12 September 2017 Pomerants: Data of national registers has to be precise

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Foto from Riigikogu

Members of the Constitutional Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) and Chancellor of Justice of Estonia Ülle Madise discussed the overview of the activities of the Chancellor of Justice during last year. One of the most lively topics of discussion was the quality of the data in national registers and the possibilities for improving it. The Chancellor of Justice drew attention to the erroneous data in the registers in the Annual Report submitted to the Riigikogu.

Ülle Madise stated that there are many erroneous data in the Population Register, and recalled the reasons why such data had been submitted. Incorrect information on place of residence has caused problems to people, and the Chancellor of Justice has also had to deal with solving them. For a long time, the data about membership of political parties also contained many errors, but most of them have been corrected during the last year.

In the opinion of Chairman of Constitutional Committee Marko Pomerants it is important that the content of national registers would correspond to the provisions of the law, and that the information technology enterprises would realise that requirement and not do what seems the simplest for them. “The accuracy of data is especially important in the registers that are available to everybody on the Internet,” Pomerants said.

According to member of the Constitutional Committee Jüri Adams, correctness of the data in registers has been an issue that the Government of Estonia has neglected ever since the creation of the registers. “Except for the land register, the attempts to make an agency or an official responsible for the quality of data have failed during 25 years. The situation of the Population Register where, according to estimations, up to one fourth of entries do not correspond to reality, is especially scandalous,” Adams said.

In the opinion of Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise, there are serious problems also with the data in the Criminal Records Database.

The Chancellor of Justice and the members of the Constitutional Committee discussed violations of the Constitution and fundamental rights in order to draw conclusions from the problems identified. The issues of administrative reform and the availability of services provided by local governments was also discussed at length in the Committee.

The Annual Report of the Chancellor of Justice gives an overview of the work of the Chancellor of Justice in protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms and in constitutional review. The Chancellor of Justice will deliver a speech on the Annual Report to the Riigikogu on 19 September.

Krishan Chand

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