The director of the Turan news agency Mehman Aliyev received answers to his information request sent to the Association for the Management of Territorial Medical Units (AMTMU or “T?BIB” in Azerbaijani) a month and a half later. The answer came from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aliyev is happy that in this difficult pandemic period, this semi-legal organization finally got its own website. He tried to access T?BIB via tabib.gov.az – received a virtual response 403 Forbidden.
The history of the issue. The first appeal to T?BIB was sent by e-mail on March 12 at 15:16 to email@example.com . The answer has come. We were advised to firstname.lastname@example.org. Aliyev applied. No answer came.
Then he had to send an information request to the head organization – the State Agency for Compulsory Health Insurance (SACHI) in accordance with the law on obtaining information. The law requires officials to respond to information requests promptly within 24 hours and no later than 5 working days, and even then, in case of justified need for some clarifications. But it should be noted that the media were disgusted with SACHI and T?BIB. And the law on the media also requires a response no later than 24 hours. The delay in response must be reasonable and the respondent must notify the requestor of this.
“But none of these provisions is in practice in Azerbaijan. Journalists have enormous problems in obtaining information, especially information of public interest. As a result of such actions of officials, the media are not able to compile operative and objective information of the article, in other words, to fulfill their professional duties, and the society is deprived of the right to receive socially significant information,” Aliyev noted.
T?BIB’s response is 48 days late, and not more than 48 hours, as required by law, if there is a threat to the health and safety of people. At that time, the topic of the vaccine “AstraZeneka” was on the front pages of the world’s media. After such a long time, the topic has lost its original significance, and in fact, both SACHI and T?BIB sabotaged the writing of socially significant information.
It is strange that the answer from T?BIB came to the agency at the very time when Mehman Aliyev was going to send a lawsuit to court against the SACHI.
In principle, there is every reason to bring these structures to justice because of gross violation of both legislation, especially since the answer was incomplete. For example, no answer was received to the first question “When, who and with whom the agreement on the supply of the vaccine “AstraZeneka” was signed?” If the answer to the question is not received, the claim will be sent to the court on April 30.
P.S. I would also like to remind SACHI and T?BIB about their responsibility under the Anti-Corruption Law
Section III. Corruption offenses and liability for these offenses
9.3.8. Unreasonably refuses to provide individuals or legal entities with information to be provided by law or other regulatory legal acts, delays the provision of this information or provides incomplete or distorted information;
11.2. Legal entities that have committed corruption-related offenses established by law are subject to a fine in the manner prescribed by law or their activities are terminated.
Source: Turan News Agency