Electronic Access to Public Information

What problem are you solving?:

After three years of the application of the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Character in the Republic of Macedonia, the majority of the citizens are not aware of the Law and the possibilities stemming from it, as it was shown by a survey conducted by FOSIM in the beginning of 2009. This project is therefore aimed at raising the awareness amongst individuals on the Law by using Internet, social media and available technologies. So far, there is no information about the application of the right to submit electronic requests and this segment of the implementation of the right to access to information has not been monitored yet. Thus, another aim is to monitor the implementation of the Law in regard to the obligation of information holders to answer to electronically submitted information requests. Moreover, the project is expected to raise the awareness of the citizens about the potentials of new technologies for effective democratic participation.

Describe your idea:

Within this project, a website for electronic submission of requests for information of public character (similar to mySociety’s project WhatDoTheyKnow.com) will be built and maintained by Metamorphosis, with support on the legal aspects by FOSIM Law Program. Electronic requests submitted by the citizens will be received and redirected to the relevant information holders. When answers are received, they will be sent back to the requesters and at the same time disclosed on the website for further promotion of the Law. In addition, there will be activities directed towards raising the awareness about the project and the Law itself, such as announcements on the social networks (Facebook and Twitter). On monthly intervals, direct contacts with citizens will be made, where notebook computers will be taken to the streets and squares and people will be offered to ask for information from state bodies and other information holders instantly, through the established website.

What country will this operate in?: Macedonia

Who are you?:

Foundation Open Society Institute – Macedonia (FOSIM) is a non-profit foundation, established in 1992 as a representative in the Republic of Macedonia of the Open Society Institute network in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2010 the FOSIM Law Program will be focused on achieving the following goals: (1) ensuring government accountability through supporting strategic litigation and independent NGO monitoring aimed at greater access to public information; (2) facilitating transparent process of legislation approximation towards the EU by informing and supporting civil society participation; and (3) improving the protection of human rights by supporting introduction of a new mechanisms for control of government officials and respect of human rights.
Metamorphosis is an independent, nonpartisan and non-profit foundation based in Skopje, Macedonia. Its main goals are development of democracy and prosperity by promoting knowledge-based economy and information society.