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Coalition wanted to restrict free access to information

RULING coalition MP Edita Angyalová submitted a draft amendment to parliament to enable bureaucrats to refuse to provide information to citizens if they judged that a request for information is "clearly unreasonable".

RULING coalition MP Edita Angyalová submitted a draft amendment to parliament to enable bureaucrats to refuse to provide information to citizens if they judged that a request for information is "clearly unreasonable".

Following protests from the opposition, however, she withdrew the proposal.

Angyalová had argued that the existing wording of the Freedom of Access to Information Act could be misused, citing the example of an individual who sent thousands of applications to the Tax Bureau and allegedly paralyzed the institution.

She added that similar cases had occured at other institutions.

However, the opposition and the NGO community accused the ruling coalition of trying to restrict citizens' right to information on public affairs, and threatened to appeal to the Constitutional Court.

NGOs such as Transparency International Slovensko and Citizen and Democracy warned that the proposal represented serious interference with the right to information. The term "clearly unreasonable" was unclear and was not defined anywhere in the proposed revision.


Martina Jurinová

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