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Slovak Republic

Legislation Materials Portal (SK0135)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Slovak Republic Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Minister of Justice

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, E-Government, Local Commitments, Regulatory Governance, Right to Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Slovakia Design Report 2019-2021

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

In the Slovak Republic, legislation is published on the legal and information portal Slov-Lex,who, among other things, serves as a binding and state-guaranteed Collection of Laws. Except legalregulations, which are the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, constitutional laws, laws and implementinglegal regulations, which are regulations of the Government of the SR, decrees and measures of ministries and othersÚOŠS 50 , other legal acts and acts of international law are also published on the portal. ministriesand other CSOs are authorized to issue other implementing regulations, internal regulations and internal regulationsorganizational and management acts (hereinafter referred to as "internal regulations"). However, these are generally not published,and, in order to enhance legal certainty and open governance principles, it is appropriate that they bepublished in one place. The best place to publish them is legaland the Slov-Lex information portal, which could become a one-stop shop in the futurepublication of internal regulations. The necessary functionality of the Slov-Lex portal is already providedcurrently 51 .Given that ministries and other CSOs issue different types of internal regulations, noit is useful here to specify in detail what kinds of internal regulations are desirablepublish. It is, however, necessary for all ministries to publish all internal ministriesregulations whose publication does not go beyond the scope of Act no. no. 211/2000 Coll. on free access toinformation and amendments to certain laws, which will be selected according to the following criteria:
(a) internal rules whereby ministries and other CSOs act and decide; orgoverning the rights and obligations of natural and legal persons vis - à - vis ministries andother ÚOŠS,
(b) internal rules the publication of which is not precluded by other legislation 52 or by reasonsecurity, internal order or the achievement of the purpose for which they werecreated, e.g. inspection manual or other material that is tactical ormethodical regulation,
(c) internal regulations that can be made available upon request under the Freedom Actinformation as a whole,
(d) internal rules which contribute to strengthening the principles of open governance by which:are transparency, accountability and participation.
The publication on the Slov-Lex legal and information portal will concern those implementingregulations, internal regulations and internal organizational and management acts to be issued afterthe approval of the OGP 2020-2021 Action Plan and the relevant resolution of the Slovak Government, as well as thoseregulations that are already published in the gazettes of individual ministries and othersCSAA.Legislation is issued not only by the state, but also by local authorities as generally bindingRegulation. Generally binding regulations are issued in matters of territorial self-governmentand delegated exercise of state administration and are binding on all persons and entities operating in the territoryself-governing unit. They are usually published on websites, respectively. on official boardsindividual towns, municipalities and self-governing regions. Published in this way in generalbinding regulations do not fulfill the criterion of their easy availability. In general termstherefore, it is appropriate that they be published on the legal and information portal Slov-Lex.Publication of generally binding regulations on the legal and information portal Slov-Lex exceptStrengthening the principles of open governance and increasing legal certainty will bring several benefits not onlynot only for the public but also for the territorial self-government itself, in particular:
• strengthening of generally binding regulations as legal acts of a general nature;
• relieving local and regional authorities from a large number of requests for disclosurewithin the meaning of the Freedom of Information Act,
• a 'reservoir' of examples of good practice for the standardization of local and regional authorities; towns, municipalitiesand the self-governing regions will be able to easily reach the generally binding onesthe regulations of other municipalities and “inspire” them, which will contribute to the increasethe quality of the standardization of territorial self-government,
• Easily accessible legislation of territorial self-government in one stateguaranteed place,
• more effective public comments,
• more effective control of the compliance of generally binding regulations with the law and otherslegal regulations.
Against this background, in order to increase openness and transparency and strengthenrule of law is appropriate to publish as implementing legislation and internal organizationalgoverning acts of ministries and other CSOs, as well as generally binding regulations of the authoritieslocal government on the legal and information portal Slov-Lex, which meets the simple criterionaccessibility for all and without restrictions.

