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21.12.2017

The Ombudsperson published Report with Recommendations concerning restriction of the right on access to public documents

The Ombudsperson has delivered today to the Municipality of Ferizaj, as a responsible authority, the Report with Recommendations concerning restriction of the right on access to public documents.

The Report was based on the submission filed by the NGO “Initiative for Progress – INPO” in June of 2017, through which protection of the right on access to public documents was requested by the Ombudsperson, as no response has been provided to the aforementioned NGO by the Municipality of Ferizaj, even after a month upon submitted request for access on the Agreement of Cooperation between Ferizaj Municipality and “Doranova Oyme” Company, the agreement accomplished in 2014 as well as feasibility study report regarding evaluation of municipal property.

In this Report the Ombudsperson observes that no decision has been rendered by the Municipality as per the submitted request of the party. LAPD in Article 7, paragraph 8, obliges public institutions that within seven (7) days from the time of request recording, the institution ought to render the decision for allowing access to requested documents or provide written response in order to justify complete or partial rejection and notification of the party on the rights to submit the complaint.

The Ombudsperson evaluates the willingness of Ferizaj Municipality for cooperation with the Ombudsperson, but ascertains that failure to render the decision in appropriate form and reasoned it sustainably, represents maladministration and violation of the right to use legal remedies.

Further, the Ombudsperson draws attention to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) practice, which determines that delays in provision of the information can continuously diminish the real value of the information and interest on it.

The Ombudsperson ascertains that as per the access to public documents, similarly with the case subject of this concern, the Basic Court in Prishtina with its Judgment C. No.1335/12, of 26.05.2015, in the administrative dispute of the complainant “Balkan Investigative Reporting Network – BIRN” versus defendant, the Office of Prime Minister of Republic of Kosovo, has decided positively, by approving complainant’s claim through which the Court has forced the defendant, the Office of Prime Minister of Republic of Kosovo, that within 30 (thirty) days to take the decision through which the access will be granted to the complainant in having access to all documents and information requested.

With the intention to further increase the respect on the right to have access to public documents, as legal and constitutional right, as well as increase of accountability and the transparency and in order using of this right by the citizens, as a sound instrument for controlling the work of state bodies, the Ombudsperson recommends to the Municipality of Ferizaj to review the request of NGO “Initiative for Progress – INPO of 18 of May 2017, for access to public documents and to provide reasoned response as well as to undertake measures for capacity building of officials in public institutions as per enforcement of the Law on Access to Public Documents.

Report with Recommendations, in its full form, has been delivered to the responsible authorities. The same has been disseminated to media and published on OI official web page, in the following link: http://www.ombudspersonkosovo.org/repository/docs/Raport_me_rekomandime_A_431-2017_521203.pdf
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