Skip links

What is the Transparency Act?

The recent Transparency Act (Act 19/2013, governing transparency, access to public information and good governance), which enters into force one year after being passed, has three objectives:

1) To ensure the right of citizens to access information.

2) To require the authorities to be transparent.

3) To supervise public activity, i.e. establishing good governance obligations to be met by public authorities and the legal consequences of non-compliance.

Transparency Act Objectives

Regarding the first objective, this act regulates what articles 105.b of the Constitution and 37 of Law 30/1992 already remitted to the law, that is, the possibility for citizens to access information in the hands of the Administration.

Regarding the second objective, since the authorities are obliged to be transparent, this law represents a step forward in shaping all obligations of active publicity that may be linked to a large number of subjects, among which are all government, legislative and judicial bodies are found. What is active publicity? It is information grouped into categories defined in the law, which the government should publish periodically and keep up to date, so as to ensure the transparency of its activity.

The third objective mentions governance obligations which must be met by public authorities, together with the legal consequences of non-compliance.

What entities are obliged to provide information? All levels of government, public sector entities, constitutional bodies (including the House of HM the King), Foundations of the Public Sector, associations formed by government or Corporations with majority public participation, political parties, unions, and organizations receiving public aid.

What does the so-called Transparency Portal contain? Through this, you can access information from the Central Government, together with statistics on information which is frequently requested by the public.

Are there limits to the publication of information? This will be limited whenever sensitive concerns are affected, such as national security issues or the defense or protection of personal data. In all these cases, checks should be carried out to verify whether the publication concerns the limits that the law provides or, in the case of personal data, if it can be removed from the published document.

What if a citizen requests information and this is denied? You can claim before the Board of Transparency and Good Governance, an independent body which ensures proper compliance with this Act, safeguarding the exercise of the right of access to public information and ensuring compliance with the rules of good governance.

Leave a comment