HCLU wins FOI lawsuit at Supreme Court (Centrum parking company)

After more than a year and a series of court hearings, Hungarian parking company Centrum is ordered by the Supreme Court to disclose its incomes, ending the lengthy legal battle between the parking company and Lát-Kép Association, a Hungarian NGO represented by the HCLU.

The HCLU won the first instance court decision then later, surprisingly, lost before the Capital Court. With the Supreme Court’s latest decision, the secretive Centrum parking company has nowhere to turn for legal remedy.

Sustaining and maintaining public areas falls under the local municipality’s scope of duties. Therefore, all data concerning its operations are of public interest, even when the actual task is performed not by the municipality its self, but by a third party, in this case, a private company. Since the company is utilizing public funds, and is actually increasing its income through parking regulations, it is clear that data concerning its operations is of public interest, therefore must be made public. In harmony with the HCLU’s reasoning, the Supreme Court ordered Centrum to make public its earnings between 2000 and 2006.

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