Court orders a Vinnytsia oblast village council to post public information on their website
The Vinnytsia District Administrative Court declared the inaction of the Yaryshivka Village Council (Vinnytsia oblast), which does not post the information required by the Law on Access on its official website, unlawful.
The judgement was issued on October 4, 2023, reports the regional representative of the IMI in the Vinnytsia oblast.
The NGO "Automaidan Vinnychchyna" sued the Village Council for consistently failing to post decisions, orders and other documents that should be made public in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Access to Public Information" on its website as a local self-government body is supposed to.
The organization asked the court to declare the Village Council's inaction in not posting public information on its official website as unlawful and to order it to do so.
As the IMI representative points out, the Village Council posted no session decisions, public procurement deals, or the village Mayor's orders on its website. As early as 2021, the obligation to publish such information online was assigned to the village Mayor's daughter, Oksana Kukharchuk, who is the chief accounting specialist at the Village Council.
Photo – Chesno
Later, at the request of local activists, the Yaryshivka Village Council replied that the information on its website may be completely false:
Photo – Chesno
As soon as in 2023, in response to the request by the NGO "Automaidan Vinnytsia", the Village Council noted that "information about the publication of decisions" by the Village Council "is not public information."
Photo – depytaty.pro
This reply was what prompted "Automaidan Vinnytsia" (the founders of the depytaty.pro website) to go to court.
The Yaryshivka Village Council did not file a response to the lawsuit. The case was considered without any Village Council representatives present, as they did not attend the court hearing.
The court decided that the Village Council's disregard for the legal requirements is unlawful, and ordered it post all the documents stipulated by the law on the Yaryshivka Village Council website.
Also, with regard to administrators who claim to withhold information due to the martial law, court judge Mykhailo Slobodonyuk noted: "The legislation does not provide for any special norms limiting access to public information as stipulated in Clause 2, Part 1 of Article 15 of Law No. 2939-VI, under martial law, neither there are any norms that could be bypassed."
Despite the court's decision having entered into force, no decisions, orders, or procurement plans have been posted to the website of the Yaryshivka Village Council. The executive service has not opened proceedings yet, the IMI representative notes.
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