The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection has estimated as contrary to the truth the attitudes of the Anti-Corruption Agency, which were quoted by some media yesterday, in which the Agency "explained" its failure to act upon or partial compliance with the Commissioner’s decision ordering the Agency to make available the data from the report on the control of assets and income of the Mayor of Belgrade.
The Commissioner deems as particularly unacceptable the insinuation contained in the question posed by the Agency - "Are the Commissioner and ‘’Pistaljka’’ asking the Agency not to abide by law....?"
The Commissioner’s attitude on the right of the public to be informed about the data contained in the said report is expressed in the decision taken upon the complaint filed by the portal ‘’Pistaljka’’ following the Agency’s refusal to provide any data to it. The decision contains a detailed, full and reasoned explanation of the attitude. The decision expressly orders protection of certain personal data, which are enumerated in the wording, before making the requested data available.
However, the Agency has also ‘’protected’’ certain data to which the Commissioner’s order obviously does not apply, such as the data on transaction amounts, names of companies linked with the official, the floor area of real estate he owns, type of vehicle or the type of criminal offences he is suspected of having committed, which means that the Agency has failed to comply with the decision.
The Agency has had the opportunity to present and it has presented all its reasons in favour of denying the right of the public to know in its appeal. The Commissioner has considered the appeal and, based on all relevant facts, issued the said decision. The decision is final, binding and enforceable pursuant to the law. It is not permissible to "justify" the failure to comply with the decision by setting forth the already presented or some new "arguments". The Agency’s claims that the data in question are the data "that are only available to the Agency for the purpose of controlling the officials" should be viewed in that context. In this regard, the Commissioner recalls that, both the provisions of the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance (Article 28) and the provisions of the Law on Data Confidentiality (Article 25) stipulate the decision of the Commissioner as the grounds for making available to the public the data which are formally designated as "secret", regardless of the degree of secrecy, including even those of the highest level of confidentiality.
The Commissioner's decision is based on the law and serves public interests that are quite justified. This decision is binding both on the Agency and on any other authority, as well. This is expressly provided by law. Any polemics over whether anyone, especially a public authority, is liable to act in accordance with the wording of the final decision, (not only of the Commissioner, but of any competent government authority) or whether they can choose which parts of the decision to comply and which not to comply with, is superfluous because that would be absurd.