Civil Society and Fundación Lúminis, working towards the new Access to Public Information Act Bills

20 abril 2016

Fundación Lúminis, who develops citizenship awareness related activities, mainly through their information transparency program, which includes spreading of calls for teaching positions and their Open Data portal, has joined efforts with Poder Ciudadano, ACIJ, ADC, Fopea, Directorio Legislativo and Fundación Conocimiento Abierto regarding the National Executive Power’s bill about access to public information.

Fundación Lúminis, who develops citizenship awareness related activities, mainly through their information transparency program, which includes spreading of calls for teaching positions and their Open Data portal, has joined efforts with Poder Ciudadano, ACIJ, ADC, Fopea, Directorio Legislativo and Fundación Conocimiento Abierto regarding the National Executive Power’s bill about access to public information.

Civil Society and the new Access to Public Information Act Bills

The undersigned civil society organizations believe the submission by the Executive Power of the access to public information bill entails a significant step towards settling accounts in our democracy, which has required an act which regulates access to public information for years.

We regret the non-existance of an opportunity of participation during the elaboration of the text by the Executive Power, by means of the foreseen procedures of Decree 1172/03. However, we believe the opening of a participative process at the National Congress is essential, in which the representatives of politics, intellectualism and civil society can express their different points of view and discuss on the basis of the diverse ideas they introduce, in order to achieve the best text possible for the act. The involvement of civil society is a fundamental dimension of the idea of an open government, and this is why it is unavoidable to enforce it in the scope of the elaboration of this project.

We consider such space to be necessary to discuss the adequation of certain aspects of the bill sent by the Executive Power to the current international standards in this matter. Especially, those standards set by the Organization of American States at the Access to Public Information Model Act, the guidelines set by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in cases like “Claude Reyes v. Chile”, and by the Nation’s Supreme Court of Justice in cases “ADC v. the Nation State – PAMI”, “CIPPEC v. the Nation State – Min. of Social Development” and “Giustiniani, Rubén v. YPF re. Default Payments”.

Among other issues, we believe it is necessary to improve the text of the bill sent by the Executive Power in order to ensure, in a more suitable way, the suitability and idependence of the body in charge of controlling and enforcing the act. Also, the system of exceptions based on the maximum disclosure of public information principle should be improved, and further details on the mechanisms to be created to request for information should be established; as well as the State’s duties, especially regarding active transparency.

We hope to count on a national law that settles accounts on this and guarantees full exercise of this right, and that it is a product of a public and participative debate; not only regarding the National Executive Power’s bill, but also regarding the different bills submitted for this issue.

Citizenship Power

ACIJ

ADC

FOPEA

Directorio Legislativo

Fundación Conocimiento Abierto