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What is the importance of the official board for citizens and how to use it effectively?

The official notice board is an important element of public administration in the Czech Republic. It is no longer a bulletin board in the lobby of an office, but typically a digital panel or online portal where citizens can find out a lot of useful information. What information is published on the notice board and how can it be useful to ordinary citizens?

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An official board is a publicly accessible area that can exist in both physical and electronic form. Public authorities, in particular municipalities, regions, ministries, building and other authorities, publish their legislation, decisions and other documents and important information here. The main purpose of the official notice board is to ensure the transparency of public administration and to enable access to information for all citizens. For example, the official notice board enables citizens to monitor the activities of their local authorities and to participate in public administration.

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Tip: It is obligatory to publish information about the sale of municipal land on the official notice board. We have discussed the sale and purchase of municipal land (as well as other types of building land) in our separate article.

The basic framework for the existence and functioning of the official board is defined in the Administrative Code. However, it is not only the Administrative Code that determines the individual possibilities or necessity to use the official board in specific cases, but also a number of other legal regulations (typically the Municipalities Act).

The Administrative Code tells us that each administrative authority shall establish an official board which must be accessible to the public at all times. Its content shall also be published in a manner allowing remote access. This means an electronic (or digital) official board, which is not specifically defined in the Act.

In practice, we can find various physical (‘paper’) and digital notice boards in administrative offices, which allow us to search for relevant information. The important thing is that they are accessible around the clock, i.e. even outside office hours, for example at night. However, we can also search for information from the comfort of our own homes via the Internet. It is common practice for municipalities to use other information boards located in the usual places, so it is advisable to distinguish them from each other by appropriate signage.

Content of the official notice board

There is a lot of useful information on the official notice board. For example, notices of tenders, changes to the zoning plan, publication of minutes of town hall meetings and much more. The official notice board is also a place where you can find information about contacts to various authorities and institutions, forms, instructions for handling various applications and much more.

The right to information is one of the most important pillars of democracy, and the official notice board is a tool that enables citizens to exercise it. For ordinary citizens, the information published on their municipality’s notice board is particularly important. This information concerns, for example, council meetings, planned events, local building modifications, restrictions on local services and much more.

Typically (and in accordance with the Administrative Code) the official notice board is used for:

  • Service by public notice – refers to persons of unknown residence or those who cannot be served in any other way. The document (or a notice of the possibility to receive the document) shall be posted on the official board of the administrative authority which serves the document, together with the date of posting.
  • Notice of the opening of administrative proceedings – publication in this case is not mandatory for any type of proceedings, in many proceedings it is at the discretion of the authority whether to publish the information.
  • Commencement of proceedings with a large number of parties (more than 30 persons) – information on the commencement of such proceedings may be published by public notice. Typically this will be for some variation of a building procedure.
  • Publication of a public contract – such a contract may be, for example, a contract for the performance of municipal police tasks.
  • Publication of a draft municipal measure, as well as some other steps in the issuing of this type of legislation, including the actual issuing of the measure. For example, a zoning plan is issued in the form of a measure of a general nature.
  • EnvironmentalImpact Assessment of a project, the so-called “EIA” – also in this case the project itself is published first, followed by other steps such as public consultation, etc.

As mentioned above, the essential obligations regarding publication on the official notice board are laid down in the Municipalities Act. It imposes the obligation to publish:

  • The intention of the municipality to sell, exchange, donate, lease, lease or borrow tangible immovable property or the right of construction or to transfer it as a sale and the intention of the municipality to contractually establish the right of construction to land owned by the municipality.
  • The decision of the Ministry of the Interior that another municipal authority of the municipality with extended jurisdiction will exercise the delegated competence or part of the delegated competence.
  • Apublic law contract to which it is a party.
  • Legal regulations of the municipality – general binding ordinances and regulations.
  • The number of members of the municipal council to be elected.
  • The place, time and proposed agenda of the upcoming meeting of the municipal council.
  • The decision to suspend the validity of the municipality’s legislation.
  • A ruling of the Constitutional Court annulling a municipal by-law or its individual provisions.

However, it is typical for the official boards of municipalities that we also find documents of other state bodies, which municipalities are legally obliged to publish in certain situations. For example:

  • Decree of the Regional Veterinary Administration on emergency veterinary measures (published on the official board of the regional authority and all municipal authorities whose territory is affected).
  • Information on the auction of real estate is published on the official board of the municipal authority in whose district the auctioned real estate is located.
  • Notice of the commencement of the sale of agricultural land and information on the announcement of a commercial public tender for the sale of agricultural land in the cadastral territory of the municipality.

A specialised official board is the official board of bailiffs, where essential matters related to the execution are published. Here you will find published auction notices, i.e. documents that clearly identify the owners of the auctioned items, the items being auctioned, their appraisal and starting price. In addition to being published on the Internet, they are always posted on the official board of the executor’s office and at the same time on the official board of the municipal or municipal office of the debtor’s residence. Various important notices (e.g. notice of the commencement of execution, execution order) for missing persons or persons who cannot be served are also posted on the bailiff’s official notice board.

Tip: Foreclosure by sale of movable property only occurs when other methods of raising money to pay the debt have failed. Although no method of foreclosure is pleasant, this is probably the most emotional. How does foreclosure by sale of assets proceed step by step? We have addressed this in our separate article.

Most documents must first be posted on the official notice board for 15 days before other deadlines (e.g. for appeals) start to run. However, always check the law to make sure that it does not mention a different, shorter time limit in your case.

Discrepancy between the content of the electronic and physical official notice

It is not often that the content of the different boards (meaning physical and electronic) differs. However, if this does happen, it is advisable to first of all draw the attention of the authority concerned to the discrepancy and find out from them the correct state of affairs. However, it is generally advisable to be guided primarily by the contents of the physical official file. A lawyer can also help you to find out the correct option and should be contacted in such a case.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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