“Recognizing the importance of access to public information and personal data protection to strengthening democracy, in 2012 the OAS General Assembly approved the Model Law on Access to Public Information and its Implementation Guide. These two documents represent the broadest possible application of the right to public information—defined as information in the possession, custody, or control of any public authority—, and serve as the legal foundation of this project.

The right of access to public information is key to protecting many individual and collective rights which are fundamental to a strong and functioning democracy. Furthermore, the relationship between the right of access to public information and human rights protection, economic development, and governance is widely recognized.

Through interactions and discussions between project participants—including high level public officials, experts, academics, private sector and civil society actors—the initiative will build consensus toward drafting, updating, and promoting a cutting edge access to information legal framework, which responds to OAS Member State needs, fits into existing constitutional provisions and laws, international human rights standards, and incorporates the Model Law and its Implementation Guide.”