Chilean Senators Propose RTI Provision for Constitution

29 March 2013

A group of Chilean senators has proposed to add a right to information to the Chilean Constitution.

The proposal was made by senators Hernan Larrain, Isabel Allende, Soledad Alvear, José Ruminot Garcia and Eugenio Tuma and was sent to the Constitution Committee for further discussion.

The three-year-old access to public information law needs buttressing, the senators believe, according to a report (in Spanish) about the effort spurred by civil society groups.

The authors applauded the work of the Council for Transparency to promote a culture of transparency and respect for the right of access to public information. They also noted that government websites include large quantities of regularly updated public information.

But obstacles have emerged, the parliamentarians said, pointing to a 2012 decision of the Constitutional Court that interpreted a provision of the Constitution, but said it does not guarantee the right to access. (See previous report.)

The Constitutional Court rejected disclosure of officials’ emails. The court’s decision (in Spanish) revoked a Transparency Council decision.

The legislative initiative proposal was developed by the Transparency Consortium, a group formed by Ciudadano Inteligente , Pro Bono , Pro Acceso y Corporación Participa, all civil society organizations focused on issues of transparency, public participation and access to information.

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