The conference held today in support of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, aimed to raise awareness among municipal authorities about the importance of proactive publication of public documents, challenges and opportunities for fulfilling legal obligations arising from the Law on Access to Public Documents.
The proceedings of the conference were opened by the Commissioner for Information and Privacy, Mrs. Krenare Sogojeva-Dërmaku, who emphasized that proactive publication of public documents offers citizens to be an active part of local government, which consequently results in better decision-making, increases communication between public bodies and citizens, and in particular highlights institutional integrity.
On the other hand, opening remarks were also delivered by the Ambassador of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Mr. Michael Davenport, who emphasized that access to public documents as a fundamental right that increases transparency, also strengthens democratic processes, an action that is foreseen by the mandate of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo as well. He also congratulated the Agency and the Commissioner for organizing this Week of Activities and for increasing the awareness of citizens and institutions about the right of access to public documents.
The General Director of the Agency, Lumnije Demi, presented the statistical report of complaints for access to public documents to Municipalities compared to complaints to other institutions, which encouraged a constructive debate from the participants.
The conference was closed with the Commissioner calling on the Municipalities to fulfill their legal obligations for the proactive approach and at the same time to train the officials responsible for access to public documents, so that they serve as advisors for the implementation of the Law on Access to Public Documents as a whole .
After the end of the conference, the meeting continued with the experts from the American Embassy, namely Mr. Sean O’Neill and Mr. Bobak Talebian. During this meeting, the staff of the Agency had the opportunity to obtain valuable knowledge on the best practices regarding the comparative aspects of public information in respect of privacy, and for balancing the freedom of information and the protected interest, namely access to classified documents.