Ukraine Passes Open Data Bill; Soviet Files Available                  

30 April 2015

The Ukrainian parliament has passed new laws encouraging the release of government open data and providing more information from the country’s archive of Soviet-era KGB files.

Parliament April 9 approved a law to encourage government agencies to publish free operational data, statistics and reports on government websites and the national open data web platform at data.gov.ua.

“The law doesn’t stipulate which categories of data that must be made public, however,” reported Bozhena Sheremeta in The Kyiv Post. “The Cabinet of Ministers must list the types of data that must be public, standards, staffing and responsibility for accuracy. The specifications must be approved in secondary legislation.”

In another transparency development, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk announced April 8 that the Single State Register of Legal Entities is now electronically open through website for a fee.

Sheremeta reported that due to the law on disclosure of ultimate beneficiaries effective in November 2014, legal entities must identify and submit their ultimate beneficial owners by May 25, 2015 to the state registrars.

Open Data Law Passes

Access to more data is the subject of amendments to the law on access to public information (Draft bills nos. 2171).
These amendments, according to Igor Rozkladaj of the Media Law Institute, include the following information to the category of
open data:

– register of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs;
– register of TV and radio organizations;
– register of state-owned property objects;
– master plans of the localities and detailed plans of territories;
– register of NGOs;
– information on public procurement;
– register of higher education institutions;
– budget requests of key administrators of budget funds, their budget programmes and amendments to them;
– reports on State and local budgets execution (except for budgets of villages);
– information on local budgets (including decisions on adoption of such budgets and quarterly reports on budget execution).

Historical Files to Be Open

The Parliamant also voted to open up the country’s archive of Soviet-era KGB files to the public, “which could reveal decades’ worth of information on secret arrests, “disappearings” and the intricate operations of Ukraine’s KGB wing,” according to an article by Dennis Lynch in the International Business Times.

“Under the bill, titled “On access to the archives of the repressive organs of the communist totalitarian regime during 1917-1991,” the information would be transferred to the Institute of National Remembrance and be declassified,” Lynch wrote. The archives of other Soviet-era state organizations also will be declassified.

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