Lack of access to information exposed

ACTIVISTS with the Citizen and Democracy Foundation said public administration bodies are reluctant to reply to citizens' queries, despite a law ensuring the effective free access to information.

Foundation employees carried out an undercover survey of public access to information, requesting information as regular citizens in 86 regional and district offices. The findings suggested that bureaucrats often refuse to reply to citizens, while queries from organisations are usually handled fast.

The head of the monitoring project, Marcela Mezianová, said that although some offices were forthcoming with public information, various problems with the realisation of the law still remained. She said that many employees of state offices were still unaware of their duty to publish information, although the law took effect in January last year.

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