Madrid, 12 November 2015 – In an important ruling from Spain’s Transparency Council, Access Info Europe has won access to the names of participants in meetings held to discuss the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
Welcoming this standard-setting ruling Access Info Europe noted that it should contribute to genuine accountability of decision-making processes.
Helen Darbishire of Access Info, who presented the complaint, said “it is essential to know who precisely gets to participate in meetings inside government, be they public officials, experts, lobbyists, or others.”
Importantly the Transparency Council confirmed that Spain’s 2013 Transparency Law anticipates provision of information which “merely identifies a person related to the organisation, functioning, and activities of a public body” (Article 15) and ruled that this also applies to representatives of private bodies and civil society organisations.
The Transparency Council’s ruling makes a clear distinction between ‘identifying’ data – which, at a minimum, including names, addresses, and telephone numbers – and other, more sensitive, personal data as set out in EU data protection standards.
Helen Darbishire submitted the initial request on 3 July 2015. A 4 August 2015 reply from the Spanish government listed three meetings related to OGP in the past two years but failed to provide the names of the participants.
Rather amusingly, one of the meetings was with Access Info Europe and another CSO, Civio, but even this information was not provided.
The Ministry of the Presidency now has 15 days to provide this information.
You can read the Transparency Council’s decision (in Spanish) here:
For more information, please contact:
Helen Darbishire | Access Info Europe
Send an e-mail or call +34 913 656 558