IJC Report // Journalistic access to information of public interest: from letter of the law to power abuse

Incomplete answers, excessive delays, or denials on the pretext of personal data protection are only some of the problems most often signaled by reporters trying to obtain information of public interest. Their existence is also confirmed by the research called “Journalistic access to information of public interest: from letter of the law to power abuse” which was published by IJC on September 29, 2021.

The report presents the fruit of a strategic exercise carried out by IJC during July – August 2021, aiming to analyze the manner in which a number of providers treat information requests filed to them. Another purpose of the research was to identify cases when the practices of the authorities closely follow the letter of the law, as well as cases when public institutions resort to abuse.

At the same time, the report contains a synthesis of data received from providers which complement the state of affairs concerning the right of access to information over the last year.

The synthesized data suggest that a minister handles an average of 119 information requests per year, while a judicial public authority receives 617 requests on average. According to the same data, local public authorities process 177 information requests every year.

The IJC exercise was intended to remind how important it is to ensure a transparent relationship between citizens and government officials, pointing out the need to give the media free access to information of public interest and to remediate the abusive administrative practices of public institutions and authorities.

The report was developed as part of the “Improving the media environment for journalists (women and men) in Moldova by holding accountable the public authorities through comprehensive advocacy campaigns” project implemented in June 2021 – February 2022 by the Independent Journalism Center with the financial support of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. Opinions expressed herein belong to the authors and do not necessarily reflect CFLI’s views.

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