By failing to fulfil its obligation to provide information, the 14th District Police Department caused an impropriety related to the requirement of legal certainty deriving from the principle of the rule of law, the right to fair administration of official matters and the right to petition when it failed to respond to the whistleblower through the protected electronic system, Dr. Ákos Kozma concluded in his report. The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights requested the head of the Police Department concerned to take measures in the given case in order to upload the necessary information to be provided for the whistleblower into the electronic system, as well as to prevent the future occurrence of the fundamental rights-related improprieties exposed by paying particular attention to ensuring full compliance with the relevant provisions when handling public interest disclosures.
The right to a fair procedure was violated by the fact that the option to seize movables was available despite the lack of a legal basis in an otherwise suspended procedure, which situation arose due to the malpractice of the case officer bailiff, as was established by Dr Ákos Kozma in his report. The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights requested the bailiff concerned to pay special attention to observing the statutory provisions regarding the suspension of procedures in the future, with special regard to those cases in which he acts as a case officer.
In addition to the violation of the fundamental requirement of legal certainty, a protracted administrative procedure caused an impropriety in relation to a child’s right to care and protection, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights concluded in his report.
Located in Zirc and Lókút, two foster homes of the Child Protection Centre and Territorial Child Protection Service of Veszprém County implemented the measures and restrictions imposed by the Chief Medical Officer for the prevention of the pandemic, and took appropriate measures to reduce the possibility of infection. The material conditions for the placement of children were adequate in both locations, Ombudsman Dr. Ákos Kozma concluded upon his visit.
The requirement of legal certainty stemming from the principle of the rule of law, as well as the right to a fair procedure are violated if a local waste management decree does not clearly specify the legal basis for invoicing with regard to enclosed garden properties, said, among others, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Deputy for Future Generations. Dr Ákos Kozma and Dr Gyula Bándi requested the municipality clerk to give meaningful responses to all the enquiries from the citizens in the future, and asked the mayor of the settlement to ensure the appropriate amendment and supplementation of the municipality decree on the order of waste management.
The excessively long procedure in the course of which the staff of the Pension Payment Directorate did not respect the deadline prescribed by the Code of General Administrative Procedure (“Ákr.”) violated the fundamental right to a fair procedure arising from the principle of the rule of law, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Deputy, the Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities concluded in their joint report. Dr. Ákos Kozma and Dr. Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay asked the Director of the Pension Payment Directorate of Hungarian State Treasury to once again call the attention of the employees of the authority to their obligation to handle cases in conformity with the guarantees of administrative authority procedures and to comply with the administrative deadlines prescribed by Section 50 of the Code of General Administrative Procedure (“Ákr.”).
In their joint statement published on the first International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, Dr. Ákos Kozma, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and Dr. Gyula Bándi, Ombudsman for Future Generations highlight the importance of a more conscious treatment of the food produced and responsible behaviour on behalf of the producers, traders and consumers.
We would like to inform you that the personal reception of clients will resume from 8 June 2020 at the Client Service of the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights. However, because of health precautions taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic, booking an appointment is compulsory.
In the extraordinary emergency situation caused by the current pandemic, we express our gratitude to those tirelessly working in healthcare day after day. Those professionals, however, whose perseverance is now being widely reported in the news, do their best not only in the current circumstances – in fact, they hold the fort all the time. Thus, it is important for us to learn to appreciate health each day of our life, and also, to value the resolve, patience and care demonstrated by those working in healthcare, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Dr. Ákos Kozma underlined on the occasion of World Health Day.
In these unprecedented times, we must not forget about those people who live with autism and those families who raise children with autism. In fact, in this extraordinary situation, they are the ones who can teach us a lesson about determination, patience and care, and who can show us how to adopt new perspectives. What terrifies us the most is what we do not know enough about, this is why it is important to become acquainted with the unique perspective of people living with autism – Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Dr. Ákos Kozma has pointed out on the occasion of World Autism Awareness Day today.
Several petitions had been submitted earlier to the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in relation to the imposition of cervical screening as an obligatory task to be performed by health visitors. With a view to the comprehensive and complex examination of the problems related to care provided by health visitors, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights conducted an inquiry, which concluded that the delegation of the task of public health cervical screening in itself does not give reason for concern from the perspective of fundamental rights. Nevertheless, he formulated certain recommendations to ensure that the service complies with fundamental rights in all respects.
Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has opened an extraordinary ex officio inquiry in order to find out whether the child protection authorities had made a mistake or an omission in connection with the family tragedy that claimed the life of small children a couple of days ago in Győr. After collecting and reviewing all the information available, the Ombudsman will communicate the results of the independent inquiry in a report.