Clock Runs Out on Effort to Pass FOI Law in Argentina

23 November 2012

Efforts to pass a freedom of information law in Argentina will need to begin from the beginning.

The time limit for action by the House passed without action, leaving the 2010 Senate-passed bill in limbo.

The Senate legislation was forwarded to several committees (called commissions) – the Constitutional Affairs Commission, the Justice Commission and the Budget Commission. The bill particularly got stuck in the latter committee, observers said.

A group of legislators of the opposition asked for its approval two weeks ago, but no movement occurred.

As a result, the whole legislative process has to start again.

On Nov. 22, a public hearing on freedom of information took place in the Supreme Court and went very well according to one pro-transparency activist. It is a case presented by the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) against PAMI, a public body that provides health services to retirees. It is the first case ever on FOI to reach the highest court in the country.

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