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Poltava regional state administration restricted access to information for "Poltavshchyna"

30.10.2020, 20:42
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The Department of Construction, Urban Planning and Architecture and Housing and Communal Services of the Poltava Regional State Administration has restricted access to information for the online edition “Poltavshchyna” about the construction of the Center for Administrative Services (CNAP). “Poltavshchyna” reported it its website.

Thus, the department refused to provide the journalists with copies of the acts of work on the construction of a new Center of administrative services. The functionaries said this information is of limited access. Instead, they proposed to read the registration card of the object.

The journalist Daryna Synytska sent a request to the Poltava regional authorities asking to say how much money was spent for construction of a non-functional part of the site.

“I asked to provide copies of acts of work performed for the period from July 18, 2018 to September 28, 2020. We have never received the documents,” Daryna Synytska said.

Instead, the editorial board received a response explaining the reason for refusing to provide the requested information. In particular, they said the acts of work performed belonged to the primary accounting.

In a comment to the representative of IMI in Poltava region, Daryna Synytska said that she did not plan to file any complaint.

In the press service of Poltava Regional State Administration, IMI representatives in Poltava region were told that the above-mentioned order of the head of Poltava Regional State Administration №878 did not contain any prohibitions on disclosure (provision) of official information specified in the list of this information, including acts of work performed.

“So the reference to the Order of the Head of Poltava Regional State Administration №878 of 20.11.2019“ On approval of the List of information constituting official information in Poltava Regional State Administration ”as a ground for denial to provide public information is incorrect, as access to official information can be limited only in cases provided by the Law of Ukraine "On Access to Public Information", - they noted in the Regional State Administration. 

At the same time, the Regional State Administration added that in order to prevent such incident happening in the future, a relevant letter explaining the application of this order was sent to all structural subdivisions of the regional state administration.

IMI lawyer Ali Safarov noted that official information might cover some internal correspondence that precedes the development of documents, but not the accounting documents or other similar documents.

According to him, the Law of Ukraine “On Access to Public Information” quite clearly regulates both the procedure for providing information upon request and the grounds for denial to provide it. 

“In particular, this law regulates the issue of the official information. In accordance with the provisions of Article 9 of this law, an internal correspondence that precedes the development of documents might be considered as an official information, but not accounting documents or other documents of the kind. Let me remind you that, in accordance with part two of Article 212-3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Ukraine, an unreasonable subsumption of any information to this one with limited access, failure to respond to a request for information, failure to provide an information, wrongful refusal to provide information, late or incomplete unreliable reporting entails a fine on officials from 25 to 50 non-taxable minimum incomes, "said Ali Safarov.

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