Spanish Committee Approves FOI Amendments in Private

26 July 2013

The Spanish Parliament’s Constitutional Commission on July 25 approved amendments to the transparency law.

The nonpublic session was boycotted by left of center parties, including the main opposition Socialist Party and the process came under fire from Access Info Europe.

“At time of writing we don’t have a clear picture of exactly which amendments were incorporated.” commented Access Info Europe, a nongovernmental organization  based in Madrid. The nongovernmental organization has criticized (in Spanish) the amendments proposed by the government.

The boycott occurred as a protest to the government’s handling of allegations that former party treasurer Luis Bárcenas and others in the ruling Partido Popular were receiving illegal payments. Spain’s prime minister Mariano Rajoy said July 22 he would appear before parliament to face questions over the corruption scandal.

 “Our biggest concern right now is to be able to comment on the latest version of the law and analyse it against international standards,” said Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe. “We are getting reports about some of the changes, but we simply don’t know for sure: the phenomenal lack of information for civil society significantly frustrates our work in promoting the right of access to information in Spain.”

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