INTEGRITY CAMPAIGNS: “FREE ACCESS TO PUBLIC INFORMATION” AND “I WANT TO KNOW”
According to research conducted as part of the Campaign for Integrity in December of last year, citizens’ awareness of their right to free access to publicly available information is growing. In accordance with the Law on Free Access to Public Information, 56% of the respondents believe they have the right to submit a request to state institutions, which is a 13% increase from 2020.
In addition to the other findings, the research reveals an increase in citizens’ awareness (57% in 2021, compared to 42% in 2020) that the Constitution guarantees the right to free access to public information, as well as citizens’ awareness of the existence of the law governing free access to public information.
The objective of this research is to assess the public’s reaction to the activities conducted during the Campaign for Integrity under the slogan “Choose Integrity.” Moreover, the integrity campaign is a component of the “Promoting the transparency and accountability of the public administration in the Republic of North Macedonia” project, whose beneficiaries are the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption and the Agency for the Protection of the Right to Free Access to Public Information.
“Our objective is to educate and inform as many citizens as possible about their legal right to free access to public information, on the one hand, and to encourage and train information holders on how to respond to requests, which is their legal obligation, on the other. Their transparency strengthens the integrity of institutions. Citizens also play a crucial role in these processes, as institutions exist specifically for their benefit. Promotion of this process of close cooperation was also the primary objective of our campaign activities.
In addition to informing and educating the citizens, the purpose of these activities was to encourage greater use of the rights derived from the law, thereby improving the integrity of the institutions and bolstering the rule of law as a fundamental tenet of every democratic society”, stated the director of the Agency for the Protection of the Right to Free Access to Public Information, Plamenka Bojcheva.