Why is it important to create institute of the Information commissioner?

13/01/2017 11:30

Creation of institute of single Information commissioner for observance of the right to information (including concerning promulgation of socially necessary information) and personal data protection is the recognized and effective European practice.

The relevant organ shall be independent from other branches of the power, and also shall have a set of the minimum powers, including the right to issue obligatory instructions for prevention or elimination of violations of the right to access, access to information, including with limited access etc.

Necessity of creation of such institute is noted in the report of the expert of the Council of Europe Ms. Natasha Pirc Musar in it, in particular, it is mentioned that "the first and major recommendation for Ukraine is creation of independent (special) institute of the Information commissioner or the commission which shall be the unique body of the second instance for consideration of inquiries/claims concerning violation of the right to access to information".

It is said about feasibility of creation of institute of the Information commissioner, in particular, and during the international conference “RTI250: Celebrating the Right to Information’s 250th Anniversary and Further Strengthening National Systems of the EaP Countries” which was held in Kyiv on September 21-22, 2016. So, during her speech Ms.Valeriya Lutkovska informed participants of intention to apply to parliamentarians, public activists and experts with the recommendation to create a position of the Information commissioner in Ukraine, without removing at the same time function of parliamentary control over the right to access to information from Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.

"We have a number of problematic issues in this regard. First, recommendations of the Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as in the majority of member countries of the Council of Europe, aren't obligatory for execution, and it in turn, reduces efficiency of protection of the right to information. Secondly, function of punishment isn't inherent for a national institution for human rights. Besides, functions of control over access to information are contrary to the so-called "Parisian principles" of activities of a national institution for human rights", – Ms.Valeriya Lutkovska is convinced.

As experience of many modern democratic states of the EU shows, the most effective model of the Information commissioner is creation of the independent organization having double powers: to ensure implementation of the right to access to public information and personal data protection.

Necessity of creation of state body of control over observance of the right to access to information which will conform with standards of independence and efficiency, is foreseen also in Basis of the state anti-corruption policy in Ukraine (Anti-corruption strategy) for 2014-2017.

Understanding importance of the right to access to information in democratic society and considering an eurointegration course of development of Ukraine that foresees implementation of international standards, in particular, in the sphere of human rights, it is expedient to create separate institute of the Information commissioner.

However, creation of institute of the Information commissioner which as much as possible would conform with international standards requires fixing of its status at the constitutional level as for effective control over mentioned right such body shall be independent from branches of the power.

For the purpose of exchange of opinions concerning this idea everyone is invited to discussion on the official page of the Commissioner on social network Facebook.