The transparency of the public sector has been improved
The Public Information Access Act (ZDIJZ) regulates the procedure enabling individuals free access and reuse of public information being at the disposal of public sector institutions. Amendments to the Act adopted in April (ZDIJZ-C) expanded the range of persons having the obligation to provide access to public information to include also companies and other private law legal entities under the direct or indirect dominant control of the Republic of Slovenia, self-governing local communities or other public law entities. Dominant control will be deemed in place if above specified entities can, either directly or indirectly via other companies or other private law legal entities, exercise a dominant control based on the majority share in subscribed capital or have the right to control the majority or appoint more than half of members of management or supervisory bodies. The ZDIJZ specifies the entities having the obligation to provide access to public information as all government authorities, local government bodies, public agencies, public funds and other entities under public law, entities exercising public powers, entities performing public services and enterprises under the dominant control of public law entities.
In addition to expanding the range of entities, the ZDIJZ-C amendments to the Act established two new registers, namely the Register of persons having the obligation to provide access to public information (eRZIJZ) and the on-line application Transactions of persons having the obligation to provide access to public information (TZIJZ), which were introduced at the end of October 2014.
The first register enabling public and free access to all persons having the obligation to provide access to public information via the eRZIJZ on-line application is managed by the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES). The register can be searched by various criteria and the entry of an entity therein establishes the presumption that such entity is having the obligation to provide access to public information. The persons having the obligation to provide access to public information are entered in the register directly based on the data in miscellaneous official records (including in case of entities under dominant control of public law entities) as well as on the basis of an electronic application where the applicants or founders must ensure that the entity having the obligation is entered not later than within 15 days after establishment or meeting of conditions.
The second register supplements the information transparency by an overview of transactions debited to registered persons, namely public commercial institutes, government-owned companies, enterprises 100% owned by public law entities and other users of the government budget, which are registered in the RZIJZ. The latter is an upgrade of the Supervizor – a program of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption – because the register also includes payments by government-owned enterprises. The application will automatically hide personal data solely in case of payments to natural persons and remittances abroad. The TZIJZ on-line application is managed by the Public Payments Administration of the Ministry of Finance, who obtains the data on transactions from own records and from banks keeping their bank accounts and updates it daily. The ZDIJZ even prescribes fines for payment processing providers for forwarding incorrect or incomplete data or none at all.
The introduction of the above-mentioned registers is bound to improve the transparency of the public sector and would enable the public to better control public spending.