“Mechanisms of regulations of state
authorities transparency to the mass media:
the experience of Finland “
Vikes.fi
Proje...
Rules, regulations and
recommendations
‘Act on the Openness of
Government Activities’
• I have a few remarks, with references to the Finnish ‘Act
on the Openness...
Journalists are strong players but
Internet has changed the situation
dramatically
• A Journalist is not only one who has ...
His Majesty’s Gracious Ordinance Relating to Freedom of Writing and of the Press (1766)
Translated by Peter Hogg // Anders...
http://julkisuuslaki.fi/
In Finland, freedom of information is
connected to the country’s Constitution
Section 12 - Freedom of expression and right...
Media Legislation -
International Standards
• “Documents and recordings in the possession of the
authorities are public, u...
The Law on Transparency should
preferably be linked to the fundamental
Freedom of Expression
• In the Constitution of Finl...
Section 12 - Freedom of expression and
right of access to information
Decree on the Openness of Government Activities
and ...
Civil society will be the critical player
in a policy debate that has dominated
recent news
• In Finnish legislation there...
Some documents are, however,
excluded from this access
• The Finnish Accessibility Law codified 120 existing
secrecy provi...
“…UNHCR claimed that giving out information
of the document tended to endanger the
security and operation conditions of it...
In the connection of international intelligence action, the so-
called Rosenholz material and information included in it h...
Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan / Article 15. Request
for presentation of information on activities of
governmental auth...
Finland vs. Uzbekistan ( Kuutti )
• 1. Article 15: These conditions are actually better than those in
the Finnish Act on O...
On transparency of activities of
governmental authorities
•3. The draft Law ‘On transparency of activities of
governmental...
Finland vs. Uzbekistan ( Kuutti )
• 4. In the Constitution of Finland, there is a Section ‘Freedom of
expression and right...
Finland vs. Uzbekistan ( Kuutti )
• 6. Even in the Finnish law, section 24, begins with the mention
“unless specifically o...
Finnish model: where citizens
interact with decision makers
• Legally guaranteed access to information releases a
journali...
If you do not have freedom of speech,
there is no democracy
• The demands for productivity in reporting have led to a
situ...
Another view of participatory democracy emphasizes
continuous participation by citizens, not just at the
time of elections...
In Finland the ethical guidelines
cover all the media
• The rapid growth and professionalization of the PR business sector...
Project MEDIADEM
• The relatively diverse, balanced and fact based nature of the Finnish
press can be explained by a gener...
Thank you!
Next release: Statistical releases will not be
issued in English from these statistics in
2013.
• Description: Municipal e...
Official Statistics of Finland
http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/vaa_en.html
• Elections The statistics produced under this topi...
http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/kvaa/index_en.html
Municipal elections Producer: Statistics Finland
Data: Latest release: One-...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Practical recommendations on the draft-law Uzbekistan/Unesco 06042013 10072013

219
-1

Published on

Practice of access to information. Finland has a long tradition of open access to government files, starting from the Worlds oldest freedom of information law that was enacted in 1766, when Finland was part of Sweden. The draft Law is clearly about the transparency and publicity of the ACTIVITIES of officials, not DOCUMENTS only. Having a broader scope is good. (Specialist Heikki Kuutti, senior researcher in Journalism at the Department of Communication,University of Jyväskylä.)

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
219
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Practical recommendations on the draft-law Uzbekistan/Unesco 06042013 10072013

