HomePress Releases and PublicationsAN ATTEMPT TO MANIPULATE THE PUBLIC
Thursday, 10 August 2017 10:20
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Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection estimates that yesterday's publicly address, "the response" of the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government (MDULS), to the Commissioner, was an extremely improper attempt to manipulate the public.

The Commissioner initiated the monitoring procedure in response to the news broadcasted in the media that the MDULS and the Ministry of Internal Affairs had signed a "Business and Technical Cooperation Agreement", which was aimed to "establish electronic records on citizens of Serbia" and that "the process of data entry from citizenship records into the so-called Central Registry, will start as of date of the news announcement. "

In his statement given on the occasion, the Commissioner stated, inter alia, that "since the text of the Agreement and its content have not been published, although its obvious focus is on an extremely extensive personal data processing, and given that Commissioner's opinion had not been requested, he required from the ministries to, within five days, submit a copy of the signed Agreement on Business and Technical Cooperation, as well as to give opinion on several issues."

On this occasion, MDULS "informed” the public that "they had learned through the media about the initiation of the supervision", and that they had informed the Commissioner that the Ministry's website published the Conclusion of the Government of Serbia, as well as the Agreement on Business and Technical Cooperation "within the MDULS’s statement on the given topic".

The truth, however, is that these documents, until the initiation of the supervision procedure, had not been published on the website. This was done additionally, which can easily be discovered by inspecting the cache memory of the ministry's website. An intervention was, therefore, made in the text of the press release, by refilling the links leading to the mentioned documents, but not indicating that it was subsequently done after the Commissioner's address. Hence, it is about the anti-dating of a part of the document, which is a procedure that is below the minimum level of any serious communication, especially the communication between the two state bodies.

Likewise, the Commissioner assesses the Ministry’s claims that they had learned about the supervision procedure “from the media”, as well as the call to the Commissioner to "address them", given that the Commissioner gave statement on the initiation of the supervision procedure only after submitting the proceedings initiation act to the Ministry, through Notary Office, with appropriate confirmation.

In such a state of affairs, the wording in the Ministry's statement about "fair cooperation" or how the "the Ministry is fully at Commissioner’s disposal", seem quite unconvincing, even cynical. Instead of the those, the Ministry should simply, in accordance with the legal obligation, and within the set deadline, respond to the questions enquiring about the legal grounds of the operator, the so called, Central Register, the users, organizational and technical data protection measures, etc., which are contained in the Commissioner’s act, through which the procedure was initiated.

And although the Commissioner, at least in this procedure, will not ask for answers to some other issues that ultimately need to be opened in connection with this Agreement, such as, for example, whether the Agreement on Business and Technical Cooperation could scam the provisions of the Law on Public Procurement, it would be good if the Ministry gave public answers to them.

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Statistics

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

    30.9.2017.

    PENDING: 4.333

    DONE: 55.280

    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