Vostok-SOS files lawsuit against Social Policy Ministry
The Charity Foundation Vostok-SOS (East-SOS) has filed the lawsuit against the Social Policy Ministry of Ukraine because of the “confidential” agreement between the Ministry and the Oshchadbank (the State Savings bank of Ukraine) on the transfer of data of the internally displaced persons.
The Ministry’s representatives did not attend the first court hearing, held yesterday.
Olha Anoshkina, the Vostok-SOS lawyer, said in the commentary to the Human Rights Information Centre that the reason for filing the lawsuit was illegal, according to the Foundation, classification of information, which directly concerns the protection of personal data.
Earlier, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the resolution No. 505 to provide targeted assistance to the displaced people. In particular, it stipulates that the IDPs can get assistance only in the Oshchadbank offices. A separate provision of this resolution says that the issues of cooperation between the Social Policy Ministry and the Oshchadbank are regulated by a separate agreement.
“We do not know what this agreement should regulate exactly. But we guess it refers to the data operation. After all, if a person comes to the Oshchadbank, submits the documents, the bank employees need to transfer these documents to the Social Policy Ministry. But how does it happen? It’s the first question. Second, the Oshchadbank receives the documents being the personal data. That is, here we have the question of safety of personal data transfer,” Anoshkina said.
The lawyer says that she sent the inquiry to the Social Policy Ministry and the Oshchadbank asking for the copy of the agreement, but the Ministry answered that the agreement was confidential.
“This agreement directly relates to people and exercise of their rights. Why is this information confidential? What is being hidden?” the Foundation’s representative wonders.
According to her, the Social Policy Ministry has repeatedly violated the right of access to public information, by not having replied to a request, or not having responded properly.
“We have filed the lawsuit. It is a precedent! The Social Policy Ministry has been long and systematically violating the right to access to public information,” Anoshkina explains.
According to the lawyer, the court scheduled the next hearing for February 4, 2016, which is wide open to criticism as the administrative proceedings should be considered within two months. It is most likely to be the reason for a new suit from the Vostok-SOS.
Earlier, Olha Anoshkina explained that an IDP did not need to prove the lack of housing to get targeted aid.