Paraguayan House Passes Amended Access Legislation

30 May 2014

The Paraguayan House May 28 approved access to public information legislation.

The House amended the Senate-passed bill, in particular, Article 22, which defines confidential information, in ways considered positive by pro-transparency advocates.

Exceptions are not specifically established in the bill. Instead, Article 22 refers to provisions in other laws that impose confidentiality.

Groups supporting the bill issued a manifesto (in Spanish) on May 22 saying the bill would fulfill the promise of the right to information clause in the Constitution, provided Article 22 was eliminated or modified. The advocacy for the bill has been led by coalition of NGOs, Grupo Impulsor de Acceso a la Información (GIAI).

The congressmen could not reach a decision on deadlines for responding to requests, and thus did not establish a time frame.

One committee, had advised against passage of the bill, believing the Constitution adequate. (See previous report.) Two other committees, however, recommended its passage and backed the changes to Article 22 proposed by GIAI.

The House version will go back to the Senate for analysis.

See news reports (in Spanish) in Diputados and ABC.

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