HomePress Releases and PublicationsIT IS ABSURD FOR ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCY TO "PROTECT" "SECRET" DATA FROM COMMISSIONER
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 09:00
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In the letter addressed to the Anti-Corruption Agency, the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection has for the third, and the last time, urged the Agency to submit to him the documents from the case relating to the control of assets and income of the Mayor of Belgrade.

In his response to the new letter from the Agency, the Commissioner has estimated that the emphasis placed on "the great importance of cooperation between state authorities" by the Agency shall not be considered serious and sincere, because the Agency still refuses to submit the required documents.

In the same context, the Agency's claim that "it did not impose any special conditions on the Commissioner", has been estimated as incorrect and not corresponding to the truth. The truth is that in the original letter, the Agency literally stated: "it can be concluded that certain data from the documents from the case relating to the control of assets and income of the Mayor constitute ''SECRET DATA'' in terms of Article 38 of the Law on Data Secrecy, whose protection requires the Commissioner to access them PERSONALLY. Quite obviously, this letter literally does not contain a single word about the possibility of access by any of the Commissioner's associates. Of course, even if the condition allowed the possibility of access by any of the staff, it would be contrary to the usual standards of cooperation between state authorities and the provisions of the Law on Data Secrecy relating to the submission of confidential documents.

The Commissioner is obliged to institute enforcement proceedings upon the proposal submitted by the requester – the portal “Pistaljka”, and determine in the proceedings whether the Agency has fully complied with the order contained in the Commissioner’s decision, or not as claimed by “Pistaljka”. Especially since even a superficial look at the data published by the Agency, acting upon the orders of the Commissioner, suggests that it "protected" the data which were not supposed to be protected under the decision, such as the names of the companies associated with public officials, the amount of cash transactions, floor area of real estate, types of vehicles, etc.

The Commissioner is a state authority having not only an indisputable statutory right to examine any document regardless of the level of classification, but also the power to abolish secrecy under its decision, also regardless of the level of secrecy. Accordingly, in practice, various authorities, in particular, the ones which use classified data most often (SIA, MSA, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence, etc.) regularly submit such data to the Commissioner. To this end, in the Office of the Commissioner, almost 40% of staff have passed a rigorous security check and dispose of the certificate for access to classified data marked "SECRET". It is absurd and inexplicable that the Agency (in which by its own admission no member of staff disposes of a similar certificate) has persistently been refusing to submit the requested documents and "protecting" some "secret" information from the Commissioner.

If the Agency, even after another repeated request for submission of the documents fails to act on it, the Commissioner will take mandatory legal action, and institute administrative enforcement of its decision, i.e. impose fines on the Agency and file misdemeanour charges against responsible persons.

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Statistics

  • Monthly Statistical Report in the field of Access to Information and Personal Data Protection

    28.4.2017.

    PENDING: 4.163

    DONE: 51.152

    Read more...

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Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection

15, Bulevar kralja Aleksandra str, Belgrade 11000
Tel: +381 11 3408 900    Fax: +381 11 3343 379
Email: оffice@poverenik.rs