transparent state.

Share

Related articles

Performance on International Freedom of Information Day

On Sepetember 28th, International Freedom of Information Day is celebrated in 40 countries worldwide. This year, it is celebrated in Hungary for the first time, organized by the HCLU during the Week of Civil Awareness.

Nuclear case - still no access to details of the damage reduction process in the Paks Nuclear Plant

The Capital Court of Appeal has made a decision on 20 April about the lawsuit of Energy Club and National Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Safety Directorate (NAEA-NSD) in the second instance court. The judiciary overruled the judgement of the first instance court and ordered to initiate a new proceeding. In the lawsuit HCLU represents the suitor. The appeal does not lie against this decision which is, though favourable, still does not result the access to the demanded data.

Landmark decision on freedom of information by the European Court of Human Rights

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union won a freedom of information case against the Republic of Hungary. For the first time, the right to access to state-held information as part of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights has been formally recognized, as reflected in today’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. The Strasbourg based Court declared that withholding information needed to participate in public debate on matters of public importance may violate the freedom of expression.