Madrid, 30 October 2020 – Spain has adopted an ambitious four-year Open Government Action Plan, replete with measures called for by Access Info, including reform of the 2013 Transparency Law, ratification of the Convention on Access to Official Documents, new laws on lobby regulation and whistleblower protection, and the opening of key data, including the company register and some health service data.
The new action plan, Spain’s fourth, was formally approved by a meeting of its multi-stakeholder Open Government Forum, held virtually on 29 October 2020. The meeting was opened by the Minister for Public Function Carolina Darias, reflecting the high-level political commitment to what can be characterised as Spain’s first ever roadmap for advancing open government.
Speaking at the meeting, Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info, noted that this ambitious Action Plan reflects the significant progress that Spain has made towards open government in recent years, becoming one of the leading members of OGP with four sub-national members.
“In addition to these important commitments, it is to be hoped that we can now have a real debate in Spain about formally recognising that access to information is a fundamental human rights, as has been confirmed by international human rights bodies and in many national constitutions around the world,” stated Darbishire.
Interventions at the meeting from civil society, academics, archivists, and representatives of Spain’s autonomous regions and its Transparency Council, were unanimous in welcoming the Action Plan, reflecting the collective effort over the past few months to co-create the 17 commitments on transparency, participation, and integrity, in spite of the obstacles posed by the pandemic.
“Be it data to combat corruption or data needed to understand decision making on managing the coronavirus crisis, the Spanish public is calling for greater transparency, and this action plan reflects the government’s commitment to deliver greater openness and accountability,” added Darbishire.
During the course of this year, Access Info coordinated input to the action plan design process from the 100-member strong Coalición Pro Acceso, organising voting on the priorities, and passing these recommendations to the OGP Forum. Further improvements to the action plan reflecting civil society input were made in the final public debate and consultation phases in September and October 2020.
Click here to learn more about the IV Spain’s OGP Action Plan.