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News > Press Releases 2013 > Providing information about misdemeanours of public officers

Providing information about misdemeanours of public officers

02. 12. 2013

The Deputy-Ombudsman inquired into the procedure of the Municipal Authority of the City of Ostrava and the Regional Authority of the Moravian and Silesian Region in connection with the failure to provide information about the disposal of a notice of misdemeanours of public officers. As a reason for not providing the information, the obliged entity mentioned the protection of personal data of the persons in question.  In the course of the inquiry the Deputy-Ombudsman arrived at a conclusion that the Conflict of Interest Act imposes certain duties on persons engaged in a public office specifically on the basis of their public office. A misdemeanour according to the Conflict of Interest Act committed by a public officer is a textbook example of a situation when the right to information usually prevails over the right to privacy. The breach of such duties is directly and closely related to their position as persons engaged in a public office. Therefore information about how an administrative authority has handled the notice of a misdemeanour and how it has disposed of it on merits/procedurally (including information about potential innocence/guilt and the penalty imposed) may be provided also without the consent of the public officer concerned.  

The respective authorities accepted the Deputy-Ombudsman's conclusions and promised to change the decision-making practice and to provide methodological guidance to subordinate municipalities.

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