Nonprofit's recommendations focus on definitions, which can make a huge difference in transparency.
The St. Petersburg-based nonprofit Freedom of Information Foundation has put together an interesting list of proposals for Russian leaders to consider as they develop commitments for the international Open Government Partnership.
Russia’s former President Dmitri Medvedev started making noises about joining the OGP in February. His predecessor turned successor Vladimir Putin made it official in April. The former communist state is still working on its list of commitments.
One thing that’s immediately striking about the nonprofit’s list of recommendations is its focus on definitions, which can make all the difference between the appearance of transparency and the reality of it.
Here are some examples:
8. To reform legislation on personal data (in order to clarify the “personal data” term definition).
9. To establish legislation on privacy protection that should define the terms “personal secret” and “family secret.”
10. To amend the Federal Law On Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Courts in the Russian Federation so that the term “judicial acts” should include all court decisions and definitions without any exceptions, not only decisions of the substance of the cases.
11. To amend the Federal Law On Providing Access to Information on the Activities of Courts in the Russian Federation so that general jurisdiction courts should be obliged to publish at their official websites their judicial acts, issued within open court hearings, without any omissions or deletions.
12. To amend the two above-mentioned laws in order to clarify definitions for the terms “information on activities of government bodies and bodies of self-government” and “information on activities of courts.”
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