Manager Magazine has won the suit against the Hungarian Privatization and State Holding Company (HPSHC) in a first instance deci

In its judgement, the Metropolitan Court has ordered the HPSHC to release the requested contracts and related documentation on power plants privatization in it’s first instance decision today. Ákos Moskovits, journalist for Manager Magazine, with HCLU’s attorney András Schiffer has filed suit last November.

Manager Magazine has turned to the courts, due to refusal of access last October of privatization contracts of the Mátra Power Plant and Dunamenti Power Plant. The Act on Protection of Personal Data and Freedom of Information clearly states: organizations attending to state assignments are obliged to give out public data relating to state funds and contracts connected to those –with the exception of a few- to anyone. The matter of making public to the tax-payers the documents which are part of the record-income providing and disputed energetic privatization contracts and relevant Bokros-package, has come up from time to time.

The November issue of Manager Magazine published an article of István Kocsis, current CEO of the Hungarian Power Companies Ltd., who in 1995 as Vice-CEO of HPSHC was responsible for execution of the energetic privatization. Citing the article: „in some cases classified clauses were added to the energetic contracts. This happened in the case of the Mátra Thermal Power Station, which was sold to the German RWE. In the classified clause, HPSHC based on the Bükkábrány lignite-mine, has pledged to expand the capacity by double 500MW for the 26million payed by the German company beyond the 74million purchase price. However the Orbán-administration judged the expanding of capacity to be redundant, and due to breach of contact had to pay compensation to RWE, who has by that time bought the lignite-mine. The circumstances of signing of the clause has been inspected by a subcommittee of the parliament, where István Kocsis was also heard. At that time he was already employed by RWE.”

Associates of Manager Magazine presumed that if they could inspect these documents, which dispose of Hungarian citizens’ common assets, then truth could come to light.

Share

Related articles

The HCLU Wins 100 Billion Lawsuit

In September, 2006 the HCLU has sued the Ministry of Finance for denying to make public the information relating to the 100 billion forint deficit in the 2006 budget. Last October the Metropolitan Court has ruled in favor of the HCLU and in it's first instance decision has declared the requested data to be of public-interest.

Report on a FOI lawsuit against the Atomic Energy Authority

The HCLU together with seven other environmental and legal defence NGOs sued the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) as it has refused to present data of public interest. The first court hearing was on 25th February 2005.

Government agrees to back mega-project in Hungary despite concerns about transparency - Anti-corruption NGOs have turned to Joaquín Almunia

Some of Hungary's major anti-corruption NGOs have turned to EU Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia. The NGOs are concerned about a giant project financed with state aid and therefore urged the Prime Minister to immediately suspend the 'murky' 130 mn EUR investment, financed by an EU fund and the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB). Gordon Bajnai, Prime Minister of Hungary finally ordered the Ministry of National Development and Economy to make the feasibility study of the project public.