The draft amendment approved by the Czech government gives authorities the opportunity to refuse to provide information if the purpose of the request is to impose a disproportionate burden on the office. Furthermore, offices and institutions are allowed to decline such a request if it might cause pressure on the person tied to the information.
Furthermore, authorities will not have to provide information in case one of the parties in a judicial proceeding could be at a disadvantage.
“The main changes in the amendment are practice-based. The aim is to prevent bullying of offices and institutions. There are requests that burden whole institutions. Some people are not ashamed to bully officials this way,” said Interior Minister Jan Hamáček before the government meeting.
In case of extensive information retrieval, the draft amendment also introduces a financial advance request, which should amount to a maximum of 60 percent of the estimated costs of the retrieval and is limited to 2,000 CZK.
However, some experts believe that the amendment restricts citizens’ rights.
Currently, the draft has to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies. Minister Hamáček admitted that there are some objections concerning certain sections in the amendment. Therefore, some adjustments might follow.