Slovenia

What's New

  • 17 December 2015

    Slovenian Parliament Defeats Plan to Raise Request Costs

    The Slovenian Parliament has rejected a proposed amendment that would have allowed public officials to charge for their time in answering freedom of information requests. The vote was a victory in a longstanding effort to resist government efforts to insinuate labor charges into the cost structure. The amendment was opposed by the Slovenian information commissioner and […]

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  • 7 October 2014

    Slovenian Court Invalidates Part of Transparency Law

    The Constitutional Court of Slovenia has suspended part of a recently passed law mandating that state-owned banks release data on all bad loans on their books. The court did not suspend a requirement that banks publish information about bad loans transferred to the so-called Bad Bank, the new public sector Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC) […]

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News Archive

  • 26 March 2014

    Slovenia Assembly Approves Amendments to FOI Act

    The Slovenian National Assembly on March 24 approved broadening the application of the Access to Public Information Act to cover private bodies performing public functions. The National Assembly’s action was the second vote for the reforms, required to override a vote against the changes by upper chamber. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) The Assembly vote was unanimous, […]

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  • 14 March 2014

    Slovenia Upper House Stalls FOI Amendments Legislation

    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 […]

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  • 6 March 2014

    Slovenian Assembly Expands Reach of Access Law

    The Slovenian National Assembly March 6 unanimously voted to extend freedom of information disclosure requirements to state- and municipality-owned firms, according to Slovenian Press Agency report. An amendment to make public all non-performing loans at state banks was defeated. Senior executives of state-owned companies lobbied strongly against the proposed changes to the Access to Public […]

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  • 19 June 2009

    12 European Countries Sign First International Convention on Access to Official Documents

    Advocates Urge 37 Remaining Council of Europe Members to Sign Tromsø, Norway — On June 18, 2009, 12 of 47 member-states of the Council of Europe signed the Convention on Access to Official Documents, making history as the first international binding legal instrument that recognizes a general right of access to official documents held by public authorities. […]

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  • 4 April 2008

    Council of Europe Ducks Open Government Advocate Calls for Reform

    Strasbourg, France – The most shocking development was the introduction of an exception to exclude Heads of State from the scope of the right to information. This was achieved by extending the optional blanket exception for Royal Households to the heads of state. Civil Society Groups participating in the process expressed their profound disappointment that […]

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  • 7 November 2007

    Council of Europe Committee Puts off Decision on Draft Access to Information Convention, Permits More Time for Input

    The Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH) met today in Strasbourg to consider the draft text of a European Convention on Access to Official Documents.  Under pressure from non-governmental organizations and state representatives who have criticized the draft, the CDDH decided to put off a decision on the draft Convention to provide […]

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  • 1 December 2003

    IDB Adopts Amended Public Disclosure Standards

    The Inter-American Development Bank on November 26 agreed to publish the minutes of its executive board meetings, the first development bank to do so. The disclosure of minutes was the main advance made as the IDB board revised its entire disclosure policy. The IDB board decided to continue giving governments and private sector partners effective […]

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links

LEGAL DOCUMENTS

Act on Access to Information of Public Character

 

Classified Information Act, Publicised: 8.11.2001

 

Personal Data Protection Act (2004)

 

Archives and Archival Institutions Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 20/97).

 

GOVERNMENT

Information Commissioner

 

Citizens Rights Ombudsman

 

Inspectorate for Personal Data Protection

 

ORGANIZATIONS

Legal Information Centre for NGOs, Slovenia

 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Click to view.

Text from the freedominfo.org Global Survey: Freedom of Information and Access to Government Records Around the World, by David Banisar (updated July 2006)

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The Constitution of Slovenia states:

Article 38 […] Everyone has the right of access to the collected personal data that relates to him and the right to judicial protection in the event of any abuse of such data.

Article 39 […] Except in such cases as are provided by law, everyone has the right to obtain information of a public nature in which he has a well founded legal interest under law.

The Access to Public Information Act (ZDIJZ) was adopted in February 2003. It provides that "everyone" has a right to information of public character held by state bodies, local government agencies, public agencies, public contractors and other entities of public law. Requests can be oral or written. The bodies must respond in 20 working days.

There are exemptions for classified data, business secrets, personal information that would infringe privacy, confidentiality of statistics information, tax procedure, criminal prosecutions, administrative or civil procedures, pre-decisional materials that would lead to a misunderstanding, natural or cultural conservation, and internal operations. There is a public interest test with some exemptions. The exemptions also do not apply to use of public funds or execution of public functions and employment of a civil servant, environmental hazards, and improperly classified information.

There is a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner who can issue binding decisions. Its decisions can be appealed to a court. Fines can be imposed for destruction of information or failure to disclose without authorization. The Commission heard 106 cases in 2005, up from 62 in 2004. 11 decisions have been filed in courts. In November 2005, the office was merged with the Data Protection Commission.

The Commission also maintains the list of public bodies covered under the Act. In one of its first decisions, the Commissioner ruled that the office of the former president was covered under the Act.

Public bodies are required to appoint a leading official to receive requests and to create a catalog of the public information and make it available on the Internet along with the current and proposed regulations, programmes, strategies, views, opinions and other documents of public character. They must also publish annual reports on the Act.

The law was substantially amended in July 2005 to implement the EU Directives on Re-use of Public Sector Information (2003/98/EC) and Access to Environmental Information (2003/4/ES). The amendment also created the public interest test and gave the Commission the power to review information to see if it has been improperly classified.

The Ministry of Information Society was tasked to implement the Act but it has now been closed down and its functions have been transferred to the Ministry for Internal Affairs. Most of the state bodies have not produced reports on usage (only 333 out of 2610 were submitted). Of those that have, 15838 requests were filed in 2004, 80 were denied.

The Classified Information Act was adopted in 2001 to implement NATO rules on protection of classified information. It is overseen by the Government Office for the Protection of Classified Information. In April 2003, many of the security files of the UDBA, the former Yugoslavian secret police were published on a web site in Thailand by the Slovene Honorary Consul for New Zealand Dusan Lajovic. The documents were on over one million people including the officials, collaborators, and targets of surveillance. The current intelligence agency and the national archives claimed they did not have a copy of the files in their archives.

The Personal Data Protection Act provides for individuals to access and correct their personal information held by public or private bodies. It is overseen by the Information Commission.

Slovenia signed the Aarhus Convention in June 1998 and ratified it in July 2004. Article 14 of the 1993 Environmental Protection Act states that environmental data is public property. Access to information is under the ZDIJZ.

Under the Archives and Archival Institutions Act, most documents are available 30 years after their creation. Documents with data that could harm national security, public order or economic interests can be withheld for 40 years and those containing personal information can be withheld for 75 years or 10 years after the death of the person mentioned.

[Footnotes for this section are currently unavailable but will be posted the week of July 10. All footnotes and references are also available in the full study, available here.]

2004 freedominfo.org Global Survey Results - Slovenia

 

 

Measuring Openness

Global Right to Information Rating
A country-by-country rating of laws by the Centre for Democracy and Law and Access Info.

Freedom House
The Freedom in the World report.

World Bank
Worldwide Governance Indicators

Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index
Measures perceptions of the degree of corruption.

Reporters Without Borders
The Press Freedom Index.