Seeking access to the database of EU tenders ‒ the NDA did not appear before court

The first hearing of our lawsuit seeking access to information contained in the state-run EMIR data management system took place without the presence of any legal representative on behalf of the defendant National Development Agency (Nemzeti Fejlesztési Ügynökség). We filed a freedom of information request to the NDA at the end of 2012, to gain access to all the data in the EMIR database which contains all the records concerning EU tenders, from the evaluation processes through the actual contracts themselves, and any extra documents that have been submitted. While this system contains all the data concerning the EU tenders it is not accessible to the public, and gaining access could help us understand why in some cases the worse and more expensive offers won tenders.

The NDA denied our request saying that “it was technically impossible to fulfill it” and that some of the data contained is sensitive, or contains business and bank secrets. However, at Atlatszo.hu we think that since the funds being spent are public, the interest of the public is more important than the protection of the business secrets in the database. We demanded in court the access to the database if the NDA does not comply with our request, and now it is the court’s task to decide whether all data contained in the database can be made public.

Read the full article in Hungarian here.

Translation by Atlatszo.hu’s volunteers