Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Polish government intends to change vetting law, dissolve Vetting Bureau

Poland’s government is planning to dissolve the Vetting Bureau of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), which investigates the credibility of evidence contained in communist-era secret police files, Polish Radio reports.

Daily Gazeta Wyborcza writes that the new project is part of an amendment to the controversial vetting law drawn up by the previous Law and Justice party administration. In accordance with the new bill, the bureau will be substituted with a new institution and the contents of files are to be published on the Internet (except for details of private lives).

Public figures will be allowed to write comments on their files and attach additional documents. The bill is to keep the obligation for people in official posts to make declarations as to whether they cooperated or collaborated with communist era secret services, the paper says.

The former vetting law was the subject of much controversy and ended up being referred to the Constitutional Tribunal, Polish Radio notes. The Tribunal questioned some its regulations, including the vetting of journalists and workers in private schools. The tribunal also ruled that proof of collaboration with communist authorities must include, not only evidence that the subject agreed to collaborate, but that there must be evidence of actual collaboration, Polish Radio says.