Laws on free access to Information in Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to be improved so that, following the example of other countries, create the legal obligation for the public institutions to proactively publish information in their possession.
Current legislation on freedom of access to information allows citizens to exercise their right to information only through written request addressed to the institutions and bodies. Proactive disclosure of information, although it is an integral part of freedom of information, is not included in the law.
However, regardless of the restrictive provisions of the FOIA, according to the other laws and regulations in BiH, institutions are required to disclose certain types of information, such as information about the budget , public consultations, public procurement , etc. Existing elements of a proactive transparency in various legal acts, as well as the fact that most public institutions have web sites on which they proactively publishe a lot of information, already set a solid basis for question of the proactive disclosure of information to be regulated with the special provision of the Law on free access to information at all levels of government in BiH.
These are some of the recommendations of the policy memo "Proactive transparency in Bosnia and Herzegovina:From cacophony towards harmonization" which provides examples of best practice and legal solutions in the world when it comes to publishing information on the initiative of the public authorities without filling the request. Comparative experiences in institutionalizing proactive transparency could serve as guidelines to BiH authorities in determining the obligations and standards of proactive disclosure, mechanisms for implementation and monitoring.
The project is result of the project "Public Data Now-Civil Society Initiative for Open Government Policies and Practices", financed by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sarajevo (MATRA program).
The publication in local languages is available HERE.