Madrid, 7 October 2016 – Access Info Europe, Civio, and a total of 22 civil society organisations

[1] meeting in Madrid at the International Open Data Conference, have sent a letter to the Spanish government expressing serious concerns about levels of transparency in Spain.

Welcoming the hosting of the IODC by the Spanish government and some recent advances, the organisations noted that there is a critical need to improve open data and open government.

We are in a country where the government, surreal as it sounds, is litigating against the Transparency Council to resist publishing documents related to the Open Government Partnership,” said Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe.

In Spain, there is a serious gap between talking about transparency and doing it,” added Darbishire.
Specifically, the groups called for:

» Recognition of a genuine right of access to information, along with improving the access to information law and giving greater powers to the oversight body (Transparency Council)

» Full implementation of open data across government, including by adopting the International Open Data Charter and the Open Contracting Data Standard, as many other European countries have done.

» A truly open public corporate register and an open and public register of the beneficial owners of companies: The Spanish company register should be released as open data: free of charge to access, complete, downloadable in bulk, and open licensed by default.

» Transparency and civil society engagement in the Open Government Partnership, including the government dropping its legal challenge to making open documents related to the OGP.

The letter has been sent to Vice President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría and Minister of Industry Luis de Guindos, and can be found here: alt

For more information please contact:

Helen Darbishire | Access Info Europe
Send an e-mail or call +34 913 656 558

Notes for the editors:

[1]The complete list of signatories, last updated on 19 October 2016, includes:
Access Info Europe
Accountability Lab
Abriendo Datos Costa Rica
Africa Freedom of Information Centre
Association for Promotion Sustainable Development (Hisar, India)
CAFSO-WRAG for Development
Campaign2015+ International
Centre for Law and Democracy
CIVICUS Affinity Group of National Associations
Challenges Togo
Climate Change Network NigeriaConnected Development [CODE] (Nigeria)
The Engine Room
ePaństwo Foundation (Poland)
Federación Española de Sociedades de Archivística, Biblioteconomía, Documentación y Museística
Forum for Development
Fundación Civio (Spain)
Global Forum for Media Development
Global Integrity
Global Peace and Development Organisation (Liberia)
Global Witness
NGO Federation of Nepal
ONE Campaign
Open Contracting Partnership
Open Knowledge Foundation Spain
Publish What You Fund
Southwest Freedom of Information Act Network Nigeria
Sunlight Foundation
Transparency International
Universal Rights Network
Web Foundation
Women Educators Association of Nigeria