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DOC // What Types of Information Should the Authorities Publish during the COVID-19 Crisis?

14 May 2020
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Within the context of the COVID-19 crisis, providing comprehensive and timely information must remain one of the state’s priorities. In this regard, both public institutions and public authorities should publish more information on their websites to facilitate journalists’, civil society members’, and citizens’ access to the data of public interest, according to the document prepared by the Media Policy and Legislation Department of the Independent Journalism Center (IJC). 
 
According to the document, in addition to the general information regarding the services offered, the state’s institutions and authorities are also supposed to publish data on any financial assistance (including donations) they receive, the total amount of salaries paid, the reduction of salaries paid during the pandemic, as well as the information regarding the limitations of the right of access to information during the pandemic crisis. The references shall include the contact details of an institution/public authority (e-mail, telephone number, and website address) and answers to citizens’ most - frequently asked questions related to its activity during the pandemic.

The authors emphasize that providing information to citizens in an active manner results from the legal obligation stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, the Law on Access to Information, as well as from the international practices. Data shall be published in a timely, comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date manner.

Pro-active publication of information of public interest aims to increase the level of trust in the state authorities, to mobilize collective efforts for efficient pandemic crisis management, to counteract and reduce disinformation, to prevent and identify malpractice, and to prevent collective panic.