We bring together information on the legal frameworks for the right to information from more than 100 countries.
You are here: Home Cases Case title: Petitioner v. Centro de Investigacion y Seguridad Nacional (Centre of Investigation and National Security)

Case title: Petitioner v. Centro de Investigacion y Seguridad Nacional (Centre of Investigation and National Security)

Case number:
Date of decision:
11 November 2003
Court / Arbiter:
Information Commission (Instituto General de Acceso a la Informacion Publica, or IFAI). ( Appellate )

Relevant law :
Federal Transparency and Access to Public Governmental Information Law (RTI Law), Articles 7 and 13(I) and (IV), Articles 27 and 28 of its Regulations, Guidelines for the Classification and Declassification of Information of Federal Public Agencies ( )


The Centre of Investigation and National Security must disclose a public version of its organogram with the content required by law, excluding to that effect any information that may endanger the life, security or physical integrity of its employees, such as the name, position and contact information of certain agents

Burden of proof (including requests for additional evidence)
Economic policy (ability of the State to manage the economy)
National security (including defense, intelligence, state security, state secrets, secrecy laws)
Open government principles (including accountability, anti-corruption, democracy, participation in government, transparency)
Other law (non-RTI)
Oversight bodies (including information commission, judicial review, ombuds office)
Privacy (harm to private interests, including life, health, safety)
Public interest (including public interest override, information of public interest)
RTI law
Scope of information covered
Security sector (including intelligence bodies, military, police)
Segregability (information should be disclosed if can be segregated from information that may legitimately be withheld)

Case details:


In August 2003, Petitioner requested from the Centre of National Investigation and Security (Centro de Investigacion y Seguridad Nacional – CNIS), an intelligence bureau, information on the “name and position of the heads of every department every head of department going up to the general director of the agency” [p.1].

CNIS responded that the name of all public employees specifically authorized to interact with the public was available for consultation at the entity’s website, while the names of the rest of public employees associated to the Centre was to remain classified for a period of 12 years, both to protect these individuals’ personal integrity and physical security (presumably they are intelligence agents) and to avoid harm to the functions of the institution itself. CNIS formally grounded its response on Articles 7 and 13(IV) of the Federal Transparency and Access to Public Governmental Information Law (RTI Law) as well as Articles 27 and 28 of its Regulations, in addition to Guidelines on the Classification and Declassification of Information and other internal regulations [p.1].

Petitioner appealed to IFAI.



IFAI acknowledged that the provisions of Article 13(I) (national security) and (IV) (information which if disclosed could endanger the life, security, physical integrity or health of any individual) of the RTI Law and the Guidelines for the Declassification of Information were applicable [p.4]. IFAI determined that the successful invocation of these provisions required an objective showing of the ways in which disclosure of personal information (in this case names of officers and their position) would represent a real, probable and specific threat to their endanger the life, security physical integrity or health or of their functions in protecting national security [p.4].

IFAI considered the CNIS had accurately identified the existence of objective risks that would trigger Articles 13 (I) and (IV), that such risks were real and probable and sufficient to protect the information requested by Petitioner as confidential [pp-4-5].

Notwithstanding the former, IFAI detected that on its website, CNIS merely disclosed the names of its General Director and Contact Officer for the purposes of access to information, without outlining its organogram, as required by Article 7 of the RTI Law. Therefore, IFAI instructed to publicize such an organogram excluding any confidential information that is necessary to protect its intelligence and counter-intelligence personnel under Article 13(IV) of the RTI Law [pp.5-6].



IFAI administrative resolution