Workshop on Freedom of Information Held

Workshop on freedom of access to information for the members of the inter-institutional group for communication and knowledge management of the Programme for Strengthening of Public institutions was held on December, 2 2013 in Doboj. This workshop gathered representatives of the Civil Service Agency of BiH, Statistics Agency, Public Procurement Agency, Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance of BiH, Directorate for European Integration, Information Office of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office. Jasminka Džumhur, the Human rights Ombudsperson of BiH and Maja Branković, representative of the Transparency International in BiH took part in the workshop.

The workshop objective was related to exchange of experiences between respective institutions but also with civil society organisations active in this area, such as the Transparency International. Motivation of the beneficiary institutions of the Programme for the implementation of joint activities in order to increase transparency and make concrete recommendations for the future work in this area, were a part of the workshop objectives as well.

The experiences of Civil Service Agency in terms of access to information, key aspects of the Law on Free Access to Information in BiH, planned changes, experiences and problems in its application from the perspective of the Office of the Ombudsmen in BiH, were presented too. Transparency International presented the findings and researches that are regularly conducted with regard to the Law on Free Access to Information and some of the key features of that process.

The organisation of this workshop is one of the common activities defined according to the needs of beneficiary institutions of the Programme and it was preceded by a workshop on the preparation of a communication plan and programme budgeting of institutions involved in the Programme. The participants rated the event as beneficial for further work, but also as the initial impulse for closer future cooperation and defining joint activities in terms of better functioning, effective implementation of the Law and distribution and availability of information to the citizens.