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Spain Publishes Text of Latest Access Law Proposal

Source: freedominfo.org

Date: 31 May 2012

The Spanish government has posted the latest version (in Spanish) of a proposed transparency law.

Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría on May 18 announced that the Cabinet had advanced the draft bill to the next stage of review. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)  The text, however, was not immediately published. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

Although somewhat improved, the now public draft “remains deaf to what society demands,” according to a posting by Access Info Europe. The government has yet to publish the comments it received on a previous proposal.

The law does not meet minimum international standards, according to Helen Darbishire, director of Access Info Europe.  ”The refusal to recognize the right of access to information as a fundamental right implies that Spain is ignoring its obligations based on international treaties it has signed and the European Court of Justice,” according to Darbishire.

A newly added clause allowing for disclosure of otherwise exempt information when it is public interest  is too limited, she said. The draft law contains a very limited definition of information, Darbishire said.

One of the most positive changes has been to include penalties for failing to respond to requests within the specified time, she said.