  1. 1. “Mechanisms of regulations of state authorities transparency to the mass media: the experience of Finland “ Vikes.fi Project coordinator Jarmo Koponen
  2. 2. Rules, regulations and recommendations
  3. 3. ‘Act on the Openness of Government Activities’ • I have a few remarks, with references to the Finnish ‘Act on the Openness of Government Activities’, which is enclosed in English unofficial translation.
  4. 4. Journalists are strong players but Internet has changed the situation dramatically • A Journalist is not only one who has been trained specifically in Journalism. The so-called citizen journalism is also important. But I think the concept is a bad one. • Professionals and ordinary citizens, including activists receive data from the same sources – from the authorities. The difference between a professional and enthusiasts is only the fact that a professional is paid for the work.
  5. 5. His Majesty’s Gracious Ordinance Relating to Freedom of Writing and of the Press (1766) Translated by Peter Hogg // Anders Chydenius and the Origins of World’s First Freedom of Information Act Over recent decades, Anders Chydenius’ legacy has received increased recognition globally. With the creation of the United Nations and inter national standards on human rights, the right to information began to spread. Freedom of information is recognized in international law. [ http://www.access-info.org/documents/Access_Docs/Thinking/Get_Connected/worlds_first_foia.pdf ]
  6. 6. http://julkisuuslaki.fi/
  7. 7. In Finland, freedom of information is connected to the country’s Constitution Section 12 - Freedom of expression and right of access to information Everyone has the freedom of expression. Freedom of expression entails the right to express, disseminate and receive information, opinions and other communications without prior prevention by anyone. More detailed provisions on the exercise of the freedom of expression are laid down by an Act. Provisions on restrictions relating to pictorial programmes that are necessary for the protection of children may be laid down by an Act. Documents and recordings in the possession of the authorities are public, unless their publication has for compelling reasons been specifically restricted by an Act. Everyone has the right of access to public documents and recordings.
  8. 8. Media Legislation - International Standards • “Documents and recordings in the possession of the authorities are public, unless their publication has for compelling reasons been specifically restricted by an Act. Everyone has the right of access to public documents and recordings.” • [ http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and- information/freedom-of-expression/professional- journalistic-standards-and-code-of- ethics/europe/finland/media-legislation/ ]
  9. 9. The Law on Transparency should preferably be linked to the fundamental Freedom of Expression • In the Constitution of Finland, there is a Section ‘Freedom of expression and right of access to information’ stating the fundamental principles of Freedom of Expression and having a reference to the Act on the Openness. Act on the Openness of Government Activities • NB: Unofficial translation © Ministry of Justice, Finland • [ http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/kaannokset/1999/en19990621.pdf ] • [ http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/kaannokset/1999/en19991346.pdf ]
  10. 10. Section 12 - Freedom of expression and right of access to information Decree on the Openness of Government Activities and on Good Practice in Information Management [ http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/kaannokset/1999/en19991030.pdf ]
  11. 11. Civil society will be the critical player in a policy debate that has dominated recent news • In Finnish legislation there are no privileges for journalists in accessing public information. Instead, everyone has the right to access any official document in the public domain held by public authorities and private bodies that exercise public authority.
  12. 12. Some documents are, however, excluded from this access • The Finnish Accessibility Law codified 120 existing secrecy provisions into 32 categories of secret documents that are exempt from release according to a variety of potential harm tests depending on the type of information.
  13. 13. “…UNHCR claimed that giving out information of the document tended to endanger the security and operation conditions of its officials.” • The resettlement registration form documents of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR (RRF documents), which were in possession of the Immigration Service, were connected to the cooperation between Finland and the UNHCR, and, by virtue of the section 24, subsection 1, paragraph 24 of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), and in addition, by virtue of the 2 paragraph of the same section and subsection, they had to be regarded as concealable documents. • To give out information of the document may have damaged the preconditions of Finland to cooperate with the international organization in allocating the refugee quotas, because the UNHCR claimed that giving out information of the document tended to endanger the security and operation conditions of its officials. To issue, at the request the person the RRF document concerns, the part of the refugee's review of persecution, the registration of an evaluation made of this review, and the names of the officials who made the decision, was, in the way intended in the section 11, subsection 2, paragraph 1 of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities, against of a very important public interest. • [ http://www.finlex.fi/fi/oikeus/kho/vuosikirjat/2012/201203646?search[type]=pika&search[pika]=julkisuus ]
  14. 14. In the connection of international intelligence action, the so- called Rosenholz material and information included in it had come into the possession of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service. • Some journalists submitted a request for documents and information material within the material that was in the possession of the the Finnish Security Intelligence Service. The Service turned down the request of the journalists. Consequently, their appeal from the decision of the the Finnish Security Intelligence Service was rejected by the Helsinki Administrative Court. • The Supreme Administrative Court got familiar with the information material in the Intelligence Service. It considered that the material still had a significant role from the point of the functions of the Intelligence Service to maintain national security. • The Supreme Administrative Court also stated that, in addition to the information contents of the documents, attention should also be paid to the way how the Finnish Security Intelligence Service had accuired the possession of the documents. It had taken charge of the information material as a part of an information exchange between the intelligent services, which according to the the internationally established manner was intended as confidential, and it contained limiting clauses related to the use of the material. One could not presuppose that, due to the request for a document, the Intelligence Service should expressly have inquired its cooperation partner what kind of an attitude it would have taken up in relation to a possible release of information. • http://www.finlex.fi/fi/oikeus/kho/vuosikirjat/2011/201100516?search[type]=pika&search[pika]=avoimuus
