Spain: Government goes to court to keep secret documents about … open government!

Madrid, 9 February 2016 – The Spanish government has launched a court case against Spain’s Transparency Council to challenge a decision that it should release documents relating to the implementation of Spain’s two Open Government Partnership action plans.

In November 2015, Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe, secured a ruling from the Transparency Council that the Ministry of the Presidency should make public reports from Ministries about progress being made on Open Government Partnership commitments.

In its ruling, the Transparency Council argued that documents about Spain’s open government activities cannot be exempted as being “internal” because they are being used as the basis for taking decisions and hence are central to ensuring accountability.

The Ministry of Presidency launched the court case to challenge this and to keep the OGP-related documents secret in January 2016. The Transparency Council will defend the case and Access Info will participate as an interested party.

It was remarkable that information about action taken to advance open government was denied to me in the first place,” commented Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe. “It’s even more incredible that the Spanish government is now taking a legal challenge to keep this information secret!

In October 2015, Access Info Europe wrote to the OGP Steering Committee to raise concerns about the lack of transparency and participation around open government in Spain. The letter can be found here.

For more information, please contact:

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

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