ENERGY AND INFORMATION

The experience of the Energiaklub on data requests
Control Energy Program

Energy has always been a sensitive area in relation to access to data of public interest. This is the area where business interests clash the most frequently with the public’s constitutional interest. The data requests of the Energiaklub Climate Policy Institute and Applied Communications have resulted in lawsuits where the data controller was evidently considered a body performing public function according to rules of law and judicial practice, and yet the data controller argued the opposite.[1] We have also encountered numerous other issues and problems that urge a summary of the Energiaklub’s data request experiences.[1]http://tasz.hu/informacioszabadsag/nem-lat-el-kozfeladatot-paksi-atomeromu 

Our work is not unprecedented: several NGOs and institutions have done targeted data requests, testing the situation of access to data of public interest in Hungary. We can, among others, mention the studies of the Eötvös Károly Institute, and the TransparentState– KIVELE 2009 program. The present study of the Energiaklub is partly related to these precedents as our goal is to facilitate access to data of public interest and to enforce the freedom of information. The Energiaklub’s data requests are special because we have examined the freedom of information with special regard to the field of energetics, and wanted to facilitate the publicity of energy management public data that can affect our everyday life. The data requests published were not only meant to “test” the freedom of information on energy issues, it was also important to be able to use the data obtained in the Institute’s project.