  15. 15. Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan / Article 15. Request for presentation of information on activities of governmental authority • [A request by mass media for obtaining information on activities of governmental authority, as well as for organization of interviews with official shall be considered within the period not exceeding seven days. • If any request is not related to competence of governmental authority, then, it, within three days since registration shall be sent to that authority, which posers include presentation of requested information and notify user thereof.]'
  16. 16. Finland vs. Uzbekistan ( Kuutti ) • 1. Article 15: These conditions are actually better than those in the Finnish Act on Openness; shorter respond times and a relevant respond within two days if the authority does not have information on the request. In Finland, we have only a general response time of 14 or 30 days. • 2. Article 16: In Finland, there is no requirement of identifying the person requesting information; the authority needs to know only the address where to provide the information. In practice, most people do identify themselves. • Is this a problem in Uzbekistan?
  17. 17. On transparency of activities of governmental authorities •3. The draft Law ‘On transparency of activities of governmental authorities’ is clearly about the transparency and publicity of the ACTIVITIES of officials, not DOCUMENTS only. Having a broader scope is good. •This is the principle also in the current Finnish law, which obliges the authorities to divulge information even on unfinished matters, where no documents exist.
  18. 18. Finland vs. Uzbekistan ( Kuutti ) • 4. In the Constitution of Finland, there is a Section ‘Freedom of expression and right of access to information’ stating the fundamental principles of Freedom of Expression and having a reference to the Act on the Openness. The Law on Transparency should preferably be linked to the fundamental Freedom of Expression. • (I wonder whether Freedom of Expression enjoys constitutional protection in Uzbekistan as well?) • 5. Article 2: The impact of international agreements on curtailing national access to information is a bit unclear. In Finland, transparency on EU affairs is only related to the EU-wide issues, not to national EU issues.
  19. 19. Finland vs. Uzbekistan ( Kuutti ) • 6. Even in the Finnish law, section 24, begins with the mention “unless specifically otherwise provided”, which means that a specific law can overturn the principle of openness in some cases. However, contrary to the Uzbek draft law, in Finland there is a precise catalogue of matters that can be subject to secrecy, and only some of these are strictly secret, while in other cases the authorities can waive the secrecy on a case-to-case. • 7. Article 6: This list of Sources of information on activities is a bit strange. How does the sources matter regarding the transparency? • 8. The same applies to Article 11: A strange list of official information.
  20. 20. Finnish model: where citizens interact with decision makers • Legally guaranteed access to information releases a journalist from dependency on the information sources. This only happens if the authorities responsible for creating and archiving public documentation are obliged to publicize the lists of documents in their possession, and if journalists are skillful enough in using these documents.
  21. 21. If you do not have freedom of speech, there is no democracy • The demands for productivity in reporting have led to a situation where the tolerance level of the editorial organization for uncertainty and idling often remains low, and emphasis is given to taking care of things at work.
  22. 22. Another view of participatory democracy emphasizes continuous participation by citizens, not just at the time of elections, and builds on democratic discussion and debate between all parties on a subject matter. • For years the information society has served the youngish, educated male population, for whom it has been easiest to embrace the new technologies. • Rapid changes in social media and the Internet in general put enormous pressure on public agencies to assess and to use the opportunities offered by social media and reassess their practices on new experiences and changes in user behavior.
  23. 23. In Finland the ethical guidelines cover all the media • The rapid growth and professionalization of the PR business sector also has a detrimental impact on journalists’ work and its quality. • Under the influence of time pressure in the newsrooms, journalists tend to increasingly rely on the material provided by PR sources, and give up with journalistic filtering or critical evaluation. • Instead of being seen as restrictions for publishing, ethical guidelines should be understood as possibilities to report ethically also about awkward issues. • http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/cont /dv/study_lastversion_/study_lastversion_en.pdf
  24. 24. Project MEDIADEM • The relatively diverse, balanced and fact based nature of the Finnish press can be explained by a generally high level of journalistic professionalism. • Soon we can read more about project MEDIADEM, a European research project which seeks to understand and explain the factors that promote or conversely prevent the development of policies supporting free and independent media. • European Media Policies Revisited: Valuing and Reclaiming Free and Independent Media in Contemporary Democratic Systems Project duration: April 2010 - March 2013 https://www.jyu.fi/hum/laitokset/viesti/en/research/projects/mediadem
  25. 25. Thank you!
  26. 26. Next release: Statistical releases will not be issued in English from these statistics in 2013. • Description: Municipal elections are held in Finland every four years. Statistics Finland produces official statistics from the elections. The preliminary statistics are published on the Internet, in the StatFin online service and on the statistics pages on municipal elections as soon as possible starting from the election night. The second data, or the final data are supplied to Statistics Finland after the election result is confirmed. After the confirmation of the election result, the confirmed data corresponding to the preliminary statistics are released on the statistics pages on the Internet and the StatFin databases are updated.
  27. 27. Official Statistics of Finland http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/vaa_en.html • Elections The statistics produced under this topic relate to the results of general elections, persons entitled to vote, voting, candidates and the elected. • Statistics European Parliament elections: European Parliament elections are held every five years in all Member States of the European Union. • Municipal elections: Municipal elections are held in Finland every four years. • Parliamentary elections: Parliamentary elections are held in Finland every four years. • Presidential elections: Presidential elections are held in Finland every six years as direct, popular elections.
  28. 28. http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/kvaa/index_en.html Municipal elections Producer: Statistics Finland Data: Latest release: One-half of advance voters pensioners • One-half of advance voters pensioners • 14 Mar 2013 • One-half of advance voters (49.8%) in the Municipal elections 2012 were pensioners. Of pensioners entitled to vote, 42.1 per cent voted in advance, while, on average, only one-quarter of all persons entitled to vote (24.7%) voted in advance. Advance voting was lower than this in the other groups. In all, 18.4 per cent of employed persons and 18.2 per cent of unemployed persons voted in advance. Students and those in the other inactive population voted the least often in advance. The data are based on Statistics Finland's statistics on the Municipal elections 2012.
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×