Argentina will have a freedom of information law (text) as the result of a 182-16 vote Sept. 14 in the Chamber of Deputies.
The chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Pablo Tonelli, said that after consultations it was decided that the House should insist on the original House bill, approved May 18. (See Freedominfo.org article.) He said the “breakthrough” bill will make the request process simple and has limited exemptions.
The Senate on Sept. 7 approved an amended bill, 44-15, deleting a provision applying it to state-majority-owned companies and modifying the appointment procedures for the head of the new Agency for Access to Public Information. (See FreedomInfo.org report.)
The bill, which covers all three branches of government, will replace the 2003 Decree 1172/2003, an instrument that provided access to public information but only the scope of the Executive Branch.
Information requests must be answered within 15 working days, with the possibility of an exceptional extension for another 15 days. The s state agencies have one year to adapt to the conditions imposed by the law.
Agustina De Luca, director of Transparency organization Legislative Board, welcomed passage and recalled that Argentina was “one of the four Latin American countries, along with Bolivia, Costa Rica and Venezuela, which still” did not have a law access.
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