‘Bukvy’ explainer on what makes such ‘Naftogaz’ refusal unlawful

Svitlana Zalishchuk is set to ‘coordinate Naftogaz Group’s cooperation with international partners, including G7 officials, and will perform representative functions at high level, said  Naftogaz in an announcement on Tuesday, citing ‘counteracting Nord Stream 2’ as one of her job priorities.

‘Bukvy’ submitted an official request with Naftogaz to find out what pay the new advisor was granted.

‘Naftogaz’ dodged the question citing confidentiality and personal information concerns.

Here is  why Naftogaz should grant access to such information

The opening statement of Ukrainian law ‘On Access to Public Information’ cites ‘public interest’ that allows to seek  release of public information, and, according to art.13 of the law public information holders must release and grant access to information that creates public interest.

Public authorities should follow norms of the law ‘On Access to Public Information’ that overrides any other regulations they go by, says art.13.

The law article 6 has a set of stipulations that can allow to restrict access to information but refusal for requested information is possible if  exemption  meets all of those stipulations. In case with ‘Bukvy’ request this norm was disregarded.

In its refusal to release the requested information on Zalishchuk, Naftogaz also cites article 6 of ‘On Protection of Personal Data’ law failing to notice that its corporate web site and social media accounts runs personal profile information on the new advisor (including her photo, name, and previous job positions), in obvious disclosure of her personal data.

Article 6 of ‘On Protection of Personal Data’ Naftogaz refers to in no way makes Zalischuk case exempt from ‘On Access to Public Information’ provision that commands to provide information that has ‘public interest’.

Assessment of the Naftogas refusal to provide information on its new advisor shows that the company has a selective approach the law ‘On Protection of Personal Data’ and disregards the law ‘On Access to Public Information’

  • by revealing the personal profile information of Zalishchuk on the corporate web site, the company assumingly found it important for public interest
  • Naftogaz as a public information holder is fully subject to the norms of “On Access to Public Information’ law
  • Claims that executives’ pay is confidential information are invalid as Zalischuk case fails to meet all the stipulations for exemption
  • As a public information holder, Naftogaz must follow norms of ‘On Access to Public Information’ law that prevail over other policies and regulations

In view of such considerations, ‘Bukvy’ has filed another public information request to ‘Naftogaz’ on Svitlana Zalischuk pay and job duties.