Letter to the Assembly: Proposed criteria for the election of a new Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection

02-18-2019.

Crta started the action “Hoću Poverenika, a ne poslušnika!” (“I want a Commissioner, not an obedient!”) to draw attention to the fact that the process of electing the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection should be initiated and that the criteria of transparency, openness and integrity must be respected, also as that citizens need to be informed about who are potential candidates for the Commissioner so that the new Commissioner will continue to perform his function as an independent and professional person.

Through the website srbijadoinformacija.rs all interested citizens have the opportunity to send a letter to the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia with the proposed criteria compiled by more than 80 civil society organizations, through the tool available to them here.

The mandate of the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection expired in December 2018, and the process of selecting a new Commissioner has not yet been started. Having in mind the importance of the Commissioner as an independent institution, the broadly set requirements stipulated by the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance and the new Law on Personal Data Protection, there are proposed criteria that the Committee should apply when selecting a candidate for a new Commissioner. The Committee is invited to consider the proposed criteria, apply them when choosing a candidate for a new Commissioner and enable the public to be adequately informed and involved in this process.

Civil society organizations have repeatedly requested the Culture and Information Committee for respond whether the Commissioner’s selection procedure has been initiated, who are the potential candidates, and as well to publicly publishes candidate biographies.

These answers represent the minimum of transparency of each electoral process, while the standards of openness and inclusiveness of the Commissioner’s appointment process are far higher in all European countries.

Organizations have even sent an initiative for urgently beginning the procedure, as well as criteria for the selection and implementation of a process that ensures that the citizens of Serbia receive an independent and professional Commissioner. Both proposals were not considered by the relevant committee, and in the meantime the mandate of Rodoljub Sabic expired.