Madrid, 9 September 2014 – Spain’s Transparency Law will enter into force in three months, on 10 December 2014, but to date the Spanish Government has not made public any information about how the new law will be implemented nor how the Transparency Council will be appointed.
Access Info Europe and Fundación Ciudadana Civio have yet to receive a reply to a letter sent on 20 August 2014 asking Spanish State Secretary José Luis Ayllón Manso to clarify the status of preparations for implementation of the law.
The Spanish government should do the following before the law comes into effect on 10 December 2014:
» Pass the Royal Decree approving the organic Statute for the Transparency and Good Governance Council: According to the law, approved in December 2013, this should have been done by March 2014. This Decree is important as it should set out, among other issues, the modalities for appointing the president of the Transparency Council. Civil society is concerned about the independence of the body and the rules which will determine how it functions.
» Adopt the Regulation which elaborates on details of the law: The implementing regulation is key as it will define the procedure for requesting information from public institutions. It is also hoped that it will clarify imprecisions in the law, such as the definition of “internal reports and communications” which may not be requested according to Article 18, without the law giving any definition of “internal”.
» Construct the Transparency Portal: The Government should have a website ready by December where citizens should be able to find information related to State institutions. Access Info Europe also understands that the government intends to permit requests only via this web portal and that they will demand that ID numbers be given.
The Spanish Transparency Law has been criticised by national and international experts for a host of reasons including that it does not recognise the access to information as a fundamental right, is limited in scope to administrative information, and that there is a weak appeals system.
You can read the letter sent to Spanish State Secretary José Luis Ayllón (in Spanish), here.
You can find Access Info Europe’s analysis of Spain’s Transparency and Access to Information Law, here.
For more information, please contact:
Victoria Anderica, Access Info Europe
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