ARTICLE 19 South America launches report on Access to Information Law in Brazilian federal agencies
Today, ARTICLE 19 South America launches its annual report ‘Monitoring Access to Public Information Act in 2014’. The study looks at 51 federal agencies of the Executive, Legislative and Justice, and monitors the implementation of the Access to Information Law in Brazil.
The agencies of the Executive were the best assessed, the report found. On the other hand, for the second year in a row, Justice is the power that presented the worst numbers.
The methodology used assesses the degree of transparency of public bodies from two perspectives. The first is Active Transparency, how information of public interest is disclosed spontaneously and in easily accessible places. The second is Passive Transparency, which is the procedure to provide information when required by formal request.
Six criteria were used to evaluate Active Transparency. Of the 38 agencies analysed, 28 (73.7%) met all minimum obligations under the law, and federal agencies of the Executive had the best results.
As for the public agencies of the Legislative, – the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies- both of them breached one criteria.
None of the 11 Justice agencies fully complied with the criteria for Active Transparency and seven of them (63.6%) did not meet two or more criteria.
Five models of inquiries were used to assess Passive Transparency. The analysis took into account four criteria: the type of response, the quality of response, the response time and the possibility of the progress of request to be accompanied by the applicant.
There were five requests sent to the 38 federal agencies of the Executive, totalling 190 applications. Considering the type of response provided by the agencies, 73.2% allowed full access to the requested information and 73.9% of the responses were considered satisfactory. Both rates were the highest observed.
Within the Legislative, out of the ten questions submitted to the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, six of them provided full access to information, the same number of satisfactory responses.
The 11 agencies evaluated of the Justice received 55 requests for information in total. Only 50.9% of the responses were considered as providing full access, and 56% were regarded as satisfactory – this is the lowest percentage among the three powers.
Improvement over 2013
Although there are still many gaps in adaptation to LAI, all analysed federal agencies had better numbers in relation to the monitoring applied in 2013. The greatest advances were noted in the Active Transparency.
On the positive figures recorded in this report, Joara Marchezini, Access to Information Officer of ARTICLE 19 South America, warns that adaptation to the Access to Information Law by federal agencies still falls short of what it should:
“The inquiries we made were simple and relatively easy to answer. The high amount of appeals, employed when the first reply was not satisfactory, indicates how difficult it is to have access to correct and updated information even after three years of the Access to Information Law”, she says.
Read the report here [in Portuguese].