New law: Hiding political decisions in Denmark

Written the 16. November 2009 by Nils Mulvad

Easier access to databases, but a total step back on access to the political decision process, is the main content in a proposal for a new law on Freedom of Information in Denmark. The law was proposed Wednesday the 11th of November 2009 and today – Monday the 16th of November 2009 – we’ll have a conference in the Parliament on the proposal.
Main step back is defining a system of politicians from each political party behind a decision and then integrating them in a follow-up process of the decision in the ministry, claiming that every document in that process then is not public.
I really wonder if we see something like this in other countries.
The Commission behind the proposal is split on this part of the new law. And they are also split on other areas, which all has the aim to hide the political process. Two other main areas of disagreement are: It will be hard to go back and get access to the reasons for political decisions and for the calendars and participants in meetings for the ministers.
The feeling about this proposal is then very split. In many ways it’s the right step forward when it comes to understanding and use of IT in the administration. But all this on putting politics into a dark hole is really bad.
I will moderate the conference in the Danish Parliament today and hope we’ll get answers on some of the questions.
I have prepared a handout on the status of access to databases and our problems in five of the pending cases. This is in Danish:
Fighting for databases in Denmark.

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