Slovenia Upper House Stalls FOI Amendments Legislation

14 March 2014

Slovenia’s National Council has opposed an expansion of the freedom of information law recently approved by the lower house, but under the Slovenian system the bill may still become law.

The upper house “veto” was passed by a narrow margin March 13. The National Assembly, however, has the power to vote again and approve the bill despite the Council vote.

The reason for the Council’s action was “that disclosure requirements should apply to all non-performing loans, not just those transferred to the bad bank,” according to a media report.

“The real reason,” according a bill-supporter close to the action, “was very strong lobbying from the companies that will become liable public bodies under the amended FOI law.”

The bill passed March 6 by the National Assembly, would extend FOI disclosure requirements to state- and municipality-owned firms, (See previous report.)

In the upper chamber, “representatives of economic and local interests” have the majority, the observer said.

The bill now returns to the National Assembly law to be discussed and voted on again. As a general rule, the Assembly decides matters by a majority of votes cast by those deputies present (a simple majority), but now the majority of votes of all deputies is needed (an absolute majority).

The bill has strong very strong support of the National Assembly and is expected to pass again and become law by the end of March.

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