Madrid, 27 April 2020- 31 Spanish civil society organisations, all members of the Coalición Pro Acceso, have called on the Spanish Government to guarantee the right of access to information. This comes after the suspension of all administrative deadlines under the state of emergency, which was declared on 14 March due to the coronavirus.

In a letter addressed to Carolina Darias, the Minister of Territorial Policy and Public Function, the organisations denounce the negative effects that the pandemic is having on transparency and on access to information in Spain, a fundamental right that must be protected especially during a crisis, when it is essential that the public can be informed about what the government is doing and hold it to account.

Recognising that the exceptional measures taken in Spain, including suspension of administrative deadlines, is something that has also happened in many European and Latin American countries, the CSOs note that there are also good practices that demonstrate that it is possible to ensure that this right can be exercised, in spite of the circumstances:

  • In Argentina, the suspension of administrative deadlines for information requests was reversed by order of the Information Agency;
  • The Council of the European Union and the Commission maintain the 15-day response deadline, although they acknowledge that there may be slight delays in some cases; and,
  • In Spain, the Community of Castilla y León and the Valencia City Council, among other regional administrations, are responding to requests and carrying out proactive publication.

To guarantee citizens their fundamental right of Access to Information, the Coalición Pro Acceso has called on the Government to:

  • Exclude the right of access to information from the suspension of administrative deadlines;
  • Respond to and treat as a priority all requests related to Covid-19;
  • Continue, as far as possible, to process other requests received before or during the state of emergency;
  • Ensure proper record keeping and justifications of all decisions taken during the crisis.

In addition to this, to ensure the transparency of the activity by public institutions, the Government should:

  • Create a web page or section in the Transparency Portal dedicated exclusively to Covid-19, where all the information related to the management of the pandemic is published proactively and centrally, at the national, regional and local levels. Data should be disaggregated and published in an open, reusable format with metadata.
  • Post proactively and immediately:
    • the structure of the scientific committee or committees, as well as the reports on which the decisions made by the Government are based;
    • all information related to emergency public procurement;
  • Ensure digitalised record keeping of all Covid-19 information which will allow traceability and accountability.
  • Guarantee the protection of privacy, ensuring that the monitoring and digital surveillance used to protect the health of citizens is a temporary measure and is constantly supervised by specialists and members of civil society, allowing full transparency of the use and purpose of the data collected.


Access Info Europe
Archiveros Españoles de la Función Pública (AEFP)
Asociación Andaluza para la Defensa de los Animales (ASANDA)
Asociación de Archiveros de Castilla y León (ACAL)
Asociación de Archiveros y Gestores de Documentos del Principado de Asturias (AAPA)
Asociación de la Prensa de Madrid (APM)
Asociación de Periodistas de Investigación (API)
Asociación de Usuarios de la Comunicación (AUC)
Asociación Española de Acreditación de la Transparencia (ACREDITRA)
Asociación Innovación y Derechos Humanos (
Asociación para la Comunicación e Información Medioambiental (ACIMA)
Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España (APDHE)
Associació Ciutadania i Comunicació (ACICOM)
Associació d’Arxivers i Gestors de Documents Valencians (AAV)
Coordinadora ONGD – España
Confederación de Consumidores y Usuarios (CECU)
Federación de Sindicatos de Periodistas (FEsP)
Fundación Civio
Fundación Compromiso y Transparencia
Fundación Cultura de Paz
Fundación Hay Derecho
Fundación Internacional Baltasar Garzón (FIBGAR)
Gobierno Transparente
Greenpeace España
Iniciativa Barcelona Open Data
Manuel Sánchez de Diego
Observatorio Ciudadano Municipal de Jerez
Observatorio de RSC
Plataforma en Defensa de la Libertad de Información (PDLI)
Red de Abogados y Abogadas para la Defensa Ambiental (RADA)
Reporteros Sin Fronteras, Sección Española
Sociedad Española de Documentación e Información Científica (SEDIC)

For more information, please contact:

Paula Domínguez, Responsable de Comunicación | Access Info Europe
paula[at] +34 913 656 558

Helen Darbishire, Directora Ejecutiva | Access Info Europe
helen[at] +34 637 226 609

Picture: Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa