An Information System

respecting its particular obligation for the general interest

- A precondition to an effective democracy -

by Eckhard Sambach


Site Map

  1. Joint responsibilities (1)
    1. The information system of an efficient democracy enables the citizens to easily access the information needed for rationally exerting their responsibilities in the society. It is based on the citizen's right on information, in particular those concerning the conditions, aspects and evolution of the general wellbeing in the medium and long term.
      right implies a particular obligation for the holders of such information
      1. The public authorities (including their personnel): Their information policy
        1. stress the information of general interest (codes, laws, regulations; statistics, inquiries, reports etc.), in particular information
          1. showing the long-term global development of the society (long term statistical series, in particular the principal macro-economic variables and relations, medium and long term projections),
          2. affecting the confidence of citizens in the political procedures and institutions
        2. ensure a broad diffusion of this information, in particular of those helping to fast and constructively react on new situations
        3. provides the citizens with an easy and free access to the information which the authorities establish in any way for being able to exercise their tasks. As they are produced thanks to the contributions (taxes) of the citizens, the latter are in right to access it free or at cost price for the supporting medium of the data.
      2. The independent sovereign institutions (central bank, courts, supervisory boards), having the capacity to pose constraints on the decisions of other economic and social actors, are committed, as counterpart of their independence, to a policy of broadly informing the public. The materials they publish (reports, statistics, opinions) are essential for a workable democracy
      3. The Independent Authority for safeguarding the general interest in the medium and long term keeps the public informed on its conclusions and recommendations (more).
      4. The independent organizations of the civil society, insofar as they are acting in the general interest, are providing other types of information that are crucial for the citizens to correctly assume their responsibilities (more)
      5. Media: Written press (newspapers, weekly magazines, reviews, books), television, radio, games: Their capacity to address a large audience imply responsibilities with respect to their public. These responsibilities imply corresponding obligations included in their code of ethics. According to this code, the media observe their rights and duties (freedom of expression, limitation of the recourse to imaginations of violence or brutality) and devote a part of their activity to information concerning the general interest.
(1) The numbering of items corresponds to that of the Site Map (A - i) and is used, where necessary, a second
time (A - i -A -i).

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- A comparison of these conditions with reality indicates the type and the extent of necessary reforms -

The author thanks you for
proposals for improvement

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Copyright (c) 2003-2005 by Eckhard Sambach. All rights reserved.