Equitable Access to Public Information - April 2013
OAS Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs
receives report on the work done by the Department
of International Law on the issue of access to
public information and a first draft of the
Inter-American Program on this matter
A regular meeting of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs (CJPA) was held on April 10 at the OAS headquarters. During this meeting the Department of International Law (DIL) presented a draft of the Inter-American Program on Access to public information in response to a request made by the General Assembly held in 2012. The resolution adopted by the highest body of the organization entrusted the preparation of this document to the DIL (AG / RES. 2727 (XLII-O/12); the draft document was received very positively by the attending delegations. The latter is expected to constitute an input in the negotiation process that CJPA will start on the subject matter, and that will indicate the route that Member States will follow on this topic.
The initial proposal, takes into account the relevance of including only concrete actions which execution can be evaluated objectively based on progress indicators that have a minimal impact on the budget of the Organization; emphasizes the program's reach to actions that may be made by actors the Organization can persuade in a certain way, such as the Member States themselves or the OAS General Secretariat; and pays primary attention to domestic legislation by the Member States of the OAS vis-à-vis the Model Law on Access to Public Information, understanding that it establishes a consolidated set of parameters that can lead to a concrete and measurable progress in terms of the actions taken by Member States to provide increasingly greater access to information public for their citizens. Also, it attempts to prevent the duplication of the principles and the content of the rules of the Inter-American Model Law on Access to Public Information, departing from the commitment, made by the States, for the promotion of the Model Law, except in those cases where it is considered appropriate to give greater emphasis to the provisions of the Model Law..
The CJPA agenda also included a presentation on a technical cooperation project led by DIL on equitable access to public information, a program funded by the Canadian International Development Agency whom the government representatives present at the meeting thanked for their support. The initiative aims at improving the capacity of the OAS Member States on transparency and equal access to public information, through the promotion and implementation of the Inter-American Model Law on Access to Public Information, adopted by the General Assembly of the OAS in 2010. The first activities of the project will take place in Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Peru, in the course of this year.
The DIL also introduced a website
that serves as an outline of the project. This
resource contains more than 190 digital files, among
which are those related to the negotiation process
that led to the Model Law on Access to Public
Information and its Implementation Guidelines, and a
database containing comparative law that includes
existing national legislation on access to
information in 26 countries on the continent, and
the draft bills that some of them have. This
reference resource was launched just eight weeks ago
and already has over 3000 visits.
Pictures Gallery - Presentation of the report to the CJPA 2013
Video - Presentation of the report to the CJPA
For additional information about Equitable Access to Public Information, please visit our Website »