HCLU wins case against the Ministry of Finance

The case was started against the Ministry of Finance after it denied access to data on public spending deficit of a hundred billion HUF.

The plaint was submitted on 4 Sept, 2006. The Ministry’s lawyer argued that the data requested by HCLU was only an estimate regarding an indefinite future figure that is not a data, therefore does not fall within the jurisdiction of Act LXIII of 1992 (on data protection and freedom of information).

According to HCLU’s attorney on that argument any kind of information or knowledge posessed by a state institution is a public interest data according to the Hungarian Freedom of Information Act. And also referring to the press conference where the deficit was announced it was clear that the estimate was based on relevant information. And also there was a precedent court decision saying the definition of data cannot be strictly interpreted as it is defined in the dictionary but in a broader context.

The court has dismissed the defendant’s argument and obliged the Ministry to publish the requested data within 15 days from receiving the verdict.

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