Prague – The Senate may stipulate in legislation an obligation to provide information on the salaries and remuneration of high-ranking civil servants. Approval of the government’s amendments on free access to information recommended the plenary committee on constitutional-legal guarantees. According to the law, newly established public companies must also provide data.
The amendments also introduce changes to the EU directive on open data. They were supposed to be part of the Czech legal system at the latest last summer. However, the DPR in its pre-election composition did not have time to discuss this norm. In the upper house, the public administration committee and the petition committee must also assess the bill before it is discussed in the plenary session.
The government stated that it only proceeded to expand information obligations where explicitly required by European directives. According to the explanatory note, the purpose of the directive is to respond to technological advances in the possibility of obtaining information from the public sector. This should lead to an expansion of the range of information provided and the range of people who must provide it, as well as the ways in which it is made available.
The draft defines a public company as a company that carries out relevant activities pursuant to the General Procurement Law, or where state authorities or public institutions have dominant influence. These are, for example, energy companies. At the same time, the bill should ensure better protection of business enterprises operating in a competitive environment.
According to the amendment, data, for example, critical infrastructure or from litigation and arbitration proceedings should also be better protected. The draft should then protect authorities from so-called intimidation requests for information, on the other hand, it should improve enforcement of data rights.
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