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Conference 'Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information – Challenges Ahead and Good Practice' held

Conference
Published date: 12.07.2019 10:34 | Author: uzk

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The Human Resources Management Authority, HRMA, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Administration, organized Conference “Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information – Challenges Ahead and Good Practice”. The event took place in Hilton Hotel, Podgorica, on 11 July 2019.

The main goal of the Conference was to share experience, provide comparative solutions and examples of good practice in light of the amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information.

Public Administration Minister, Ms Suzana Pribilović, gave an opening address at the Conference and emphasized that the right to free access to information represents the basic right of every citizen to request information of public interest from state bodies.

The web portal established by the Ministry of Public Administration (www.data.gov.me) should be a useful tool for the citizens and industry as well.

Citizens deserve better quality of service, they have right to ask for information and obtain the relevant feedback.

Minister Pribilović also stressed that in this way, the basic control function of the public administration functioning is realized, as well as the necessary communication between the citizens and administration.

The expert in the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Ms Ana Marija Musa, also delivered speech at the Conference, saying that the existing legal solution has many benefits, but certain shortcomings as well. She said she was sure that the working group would come up to conclusions aligned with the best international and European practice. She presented some of the recommendations from her own analysis, which refers to the improvement of the existing legislation.

Dejan Milenković, SIGMA expert, presented the principles of good administration given in the Law on Free Access to Information, by focusing on the injury test, appeals procedure and proactive transparency. He gave concrete recommendations over the increased number of documents that would be proactively published, intensified inspection and the use of open data.

The panel 'Free access to information – the present and the future' was organized as part of the Conference, and it was attended by: Ms Branka Lakočević, President of the Administrative Court of Montenegro, Ms Danijela Nedeljković-Vukčević, Director-General of the Public Administration Directorate in the Ministry of Public  Administration, Ms Biljana Božić, Chief Officer of the Department for Access to Information in the Agency for Personal Data Protection and Free Access to Information, Mr Stevo Muk, President of the Governing Board in the NGO 'Alternativa', Mr Veselin Radulović, NGO MANS and Ms Mila Radulović, Secretary-General of the Association of Professional Journalists of Montenegro. The panel discussion was moderated by Mr Radoje Cerović, a psychologist and communicologist.

The panellists were discussing about the advantages and shortcomings of the existing legal solution, the most important elements that should be taken into consideration while drafting the amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information.

Ms Ana Zečević of the Human Resources Management Authority moderated the Conference, which was attended by over 70 participants at the central and local level.

GALLERY