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Public utility service workers are taught to respect the law

The protocol on committing an administrative offense is issued to the Head of the public utility company in Balakliya, as he refused to give information to Human Rights activists.

Community Law Center founded by Chuhuev human rights group is frequently visited by residents of different regions of Kharkiv oblast. Thus, recently several people from Balakliya claimed that tariffs for housing and public services in their city are much greater than the quality of these services.

Lawyers of Chuhuev human rights group issues several information requests to state authorities and public utility services of Balakliya region to find out whether the public utility tariffs are justified or not.

In the letter to the Head of Balakliya Housing and Public Utility Service there is a question on the cost of services and amount of work concerning elevator service, systems of hot and cold water supply in the houses, drainage etc.

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Photo by Nataliya Bimbiraite
Yuriy Chumak, the coordinator of Chuhuev Community Law Center

However, the direction of Housing and Public Utility Service decided not to answer the letter directly. Their response came down to the fact that Chuhuev human rights group should not interfere with the issues that are the concern of Balakliya citizens.

Then, Yuriy Chumak, the coordinator of Community Law Center, issued the repeated request to the head of Balakliya Housing and Public Utility Service. The answer given did not contain any requested information. It said that the information on the activities of the public utility service is being given on a regular basis.

Thus, agreement within the law of Ukraine “On Access to public information” was not possible. Arguments from the Code of Ukraine on the Administrative offences had to be used – claim was filed to the public prosecutor’s office of Balakliya region.

In result, due to the unlawful refusal to give information protocol on the administrative offense is issued and sent to the Court.

There is only one question left: why does the head of the public utility service office consider such information to be strictly confidential? Are the officials that afraid to give truthful information on their services?

Additional Information: Community Law Center in Chuhuev was established with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation within the framework of “Legal Empowermentof the Poor”program. It is administrated by Chuhuev human rights group. You can learn more on the Centers’ network activities, basics and principles of work here: www.legalspace.org

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