Ministry of National Development released visitor access records

Based on the example of the White House visitor access records, last summer atlatszo.hu’s journalist Attila Mong filed a FOIA request to the Hungarian Ministry of National Development in order to reveal who visited the office of the Minister Zsuzsa Németh. However, it turns out there are no such records kept in Hungary. Mrs. Németh first replied that the requested data was not accessible to public for the next 10 years since it was the part of the decision-making. Following a long correspondence with the minister, the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information issued an opinion (pdf, Hungarian) declaring that Hungarian citizens have the right to access the visitor records. The file, which was eventually published by the ministry, was created based on the civil servants’ written memos and on what they could remember about who paid a visit to the minister. Mrs. Németh met some 20 people that month, certain individuals were listed simply as the “leaders of Hungary’s major bus companies”. Despite the little information released about the weekdays of Mrs. Németh, the fulfilled FOIA-request is already half the battle.

Read the full article in Hungarian here.

Translated by atlatszo.hu’s volunteers