(Prague, September 27, 2013) On the occasion of the International Right to Know Day, September 28, the Czech Trade Inspection Authority made public its data sources concerning inspection activities, lawfully imposed sanctions, and risky products. “With regard to the fact that CTIA is a pioneer in making such type of data public, we believe that our efforts for openness shall contribute to further cultivation of business environment, thus, better consumer protection in the Czech market,” said Vladimír Velčovský, the Director General of the CTIA.
As from September 9, 2013, charts containing data on results of inspection activities and fines are available free of charge and without limitations on the website of the CTIA (HERE). The respective files are published under open licence that enables further elaboration. Content of the files is intended not only for citizens and the media, but also for software developers from both private sector and academic sphere.
CTIA will not engage in development of any application for use of data provided, but will choose a way examined in a number of developed countries, i.e. let development of such software to non-state institutions. Publication of data means minimal costs for a budget organization like the CTIA.
There are three publically available files. The first one contains an overview of elementary information about all inspections carried out by inspectors of the Czech Trade Inspection Authority. Another file contains information on all lawful fines imposed based on inspections by the CTIA. The third one provides list of products whose sale was banned because of contradiction with technical standards or other rules or for violations of certain intellectual property rights. All published data relate to inspections carried out from January 1, 2012, and will regularly be updated once in three months.
However, complete information is provided only in relation to inspected legal entities. As regards physical entrepreneurs who stand for about 60% of all inspected subjects, CTIA was forced to partly anonymise published records so that concrete persons cannot be identified. Disclosure of identity (name, address and so forth) of physical persons-entrepreneurs would be against opinion of the Office for Personal Data Protection (ÚOOÚ). The Czech Trade Inspection Authority does not identify itself with such interpretation of the Act on the Protection of Personal Data. However, failure to comply with the respective opinion of the ÚOOÚ could mean a threat of high financial sanction. Therefore we will make efforts for revision of the opinion or change of legislation in order to be able to keep our promise – to enforce maximal transparency of our activities.
The Czech trade Inspection Authority cooperates with the group OPENDATA|CZ (http://opendata.cz) which is an informal association of students and pedagogues of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the Charles University (above all from the Department of Software Engineering) and the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics of the University of Economics, Prague (Department of Information and Knowledge Engineering and Department of Information Technologies). The group OPENDATA participates in a European project LOD2 financed by the European Commission. At the same time, their members are authors of the methodology of disclosure of open data of public administration of the Czech Republic (approved by the Czech Government, see http://www.korupce.cz/cz/partnerstvi-pro-otevrene-vladnuti/otevrena-data/otevrena-data-105999/).
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