Italian Ministers Approve Decree With FOIA Provisions

21 January 2016

The Italian Council of Ministers on Jan. 20 approved a freedom of information decree, but has not disclosed the text.

As part of a larger package of public administration reforms, the Council voted for a decree which changes the Transparency Decree (33/2013 which grants citizens “civic access”) and anticorruption law (190/2012) with new provisions on access to information. (See government announcement, FOI provision is Point 5 and related slide presentation, both in Italian.)

An earlier version was “not very good in the sense of protecting the right to know,” according to one Italian activist. FOI supporters are waiting to see if the Council made any amendments.

The FOI decree will face other steps, incuding review by the Council of State (“Consiglio di Stato”) and the “Conferenza stato-Regioni” which can issue advice and observations (which are not binding). Then the text will be revised by the parliamentary commissions that deal with the topic of the decree (probably “Commissione parlamentare per la semplificazione” and “Commissioni parlamentari competenti per materia e per i profili finanziari”). Their advice is also nonbinding. At that point a final decree can be issued by the government

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