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CEDEM and Ministry of Culture and Information Policy Discuss Joint Actions on Access to Public Information

December 22, Ukrinform, Kyiv – Internews partner Center for Democracy and Rule of Law (CEDEM) held a discussion on access to public information entitled “Activities of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy in the Field of Access to Public Information in 2021 and Plans for 2022.” The event was supported by the Swedish International Development Agency.

Major takeaways: 

  • Taras Shevchenko, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy, reviewed the key activities of his Ministry on access to public information in 2021 related to the adoption of the Tromso Convention. An inter-state expert group was formed for the adaptation of the Tromso Convention to Ukrainian legislation and realities. The relevant NGOs and the Parliamentary Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy were part of this group.
  • Hanna Krasnostup, head of the Directorate of Access to Information at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, described how the Ministry trained its employees in the procedures for filing responses on public information requests, with assistance from CEDEM. The Ministry launched a special section on its website on access to public information. Krasnostup said the Ministry continues to study best practices of EU member states on how to tackle violations of access to public information and ensure the consistency of EU and Ukrainian legislation.
  • Vita Volodovska, director of the Laboratory for Digital Security, reported that amendments to the law “On Access to Public Information” will be discussed in January and February 2022 by the relevant Parliamentary Committee. The amendments will regulate access to open data and citizens’ access to government meetings.
  • Tamara Oleksiyuk, CEDEM lawyer, said 30% of requests to the Ombudsperson of Ukraine are about access to public information.
  • Ihor Rozkladai, deputy director of CEDEM, called for a public awareness campaign on access to public information, including education for citizens on getting information from open sources, as well as training public officials on production of quality responses to information requests.

 

Photo: Thisisengineering Raeng on Unsplash