Public institutions use everything in their power to delay access to information, director of the Centre for Independent Journalism (CJI) Ioana Avadani stated during a debate on the topic of access to information of public interest, according to provisions of law no. 544/2001, organised on Tuesday evening by the Centre for Juridical Resources, the Centre for Media Investigations and Frontline Club Bucharest.
Ioana Avadani said that the implementation of this law in Romania in 2015 is less satisfactory than it was in the first two years after its promulgation.
“The public institutions use everything they can to delay access to information,” Avadani said, adding that the staff in charge of disseminating information in the public space, from spokespersons to public servants working at information desks refuse to give citizens the information requested in the time provided by the law.
Lawyer Diana-Olivia Hatneanu, member of the Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania – the Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH) pointed out that failure by authorities to abide the laws made citizens lose interest in this instrument created for their benefit.
Minister for Public Consultation and Social Dialogue Violeta Alexandru, present at the event, stated that she intends to avoid “formalism, the mere compliance with the law” and to confer a “a new spirit and a new impetus to the administration in terms of a genuine appreciation of the society’s input.”
“I hope that tomorrow at the Government sitting (editor’s note: Wednesday) I will manage to also get approved the government decision to establish the ministry and that with it the first results of our activity will appear” Violeta Alexandru stated.
According to Alexandru, starting with January 21 all Government projects will be “integrated in a platform”.