2007 saw the implementation of three important laws: the Law on Free Access to Public Information, the Law on Safety of Classified Information and the Law on Protection of Personal Data. Public attention was mostly focused on the Law on Free Access to Public Information and the Law on Protection of Personal Data.
According to the NGO sector (Foundation Open Society Institute, “Metamorphosis” and another 13 organisations included in the monitoring system), improvement in the implementation and application of these laws was necessary. This especially applied to the Law on Free Access to Public Information. 625 applications were submitted to 75 institutions at central level and 31 at municipal level, with only 38% having been answered at central level and 58% at local level.
The data delivered in the Report of the Commission for Protection on Free Access to Public Information for 2012 showed that during the seven years of implementation of the Law there were 3 545 complaints registered. The Commission had positively solved 2 583 complaints. In 2012 there were 1 225 complaints, out of which 151 are personal complaints and the rest are from NGO’s and foundations. 907 complaints (74.4%) relate to the silence of the administration. Most of the complaints are about public health institutions (525), state institutions on the central level (396), local institutions (226), judicial institutions (44) etc. However, the Open Society Institute sent an Open letter to the President of the Parliament saying that the Commission’s Report deals with false information, that there is a cover up of unsuccessful implementation of the Law, that there are no recommendations to overcome the high percentage of the cases of “silence of administration”, etc.
The 2017 Report of the Commission for Protection on Free Access to Public Information showed an increase in the number of the complaints from citizens and companies due to the “silence of the administration” (over 75% of the complains). The Commission has responded positively in 87% of the cases. In 2017 there were 758 registered complaints (619 in 2016) to the Commission – of which 285 (25%) were from citizens and 473 from citizens associations and companies.