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SBU in Mykolaiv classified from the press data on sidewalk repair near its office

04.11.2020, 14:40
Photo credit: SBU
Photo credit: SBU

The Seurity Service of Ukraine (SBU) denied access to the information on road repair near its office to “Prestupnosti.net” edition. The head of department of SBU in Mykolaiv region Vitaly Hersak refused in providing such an information, as this is evidenced by a copy of the response to a request from journalist Taras Leontiyan, publioshed by “Prestupnosti.net”.

The edition asked the SBU department to provide information on the contracting organization and sources of funding for the repair of sidewalks near the main entrance to the administration building at Mykolaiv, st. Spaska, 40. 

However, in response to a request signed by the head of the SBU department Vitaliy Hersak, it was said that the requested information falls under the paragraph 10.6 of the List of information constituting official information in the Security Service of Ukraine, approved by the SBU Central Office dated 21.08.2012 №400 and which is not subject to free access, in accordance with paragraph 3 of part one, part two of Article 6, Article 9 of the Law on Access to Public Information.

IMI lawyer Ali Safarov noted the denial was unlawful. As he said, any refusal in satisfaction of inquiry has to meet requirements of article 22 of the Law of Ukraine «About access to public information», and the answer of Management of SBU in Mykolaiv region didn't meet the specified requirements of this article.

In particular, the refusal must be based solely on one of the grounds specified in the part one of Article 22, in particular that the requested information belongs to the category of restricted information in accordance with part two of Article 6 of this Law. At the same time, according to the second part of Article 6 of the Law of Ukraine “On Access to Public Information”, the refusal must substantiate the existence of the following conditions at the same time (three-part test):

1) the restriction is based on the law exclusively in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public order in order to prevent riots or criminal offenses, to protect public health, to protect the reputation or rights of others, to prevent disclosure of confidential information, or to maintain the authority and impartiality of justice;

2) disclosure of information may cause significant prejudice to these interests;

3) the damage from the disclosure of such information outweighs the public interest in obtaining it.

Also, added Ali Safarov, the refusal should contain a motivation why the whole document cannot be provided, and not a document with a hidden part of the information, as stated in part seven of Article 6 of the Law of Ukraine "On Access to Public Information".

“The reply of the Department of Security Service of Ukraine in Mykolaiv region doesn't meet the above-mentioned requirements. Consequently, there is an unlawful refusal to satisfy a request for access to public information. "According to the provisions of Article 23 of the Law of Ukraine" On Access to Public Information ", the requester has the right to appeal the decision, actions or inaction of information managers to the superiors of the SBU or the court," - said the lawyer. The applicant may also apply to the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights with a request to bring the perpetrators to administrative responsibility in accordance with Article 212-3 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses.

Earlier IMI reported that the chief of SBU in Mykolaiv region denied to provide information on repair in own office for a journalist.

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