You Have a Right to Ask, but Don’t Expect an Answer

More than half of the Macedonians do not know that they have the right to free access to information according to the law. But even if they did and sent a question according to this law, not much would probably happen, conclude Igor Ilievski and Aleksandra Filipovska here.

The two reporters sent questions to 40 institutions to ask for public information. Most of the institutions didn’t reply within the legal deadline of 30 days. They institutions in general did not reply to questions such as: “how much was spent for”, employments, part-time contracts or official’s privileges.

They waited for answers from several institutions for months. For example, after four months, the General Secretariat of the Government required an address where to submit the reply, in which it did not state any of the required information. It took the Ministry of Environment five months to send a reply to the request for pollution information. In the answer there was no specific information, but it contained reference to a websites and rulebooks where the required data could be found.

Fortunately, there are opposite examples. The Ministry of interior gave the answer by telephone only one day after the request has been sent.

The story was published in the daily newspaper DNEVNIK on November 29, 2010.

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