Conflict of Interest Committee ordered to remove declarations of assets from website

The chairwoman of the parliamentary Conflict of Interest Committee, Dalia Oreskovic, said at a news conference that the committee would remove declarations of assets of office-holders from the committee’s website later on Monday, following an executive order by the Croatian Personal Data Protection Agency, however, the committee would also appeal the order before the Administrative Court.

The Agency has established that publication of certain data from the declarations of assets of office-holders on the committee’s website such as data on marital status, children, net salaries earned in the pervious employment, as well as loans they have taken before becoming office-holders is a breach of the law on the protection of personal data. Therefore the agency has imposed the ban on making such data public.

The committee’s chairwoman said today that the ban was a step backward. The agency criticises the committee for failing to implement appropriate technical measures for data protection, which is why personal data of office-holders have become “available worldwide”. Oreskovic declined to comment on speculations why the agency issued this order now, which prompted some media and the strongest Opposition parliamentary party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) to connect this with the fact that this is an election year.

HDZ parliamentarian Zeljko Reiner said today that this party condemned the removal of declarations of assets from the committee’s website. Reiner said this move restricted the work of the parliamentary committee. Croatian Parliament Speaker Josip Leko on Monday commented on the decision of the Conflict of Interest Committee to remove declarations of assets of office-holders from the committee’s website, following an executive order by the Croatian Personal Data Protection Agency, saying that in his opinion agencies need to sit down and find a solution regarding conflict of interest that would not be confusing for citizens and state officials.

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