HCLU proposes Open Government Partnership commitments

The goal of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiated by American President Barack Obama is the establishment of a transparent, efficient and accountable government/administration. The HCLU and K-Monitor have prepared proposals on commitments to be undertaken by Hungary.

To this end, OGP parties - and civil society organizations of participating countries in collaboration with experts - formulate commitments and implementation of those commitments will be monitored each year by the OGP. The commitments may relate to the five major topics: improving the quality of public services, enhancing the integrity of the public sector, effective use of public resources, creating safer communities, and accountability of social engagements of corporations. In all cases, measures are required to enhance the transparency of governments and must be accompanied by information and technology innovations.

Collaborative participation enforces governments to formulate clear steps in order to make their operations more transparent and controllable. These implementations will be regularly monitored by the OGP, which will indicate if a government is lagging behind on its commitments.

In early April, through the approved government resolution on anti-corruption measures, the Government of Hungary indicated that they wish to join the cooperation. The Administration and the Ministry of Justice plans to formulate its commitments by involving and cooperating with civil society organizations. The HCLU and K-Monitor formulated the following proposals:

-          In order to display published data on government websites in user-friendly formats, legal regulation shall dispose of the data transmission mode (a large part of published data is currently inappropriate for further processing);

-          Since the jurisdictional interpretation of the law restricting freedom of information is currently prevailing, strengthening legal guarantees on data relating to the management of national assets

-          development of public procurement databases;

-          establishment of a central database on contracts undertaken by the state (based on the Slovakian model);

-          education of public administration officials on Hungarian freedom of information regulations;

-          establishment of an actual judicial review

Share

Related articles

Hungary's Weak New Anti-Corruption Program

The Hungarian government has devised a new anti-corruption program, which, as opposed to reducing corruption, in fact increases the government's power. Compared with earlier plans, reforms concerning the financing of parties and the protection of whistleblowers have been excluded from the program, which also fails to deal with the asset declarations of MPs. The civil and the business sectors, in turn, are facing stricter regulations in the future.

Hungary Classifies All Information Regarding Paks Nuclear Plant

Five NGOs, including the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, have addressed an open letter to Hungary's president after the draft law on the maintenance of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant was passed by the Parliament. The NGOs demand that President János Áder initiate a constitutional review of the law before the Constitutional Court. The NGOs are concerned because the new act severely limits access to public interest data by rendering all information concerning the Paks plant as classified data for the next 30 years. Opposition parties have joined the organizations in attacking the decision.

Government closing in on freedom of information

On 30 of April, 2013, in an extraordinary process within 24 hours, the Hungarian Parliament adopted an amendment to the Act CXII of 2011 on the Right of Informational Self-Determination and Freedom of Information. The amendment is under the procedure of promulgation, it will be published in a couple of days and will enter into force on the day following the day of its publication.