Brazil’s Right to Information Bill Still Far from International Standard

Época magazine An amended version of the Brazilian draft Bill on Access to Information has been presented for public consultation by the Special Commission tasked by the Lower House of Congress with revising it. The original Bill was published by the government on May 3, 2009.

The amended Bill contains some improvements but a number of key issues have raised by the critics of the measure, including freedom of the press international organization Article 19, have not been addressed. The way it is the legislation is still far from  international standards.

The amended Bill includes a number of positive changes, addressing three recommendations – adding a clear definition of the public bodies covered by the law; requiring a list of classified documents to be published; and identifying a central body with responsibility for undertaking promotional activities – along with a variety of other new positive measures.

Commenting on the revision, Article 18 issue a note stating: "While we welcome these positive changes, more needs to be done to ensure that the Bill gives full effect to the right to information. The appeals procedure has been strengthened but it still fails to establish an independent body to consider appeals against refusals to provide access to information. The experience of other countries demonstrates that such a body is essential to the success of a right to information law.

Other issues that still need to be addressed include:
– to provide for more extensive routine disclosure obligations;
– to provide for a central set of fees for standard charges, and for fee waivers for requests in the public interest;
– to clarify that requests for information will be assessed against the regime of exceptions set out in the law, and not whether a document is classified; and
– to introduce a public interest override.

The Bill now goes to Congress for finalization and adoption.

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

Beija Flor Wins Brazil’s Carnaval with US$ 4 Million Extravaganza

Brazil's Carnaval has a winner. For the second time in a row and the ...

Brazil Increases Export Target 26% to US$ 202 Billion

Brazil has revised its export target for this year to US$ 202 billion, according ...

A New Book Celebrates Brazil’s Bandolinista Luperce

Luperce Bezerra Pessoa de Miranda was born in Recife, on July 28, one hundred ...

Gang Attacks Go On in Brazil for Second Night

The third wave of attacks against civilian and military targets attributed to the First ...

Brazilian Airline Gol Owes Its Huge Success to the Internet

Gol, Brazil’s low cost, low fare airline finished its second consecutive year as one ...

How Brazil Is Winning the Middle East Through the Stomach

The complementarities between the economies of Brazil and of the Arab countries are becoming ...

Calendar

As Josimo approaches Augustinópolis he remembers his friends’ repeated warnings. “For God’s sake drive ...

Brazil Workers Party’s Chief Calls Charges Against His Party Baseless

The president of the PT, Deputy Ricardo Berzoini, from São Paulo state, described as ...

Bolivia Is Making More Than They Ever Dreamed Selling Gas to Brazil, Says Petrobras

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva inaugurated Saturday, June 10, the lay out ...

Brazilian businessman Vítor Sandri's house in Ibiúna, São Paulo

After Robbery Ordeal, Wife of Brazil’s Finance Minister Refuses to Go to Police

Brazil's Finance Minister, Guido Mantega, who was held hostage for over four hours, last ...