Transparency International Hungary calls on parliament to reject post office law

February 25, 2016

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Transparency International Hungary legal director Miklós Ligeti’s statement before the Parliamentary Economics Committee:

“Honorable Chairman and members of this committee,

Thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to address this committee. As I’m sure you are all aware, the Transparency International Hungary Foundation struggles to make public information available to as wide a circle as possible. I’m sure you are also aware that our organization sent letters to representatives of the National Assembly asking that you not vote in favor of adopting the proposal modifying the Post Office law.

Our position is that the matter concerns public funds amounting to some HUF 200 billion in state assets. The rules that would be ushered into law should this proposal pass provide the possibility of very wide interpretation concerning how they may be applied.

Any subsidiary of the Hungarian Post Office competing in the market place ranging from investor services, insurance providers, payment systems providers, will be in a position to claim that their competitors will have an unfair advantage if their business information is made public, and this explanation could then serve as grounds to conceal their business activities.

Furthermore, this proposal would also pertain to requests for information that are outstanding.  We are afraid this is about nothing other than a request for information lawsuit that is doomed to fail in court. This proposal cannot be responsibly endorsed.

We ask that you distance yourselves from this proposal. This idea should not make its way into the Hungarian legal system.

I hope I have not taken too much time from this committee’s work.

Thank you for this opportunity.”