Specific milestones towards the goal:
23. To publish selected implementing regulations and internal organizational and management acts of ministriesand other central state administration bodies on the legal and information portal Slov-Lex.
Deadline: continuously
Responsible: ministers, chairmen of other central state administration bodies

24. To create conditions for the publication of generally binding regulations of self-governing regions;of towns and municipalities of the Slovak Republic on the legal and information portal Slov-Lex.
Deadline: until 30 June 2021
Responsible: Minister of Justice of the Slovak Republic

Recommendation:
1. To be published following completion of the task in point B.24. generally binding regulationsof self-governing regions, towns and municipalities of the Slovak Republic on the legal and information portalSVN-LexDeadline: continuouslyResponsible: elected representatives of regional and local self-government

IRM Midterm Status Summary

10. Broaden the publication of legislative and non-legislative materials on the Slov-lex portal

Main Objective

“Extend the scope of legislative and non-legislative documents published on the Slov-lex portal.” [155]

Milestones

  1. Disclose selected implementing regulations of Ministries and other Central Authorities of the State Administration through the Slov-lex portal.
  2. Create conditions for disclosure of generally binding regulations of self-governing regions and municipalities through the Slov-lex portal.

Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see Slovakia’s action plan at https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/slovakia-action-plan-2019-2021/.

IRM Design Report Assessment

Verifiable:

Yes

Relevant:

Yes

Access to Information

Potential impact:

Minor

Commitment Analysis

While commitments related to the legal and information portal Slov-lex appeared in previous action plans, this commitment to broaden the publication of legislative and non-legislative materials on the portal is new. Its main aim is to advance access to implementing regulations, internal regulations, and internal management acts at both national and local government levels.  

The legal and information portal Slov-lex publishes judicial decisions by the Supreme Court, ordinary courts, [156] the European Court of Human Rights, and the EU Court of Justice, all national legislation in Slovak and some legislation in languages of major ethnic minorities in Slovakia, [157] EU legislation, [158] and information about legislative processes, including preliminary information [159] as described in Commitment 8 in this report.

Broadening the scope of materials published on Slov-lex is an important measure relevant to the OGP value of access to information. Easy public availability of the legislation and information about ongoing legislative processes and actors involved are essential for enhancing the quality of democracy, accountability, and participation of constituents. The first milestone (to publish internal regulations of ministries and central government bodies) could increase access to information and provide the public with better insight into the internal governance of public administration. A civil society representative [160] argued that it is an important measure, which could make the monitorial work of CSOs easier, as many of these documents are currently accessible only through freedom of information requests. At the moment, most of these legislative and non-legislative materials are not proactively published, although the technical ability to do so has been available. Slov-lex already has a section [161] where these materials could be published. However, while the commitment enables access to government information that was not previously available, its impact remains minor. This is due to the fact that the action plan specifies that disclosure will only apply to those regulations and acts issued after the adoption of the action plan. This might incentivize agencies that want to prevent disclosure of their regulations and acts to introduce changes by amending those that were already adopted before the action plan. To achieve a higher potential impact, potentials flaws such as this have to be addressed.      

The second milestone enhances access to information at the local government level. Regional and local government are currently obliged to publish their general binding rules. They can do so on their websites or on the publicly accessible noticeboards. [162] Navigating individual websites of eight higher regional units and almost 3,000 municipalities might be a challenging task. Therefore, in this respect, commitment to ensure that Slov-lex could serve as a common platform to bring together regional and local government rules and regulations is a positive development and could represent an improvement in the access to information on regulations passed by various local and regional governments. A civil society representative [163] stated that the commitment could be beneficial for small municipalities with limited capacities for their own digital solutions. However, Slov-lex would need to ensure all public bodies receive clear and easy instructions on how to upload the general bindings rules to the portal.     

These improvements can be achieved at a relatively low cost. The technical solution is already available for the first milestone and implementing the second requires only minor changes to Slov-lex. [164]

[155] Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic 2020 – 2021, https://bit.ly/3bhUmmu
[156] Judicial decisions by ordinary courts, https://www.slov-lex.sk/vseobecne-sudy-sr (in Slovak).
[159] Preliminary information should include the main goals and legal positions taken in the draft law, overview of the current state and ways in which the public can participate in the process, and the expected date of the public comment period, https://www.slov-lex.sk/predbezna-informacia (in Slovak).
[160] Interview with Veronika Prachárová, Slovak Governance Institute, 28 May 2020, Section VI - Methodology and Sources for more information.
[162] For instance, the capital city Bratislava publishes its generally binding regulations, https://bratislava.sk/sk/legislativa-mesta (in Slovak). 
[163] Interview with Veronika Prachárová, Slovak Governance Institute, 28 May 2020, Section VI - Methodology and Sources for more information.
[164] Interview with Lucia Lacika, Office of Plenipotentiary, 28 April 2020, Section VI - Methodology and Sources for more information.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership