Comments submmitted in Consultation on Spain's draft Access to Information Law
Madrid, 3 April 2012 - Access Info today published recommended submissions for the public consultation on Spain's draft Access to Information law. These are in addition to a formal submission which will be made by the over 50 NGOs members of the Coalición Pro Acceso. The very short consultation ends on Tuesday 10 April.
Access Info's position is that the draft law is substandard and not in line with international standards, in particular because the definition of the information which can be requested is severly limited and because the exceptions are applied in a blanket fashion without harm or public interest tests.The draft law also fails to recognise the right of access to information as a fundamental right in line with international jurisprudence.
The Spanish government will be presenting the draft law at the Open Government Partnership meeting in Brazil on 17-18 April. Access Info is calling for significant improvements before that. More information (in Spanish) follows.
Draft Spanish access to information law contains excessive exceptions and falls below international standards
Madrid, 26 March 2012 – The Spanish government today opened for public consultation the draft “Law on Transparency, Access to Public Information, and Good Governance”.
Specialist NGO Access Info Europe welcomed the law and unprecedented consultation but noted that serious improvements are needed to bring the law into line with international standards, in particular by revising the definition of information which establishes excessive exceptions thereby excluding large quantities of information from the right to request access.
The law together with information on the public consultation is available here.
A copy can be downloaded here
20 Demands on the future of access to EU documents: Campaign Update
Madrid, 25 March 2012 - Since the 20 demands on the future of the EU access to documents Regulation were launched for civil society sign-on on 7 March 2012, 3 European Information Commissioners, 67 Non-governmental organisations and 6 Civil Society Coalitions representing 249 organisations have joined the campaign.
Click here to download the 20 demands on the future of EU transparency.
The 20 demands are presented to the Member State representatives working on the revision of the EU access to documents Regulation before each of their inter-governmental meetings at the Working Party on Information (WPI).
The Danish Presidency aims to get an agreement on the Regulation before the end of June, so the Working Party on Information will be meeting every two weeks to try and reach a common Council position on the future of the EU access to documents Regulation. Word has it that some Member States are resistant to the Parliament's proposals to improve the right of access to EU documents as recognised in the EU Treaties, and are actively supporting proposals to, inter alia, strengthen the Member States' abilities to veto release of documents produced by them, exclude legal advice from the scope of the Regulation, and restrict the definition of a document.
New website launched to track access to information requests in Spain
Madrid, 22 March 2012 – As of today people in Spain will be able to make and track requests for Information from public bodies in a simple and free way via the new web portal TuDerechoaSaber.es (“Your right to know”) being launched by human rights organisations Access Info Europe and Fundación Ciudadana Civio. Based on mySociety’s Alaveteli software which also runs AsktheEU.org and Whatdotheyknow.com (UK), this pioneering website is being launched in the expectation that the Spanish government will adopt and access to information law during the first half of 2012.
“The website tuderechoasaber.es aims to breach the wall of silence between the administration and the public. It will make it easy to ask about current topics such as cuts in public services or the debts of political parties,” said Victoria Anderica, Campaigner and Project Coordinator with Access Info Europe. “With tuderechoasaber.es asking for such Information is as easy as sending an e-mail.”
Spain is the only EU country with over one million inhabitants with no access to information law and research shows that over one in two requests (54%) never get any kind of response, while only 20% receive the information requested.
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