Access Info Europe’s Transparency Policy
Information held by Access Info Europe is assumed to be public and will either be published proactively on the website or will be available upon request.
In line with international standards, we combine proactive publication of information with the right to request information. Below we set out in more detail the policy for each aspect of this right.
Limited exceptions to protect legitimate interests may apply but we make a strong presumption of public interest in transparency. The exceptions will be only those permitted by international standards (the list of exceptions in the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents, detailed below), all of which are subject to a harm and public interest test on a case-by-case basis.
» Proactive Publication Policy
The proactive publication of information by Access Info Europe is designed to inform the public of the work that we do and to ensure that we are accountable to public opinion.
To this end, in addition to publishing news on our projects and activities, Access Info Europe publishes proactively:
» Access Info Statutes in English and Spanish
» Information on our governance structures and staff including an organogram and relevant biographies
» Governance-related documents including minutes of Executive Board and General Assembly meetings
» Annual financial reports (in English) along with account balance sheets and documents submitted to the Spanish tax authorities (in Spanish)
» Annual activity reports
» A complete list of donors
Note: Detailed financial reports including financial reports on specific projects, details of expenditure, etc., are available on request (see below). Original copies of invoices and other documentation are available for review in the Access Info office in Madrid.
If you are not satisfied with the proactive publication by Access Info Europe, you may write to our Executive Board via the appeals process below.
» Open Data Policy
Access Info endeavours to make the documents we publish available to users with any operating system. To this end we upload documents in Word and Open Office formats wherever possible and almost always in PDF format. Spreadsheet formats are also available on request where the data exists in this format (Excel and similar open source versions).
If you should come across a document which you cannot open, please let us know, and we will happily send it to you in another format wherever possible.
» Access to Information Request Policy
Any member of the public from any country may submit a request for documents or information to Access Info Europe.
You are asked to provide a name (at least a first name) and an email address. You should send your request to info[at]access-info.org.
Should you prefer to make the request by post, you may do this by writing to our postal address. If you wish to contact us via our Twitter or Facebook accounts, this is also an option, although an email address may be necessary for sending you the information.
The request may be made in English, Spanish or French. We are sometimes able to process request in other languages but cannot guarantee this. We note that documents are held primarily in English with some existing only in Spanish. We can translate limited documentation between the two languages, but otherwise do not have the resources for translating long texts.
Requesters are asked to specify as clearly as possible the information or documents you are interested in receiving. If you are not sure how to formulate your request you may contact us by any of the means above or may telephone us to discuss the request. If your request is not clear to us, we will contact you to discuss.
There is no need to explain why you need the information nor what you wish to do with it. You do not have to give any other information about yourself.
We will acknowledge your request within one working day and as promptly as possible, at the latest within 10 working days. If this is not possible, an extension of up to 15 working days may be applied, upon notification to the requester of why this is necessary.
The list of legitimate exceptions from the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents that are relevant is a sub-set of the full list, and we have identified in particular:
» privacy and other legitimate private interests;
» disciplinary investigations;
» the equality of parties in court proceedings;
» decision making;
In order to apply an exception, the refusal letter must explain how in that particular case the publication of the information would damage the protected interest and explain why there is no public interest in receiving the information. The refusal letter must be signed by two senior members of the Access Info Europe team.
If you are not happy with the way your request has been handled or with the response you have received, you may appeal to the Access Info Europe Executive Board. The process is to send an email to info[at]access-info.org or to send a letter to our postal address. Appeals will be handled within 10 working days to which an extension of up to another 15 working days may be applied upon notification to the applicant.