1. The Basis for the Working-ideas of the Openness Committee in Denmark (Åbenhedskomitéen)
"The rules of law concerning access to public affairs should not only contribute to develop general interest in public affairs but also to increase the public’s confidence in those. Thus the rules will provide a chance for every citizen and the press to follow and supervise that the work of the administration is carried out properly."
Former Justice Minister wrote the above words in 1987.
They were the forewords to the Ministry’s guidebook about laws in public affairs and at the same time an expression of the political majority’s standpoint.
"Knowledge is Power". Sometimes power produces secrecy and inaccessibility; hidden documents, closed doors, etc. It’s all part of its nature.
Therefore, among other things, the law of public affairs should be a guarantee for the society against abuse of power and corruption in public administration.
This guarantee has since 1987 been diminished by the fact that the citizens many times without being aware of it have had their rights violated by the Parliament.
The Danish Parliament has over and over again without the citizens knowledge and support changed the law of "Access to Public Affairs" in order to exclude accessibility to certain areas.
Once at meeting in Lundtofte Parish Hall the Ombudsman of Parliament expressed that one should expect that it would take at least a lifetime before the law can be implemented in the Danish Public Administration.
The Openness Committee is not prepared to wait that long.
The Committee believes that the fastest and most efficient way to implement the law throughout the Public Administration is to stimulate the press and the citizens to make use of the law constantly and systematically.
The main purpose is not only to keep the law alive and try it out to discover its strength and limitations but also on a long-term basis to improve it for the benefit of the press and the citizens.
The founders of the Openness Committee have outside political party work on various opportunities worked with complex of problems concerning openness in society. The Committee is a non-governmental organizations (NGO).
The Committee was founded by people acknowledging, that openness in society is not a fact, and by that group’s sincere wishes to share its experiences with others for beneficial use.
The members regard it a public duty to work for openness in society.
All those ideas and hopes are summed up in the statement made by the Minister of Justice in 1987.
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