Water Supply and Water Disposal: Standard for Information Disclosure is Accepted
On January 17, 2013, the Russian Government issued the Statement #6 On Standards for Information Disclosure in the Field of Water Supply and Water Disposal.
It defines information range, procedures, and terms for information disclosure by entities providing hot and cold water supply and water disposal.
The new standard supposes online official disclosure of large volumes of various information such as general information on an organization (its legal name, registration data, contact data, working schedule, etc.), financial activities (prices and tariffs, annual financial reports, etc.), and goods and services provided (for instance, on number of failures or on water sampling and testing).
However, the new standard includes obvious minuses rather common for all information disclosure standards in the field of housing and municipal utilities. It defines an exhaustive list of information categories to be disclosed, therefore making difficulties for access to any other information on water supplying organization's activities. Of course the Standard can't provide unlimited online access to information, but upon specific requests, citizens should get access to rather wider range of information that the Standard defines. Information defined by the Standard as mandatory for disclosure is useful for contractors and inspecting bodies rather that for citizens trying to clarify issues of water supply/disposal quality and costs for houses they live in.
However, the Standard can play a positive role in forming a basis for further development of legislation on openness and transparency in the sphere of water supply/disposal.