Seven Senators Offer FOI Bill in Paraguay Drafted by NGOs

11 October 2013

Seven senators have introduced a Transparency and Access to Information bill that was drafted by Paraguayan nongovernmental organizations.

Martha Ferrara, director of Semillas para la Democracia (Seeds for Democracy), said the project is the result of 10 years work on the subject and presentation, supported by several legislators , and means ” a great achievement of civil society,” according to an article (in Spanish) in Ultimahora.com.

Ferrara was quoted as saying (in Google translation): “The project is an important step in the process of building and strengthening transparency spaces combating corruption.”

The civil society proposal was made by Senator Carlos Amarilla with other legislators: Arnaldo Giuzzio, Desirée Masi, Blas Llano, Mario Abdo Benítez, Pedro Santacruz and Enrique Bacchetta.

The development of the bill was done by a Group on Access to Public Information (GIAI), formed in early 2004, that currently comprises 23 organizations.

The bill will provide “free citizen access to public information and government transparency.” It states that no public agency may require the applicant to supply reasons for his information request. It sets a 10 day deadline for responses, with the possibility of a 10 extension. Appeals can be lodged with a magistrate having jurisdiction in the place of his domicile or where the public body has its headquarters. No copy of the bill was immediatyely available.

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