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Access to public information – an antidote to corruption

Corruption is a crime that is possible as long as nobody knows about it. Ukraine has a great tool that allows to access any information in possession of the country. It is called the Law of Ukraine “On Access to Public Information”. But this law is only a tool, so you need to learn how to use it in order to simplify the process of obtaining the necessary information.

February 23rd, the workshop on “How to make the state share the information?” took place in the Anti-Corruption Hub. Oksana Nesterenko – Professor of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Cand. Sc. {Law},  Fulbright Graduate Student Exchange Program and one of  developers of the Law of Ukraine “On Access to Public Information” – talked on the peculiarities of filing information requests and appealing against the unlawful denials.

  • The state can always find a reason to deny access to information. Our task is to use all the tools provided by the law to obtain information that may result in exposing the corrupt officials, hiding their schemes behind the denials, – told Oksana Nesterenko.

What do you need to know to force the state to share information:

  • Your request should be clear, concise and contain no more than three questions;
  • The request may be submitted in any form (oral, written, e-mail, telephone, or even social networks);
  • Any information is considered open, unless the state is able to provide valid reason in support of access restriction;
  • Access to public information is free (except for print-out rates in case of 10 pages or more;
  • Availability of restricted information is not a valid reason for restricting access to the whole document;
  • Any individual is allowed to attend any sessions of collegiate bodies;
  • The Ombudsman is an effective method of protection against violation of the right to access information;
  • The unlawful denial of access to information can be appealed in court.

Lecture on “How to make the state share the information?” is organized in the frames of the Project “The Anti-Corruption Hub”. We are organizing an open door event every two weeks. Everyone is welcomed (not only the students of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy). The main purpose of the Project is to inform the people on the corruption in Ukraine, its consequences and methods of countering.

The lecture was organized by the Anti-Corruption Research and Education Center (ACREC) of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.