Freedom of Information

The coming dark age of democratic governance in Hungary

A recent amendment to the law on right to informational self-determination and freedom of information (Act CXII of 2011) all but ensures that Fidesz will operate the government in complete darkness. The amendment is alarming for many reasons. Most crucially, it casts a wide net in banning public access to any information handled by public bodies that may be controlled by, for example, the State Audit Office, Government Accountability Office, the Public Prosecutor or the Ombudsman. The amendment passed in an insane two days at a conspicuous time when the major NGOs and news portals were about to ask for the bids in a tender for tobacco retail licenses, which reportedly went to party loyalists. With this law the demonstrable corruption of Fidesz can continue without checks and discussions.

The coming dark age of democratic governance in Hungary

A recent amendment to the law on right to informational self-determination and freedom of information (Act CXII of 2011) all but ensures that Fidesz will operate the government in complete darkness. The amendment is alarming for many reasons. Most crucially, it casts a wide net in banning public access to any information handled by public bodies that may be controlled by, for example, the State Audit Office, Government Accountability Office, the Public Prosecutor or the Ombudsman. The amendment passed in an insane two days at a conspicuous time when the major NGOs and news portals were about to ask for the bids in a tender for tobacco retail licenses, which reportedly went to party loyalists. With this law the demonstrable corruption of Fidesz can continue without checks and discussions.

The coming dark age of democratic governance in Hungary

A recent amendment to the law on right to informational self-determination and freedom of information (Act CXII of 2011) all but ensures that Fidesz will operate the government in complete darkness. The amendment is alarming for many reasons. Most crucially, it casts a wide net in banning public access to any information handled by public bodies that may be controlled by, for example, the State Audit Office, Government Accountability Office, the Public Prosecutor or the Ombudsman. The amendment passed in an insane two days at a conspicuous time when the major NGOs and news portals were about to ask for the bids in a tender for tobacco retail licenses, which reportedly went to party loyalists. With this law the demonstrable corruption of Fidesz can continue without checks and discussions.

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. 

Profit-making through FOI?

A draft bill on the re-use of public sector information submitted to the Hungarian Parliament by the government would make the national FOI legislation highly unpredictable - according to the HCLU and K-Monitor, major Hungarian NGOs working for transparency and freedom of information. The proposal intends to harmonize Hungarian freedom of information legislation with the EU law by implementing the 2003/98/EC Directive on the re-use of public sector information. The latter is to be revised soon, due to a proposal of the European Commission. The HCLU and K-Monitor ask legislative authorities to withdraw their draft proposal due to the following reasons.

Hungarian NGOs turn to Barroso over planned removal of Hungarian data protection commissioner

Eötvös Károly Policy Institute, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and Hungarian Helsinki Committee informed the President of the European Commission on the failure of the Hungarian lawmaker to fulfill its obligation to guarantee the complete independence of the Data Protection Commissioner. Hungary therefore breached its duty arising from EU law.