Final judgement of Capital Court in favor of Freedom of Information

The HCLU was contacted by a representative of Zöld Rádió Kht. (Green Radio) after failing to gain access to data on ad hoc winning tenders from the Radio and Television Commission. Previously, the Court in its first instance decison has ordered the Broadcasting Fund to issue the requested documentation, but since the defendant was not present at the reading of the verdict, the ruling did not come into effect.

The lawsuit was initiated against the Radio and Television Commission, but on the first day of hearings had to be changed to the Broadcasting Fund. According to the Act on Data Protection, the lawsuit has to be initiated against whoever denies access to the requested data. In this case, the Broadcasting Fund.

The Broadcasting Fund defense was build on the opinion, that since the 1996. Act I. 77.§ (1) paragraph on the tasks of the Broadcasting Fund does not mention that the Fund is a public service body, therefore the Fund does not fall into the Act on Data Protection’s jurisdiction.

In contrast to this, the HCLU’s opinion is that even though the Act does not specify the tasks to be of public interest, it does not eliminate it either. The task of the Fund is public service broadcasting and part of the funding of these public programs is from the state budget, therefore the activity of the Fund is undisputedly public service.

Considering, that according to the Act on Data Protection, any data handled by a public service body qualifies as public interest data, the HCLU’s opinion is that data handled by the Broadcasting Fund is also of public interest. Thus, denial of access to the requested data also falls under the jurisdiction of the strict orders of the Act on Data Protection.

Megosztás

Kapcsolódó hírek

Why was the search of the whistleblower’s home unlawful?

In November, 2013 András Horváth, former staff member of the Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration turned to the public with his information on companies committing VAT fraud with the assistance of the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV). The whistleblower decided to seek publicity after several unsuccessful attempts to raise the issue within the Administration and the government. The revelations resulted in huge media coverage and created an unresolved political scandal ever since.

Draft law on data protection and freedom of information

The draft law – currently before the Parliament – on Data Protection and Freedom of Information will replace the independent Data Protection and Freedom of Information Commissioner with an administrative authority. This change will seriously diminish the level of privacy protection and weaken the right to access to information in Hungary.

Journalist Represented by HCLU Attorney Wins Lawsuit Against the Ministry of Economy and Transportation

The court’s first instance decision favored index.hu (leading Hungarian internet news provider) journalist Zoltán Bogád and the public in the lawsuit which has become known as the Hankook-trial. The lawsuit became necessary, because the ministry denied public access to the state-subsidized contract between the State and Hankook Tire.