26 September 2014

New Book: “Information transparency of public administrations. The right of the people to know and the duty to disseminate public information actively”


Miguel Angel Blanes Climent
A new publication on transparency cites ANSA-EAP website as source. It is authored by Miguel Angel Blanes Climent. He holds a PhD in Law, a lawyer of the Council of Alicante and a legal adviser to the Ombudsman of Valencia, Spain. The new book may be accessed in this link:


Below he tells us why he wrote the book.

The reasons why I decided to write this book are:
  1. One of the causes of the economic crisis that we have been suffering since 2008 is in the lack of transparency in the public sector and in the financial market. Confidence in the institutions of a country depends largely on the degree of transparency of its actions.
  2. The lack of transparency in the management of public affairs is a fertile breeding ground for the proliferation of corruption and waste of public money. 
  3. The democratic system can not be reduced to vote from time to time and nothing else. No transparency is not possible to demand accountability. 
  4. The need to end the impotence of the citizen who stands impassively absolute immunity of public authorities not deign to answer or deny reasoned requests for information. Administrative silence is an improper practice of the rule of law. 
  5. Technological revolution that internet can achieve levels of information transparency unthinkable a few years ago. Currently, all publicly funded institutions can publish online, quickly and easily, all the information about your activities through the websites or web pages.
Information that resists being published-or at the request of citizens, either automatically by the active form of public administration, which is all that allows citizens to control the management of public affairs, demanding accountability and report instances of waste or corruption. 

The right to know the citizens should not be limited to the activities of public authorities, but should extend to all actions undertaken by public or private entities publicly funded. In a truly democratic system, all entities or institutions supported by public money, without exception, should be held accountable and to inform citizens about their actions. Not only every four years during the elections.

The issue of transparency of public authorities is not easy. We must provide information as possible without compromising the personal data of citizens and the general interests defended by the public administration. This weighting or balancing of interests is analyzed in detail by the author in each subject matter.

It has been very useful for writing research information obtained from the website of ANSA-EAP, specifically regarding projects "Open contracting" and "Enhancing Transparency Impact".

The main conclusions of the research outlined in the book are:

FIRST: No true democracy without transparency.

Democratic systems are characterized not only by allowing citizens to elect their political representatives from time to time. The role of citizens in the management of public affairs can not be limited to that one moment. Democracy is a constant process of participation. And no one can participate in what is not known.

The information is essential to know how they are managing public affairs and make accountability to ensure the proper administration of public funds and to avoid possible corruption. The level of transparency becomes the instrument that allows us to measure the quality of a democratic country.
Real political will to establish a culture of transparency is required. Not just the mere existence of the rules, if they are not met then a real and effective way.

Without the pressure of public opinion and citizens will be very difficult to make progress on access to public information. Political representatives, officials and public employees must be convinced of the benefits of information transparency to improve democracy.

SECOND: Public information is a public good in any of their classes.

The information held by public or private entities publicly funded belongs to all citizens, to society in general, is a common good; is not owned by institutions, political representatives, public officials or employees. Access to this information is a right of citizens, not a discretion of those entities.

Access to information is compromised, such as the final cost of administrative contracts, employment or detailed public funds, subsidies granted, spending the salaries, allowances and travel of the political representatives and administrative authorities the funding of political parties, trade unions and employers' organizations, or waiting lists-health care, housing, job, etc, has very few doses of transparency.

In my opinion, transparency is like sincerity; demanded of others but less of one’s self.

No comments:

Post a Comment