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Austria does not grant its citizens a right to access information held by State bodies; the country ranks last in an international assessment of the right to information. A secrecy provision, the so-called Amtsgeheimnis, is still part of the constitution – despite the fact that for years, government members have been stating that they would do away with it.
Information and documents held by State bodies should be publicly accessible in a modern democracy. Exceptions should only apply to cases where secrecy is necessary to prevent harm. Through access to information, citizens can follow actions of the State and how taxpayer money is spent. Transparency allows for stronger public scrutiny and participation, it deters misuse and corruption.
What are citizens (not) allowed to know? How have other countries improved the transparency of public administration through Freedom of Information Acts? Which examples should serve as role-models for Austria? What are the benefits of a transparent State? And what about the plans to finally adopt an Austrian Freedom of Information Act?
These questions will be discussed with Mathias Huter from the Austrian "Forum Informationsfreiheit" and representatives of the Open Government Data Initiative of the city of Graz - on the occasion of the International Open Data Day 2017. In this context we will also give an overview of the information and which data currently available to the citizens of the city of Graz.
Event organised in cooperation with:
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