Serbian Deputy Commissioner for public information Stanojla Mandic said on Monday that state bodies are ignoring or not responding to requests from information.
“Most of them are at republic level judging by last year’s records showing who failed to obey orders from the Commissioner’s office,” she told a conference on the future of information in Serbia. According to Mandic, state bodies at that level account for almost 50 percent of the orders which were not implemented. She said that is where the most sensitive information about money and the use of public resources is adding that the requested information is mainly about public procurement, investments and contracts.
She said there have been attempts to change the law and narrow down the right to access to information.
Assistant Minister for State Administration Ivan Antic told the conference that state-owned companies will be “relatively exempt” from the amended law on free access to information of public importance which will be debated during parliament’s autumn sitting. She said the existing law needs to be amended to be brought in line with the action plan for chapter 23 of the pre-accession negotiations with the European Union and the public administration reform strategy action plan and because parts of the law are not implementable.
Antic said that privately owned companies will be able to refuse access to information if it would inflict damages on them which state-owned companies can’t do.