Slovakia: Mandatory e-forms work only on software from one vendor

By EDRi · May 9, 2012

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Deutsch: [Slowakei: Verpflichtende Web-Lösung funktioniert nur mit Software eines einzigen Herstellers |]

In Slovakia, a law introduced to reduce red tape has led to injustice.
The state has mandated electronic means as the only way of fulfilling
certain statutory obligations. However the dedicated web solution
excludes some citizens from its use as it is not interoperable and runs
only on the software from one vendor. In the absence of any
non-electronic option, this means that, in fact, the state prescribed
the use of a certain product from a certain vendor. Who did not own the
copy, had to buy one. A Slovak textile importer has deemed that the
state should not force him to use a particular software programme for
his business and fulfilled its legal obligation on hard copy. Now the
company faces 5600 Euro fines.

The Slovak tax administration has already imposed 12 fines on EURA
Slovakia, s.r.o. which submitted its monthly tax returns on hard copy,
because the use of electronic forms was impossible as the state’s web
application worked only on Microsoft’s Windows operating system together
with Microsoft Internet Explorer. All other competing operating systems
such as Apple, GNU/Linux, BSDs failed to run the state’s application.

The Slovak tax administration has, therefore, precluded citizens who use
competing products from fulfilling their obligations towards the state.
“This situation is absurd. If another public body decides to use an
Apple-only solution for its public services, should then everybody buy
Apple’s products just to fulfil this legal obligation? How many
different products should citizens and companies have to buy just to
comply with all the different laws?” asks Martin Husovec, member of the
FSFE Legal, who now assists the Slovak company in appealing the fines
before the court.

State neglected web standards, company now faces EUR 5600 in fines

Executive summary of the EURA case (9.05.2012)

(Thanks to Free Software Foundation Europe)