Spanish Cabinet Forwards Controversial FOI Bill

18 May 2012

The Spanish Cabinet May 18 decided to take another step in the process of developing a freedom of information law.

The Cabinet agreed to send the draft legislation to the data protection agency, an independent body, and to the State Council, a body within the government that advises on legal and constitutional matters.  It is expected that the  Cabinet will revisit the FOI bill before formally sending it to parliament.

“Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said the bill will go to Parliament for debate after the Summer and — if approved — take effect in a year or so, once government Internet portals for information-sharing are set up,” according to a news report.

The draft bill has come under criticism as too weak during a public comment period announced in March. (See previous report.) More than 3,600 emails were received. The report did not indicate if the draft had been changed.

Saenz de Santamaria said adoption of a FOI law will help Spain’s international standing, saying,  “This is costing us points in the area of institutional confidence on all international rankings.”

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