80,000+ Sign Avaaz Petition against the draft
3.600 Contributions received to 15-day web-based consultation on draft
Article Updated: 14 April 2012 – The Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe, the Coalición Pro Acceso, and thousands of Spanish citizens call for a stronger transparency law in the face of a sub-standard draft.
Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría on 12 April 2012 reported that 3,600 submissions were received in the 15-day consultation – an impressive number given that the consultation was held during the Easter holiday period. Access Info Europe has called for full transparency on the submissions and for the Government to give detailed reponses to any and all concerns raised.
OSCE calls for improvements to the draft
The OSCE’s Representative for Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mjatovic on 10 April 2012 released a report which raises a series of concerns about the draft, including “the need to recognize access to information as a fundamental right, to widen the scope of applicability of the law to include judicial bodies and to guarantee the independence of the oversight body.” The analysis was written by international expert Eduardo Bertoni, former Freedom of Expression Rapporteur for the Organization of American States.
Coalición Pro Acceso raises serious concerns
The 55 members of the Coalición Pro Acceso submitted a joint analysis to the Spanish government’s consultation on the law on 9 April 2012 raising serious concerns about the very limited definition of information which can be requested and the broad application of exceptions.
The NGOs also called for recognition of access to information as a fundamental right in line with international standards and for the creation of an independent body to protect and promote this right. The NGOs noted that with the current draft, Spain would not be able to ratify the Council of Europe’s Convention on Access to Official Documents.
Avaaz campaign calling for transparency to end corruption attracts massive support
As of 14 April 2012, 84.933 people, most of them from Spain, had signed an Avaaz petition calling for the Spanish government to “put an end to the culture of secrecy which is undermining our democracy.”
The petition’s signatories urged the government to present a new draft law, stronger and more comprehensive, which applies to all public bodies, has limited exceptions and which recognises that access to information is a fundamental right.
» Draft Transparency and Access to Information Law (in Spanish)