Government of Uruguay Proposes FOI Amendments

12 July 2013

The government of Uruguay has proposed more protection for documents creating during the deliberative process.

The proposal would permit the government to prevent disclosure “until the respective decision is adopted.”

The change is one of three proposed amendments to the 2008 law sent to Parliament, according to an article in El Pais (in Spanish).

Two of the three proposals were criticized by the Center for Archives and Access to Public Information (Cainfo), a non-profit organization created in 2009 that promotes transparency.

The group said it was positive that the government was proposing to allow the Access to Public Information Unit to declassify information which had been improperly classified by a regulated entity.

Another proposal would permit agencies to classify materials as confidential when a request is made, even if they were not previously confidential.

A Cainfo attorney told El Pais that the changes would expand the power of agencies to withhold information. In a statement, Cainfo called the language of the proposals ambiguous.

The Law on Access to Public Information (18,381) was adopted in October 2008.

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