ADVERTISEMENT

Parliament passes law hindering FOI requests

Parliament

Using a fast-track procedure that limits debate, the Hungarian Parliament yesterday approved amendments to the Freedom of Information Act that make it more difficult to obtain data through public queries, Hungarian online daily index.hu reported today.

Under the new law, if data is considered important in reaching a decision, the government can decide not to share that information, even if it is requested, András Schiffer, an MP and leader of the opposition LMP (green party) was quoted by Index as saying.

Tímea Szabó, an MP with the opposition PM party, reportedly added that this means the government is not required to publish any information on the upgrade of Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant in Paks.

According to Schiffer, the law also stipulates that, if a public query requires “extensive work”, then the individual who filed that query could be charged for the processing involved in gathering the requested information.

In reference to earlier political scandals, Index said that under the recently modified law, the Hungarian public would not be able to access information about Cabinet Chief János Lázár’s alleged overspending at taxpayerʼs expense during official trips.

Yesterday the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, opposed the fast-track passing of the law, saying that access to information is fundamental in providing transparency and accountability in public affairs and that relevant stakeholders need to be consulted before such amendments are passed.


ADVERTISEMENT

Purchasing Managers' Index rises Analysis

Purchasing Managers' Index rises

Fidesz re-elects Orbán head of party Elections

Fidesz re-elects Orbán head of party

The strongest move - Morgan Stanley Hungary head and Chess F... Podcasts

The strongest move - Morgan Stanley Hungary head and Chess F...

New Jewish cultural hub opens in Budapest City

New Jewish cultural hub opens in Budapest

SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL

Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.