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Spanish institutions ignored 57% of access to information requests during 2013, the ‘year of transparency’

» Administrative silence increased with respect to 2012 despite the fact institutions should be working already to meet the requirements of the new law
» Only 13% of requests received the information asked for
» Whilst Spanish Autonomous Communities were better at responding, municipalities and other local levels ignored 81% of requests made - an increase of more than 11% compared to the previous year
» Access Info Europe and Fundación Ciudadana Civio present the Tuderechoasaber.es Report 2013, analysing access to information requests sent to Spanish institutions

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Madrid, Wednesday 9 April 2014 - In 2013, the year the Spanish Transparency Law was approved by parliament, Spanish institutions resorted to administrative silence on more occasions than in the previous year. With less than eight months until the entry into force of the new law at the national level, 57% of access to information requests made through Tuderechoasaber.es, a Spanish online request platform, did not receive any reply (3% more than the previous year). The Tuderechoasaber.es Report 2013 (in Spanish file_pdf) was published today by Access Info Europe and Fundación Ciudadana Civio, the two organisations that run the platform.

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Access Info Europe Discusses Transparency with Spanish Government

Madrid, 3 April 2014 – Access Info and the Foundation Civio met on Wednesday 2 April 2014 with senior representatives of the Spanish government to discuss a range of transparency issues, including implementation of the access to information law (due to come into force on 10 December 2014), Spain's second Open Government Partnership Action Plan, and moves by the Spanish Parliament to regulate lobbying.

This is the first time in two years that Access Info has had a formal meeting with government representatives to review transparency issues. The meeting was held with State Secretary for Parliamentary Relations, José Luis Ayllón Manso, as well as Eduardo Ribas Steegmann, Parliamentary Relations Cabinet Director, and Esperanza Zambrano, Deputy Director for Legislative Proposals and Parliamentary Documentation. Access Info was represented by Helen Darbishire, Executive Director, and Victoria Anderica, Campaigner. Civio was represented by David Cabo, Director, and Eva Belmonte, Project Director.

One of the most significant issues which arose was that the government confirmed that it is planning to ask all requesters to provide their ID number (or passport number in the case of foreigners) and that requests will only be permited by one single form on the future Transparency Portal.

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Access Info Europe condemns police violence against the press during weekend protests in Spain

Madrid, 31 March 2014 - Various journalists were directly attacked by the police whilst covering a protest on Saturday 29 March 2014. The following video was filmed by journalists covering the protest, who soon became the target of police agression also:

Access Info Europe today expressed concern that such attacks interfere directly with press freedom and the free flow of information, and are likely to have a chilling effect on the work of journalists in covering street demonstrations and other similar events.

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Launch of new global campaign to stop secret government contracting

stopsecretcontractsMadrid, Thursday 27 February 2014 - Today sees the launch of a new global campaign, Stop Secret Contracts, calling on world leaders to end secrecy in public contracting. The campaign is coordinated by the Open Knowledge Foundation, and signed by Access Info Europe along with  signatories including Global Witness, Integrity Action, the International Budget Partnership, the Sunlight Foundation and Transparency International.

The need for openness and transparency in contracting is an issue which has gathered increasing momentum in recent years. The global value of government contracts estimated at $9.5 trillion [1], but even in countries with strong government transparency laws the contracting process is often opaque and unaccountable. In both Africa and the EU, estimates suggest that around $150 billion is lost annually to corruption and mismanagement [2].

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