Open Government is "Fictional"

Many of the officials working in Central American governments are annoyed at the idea of the information they handle being accessible to citizens, and one way or another, they are impeding its availability.

Friday, March 6, 2015


"- Send a letter to Mrs Fulana, the person in charge of authorizing the release of information you have requested, stating the reasons for your request".

"- The IT person who prepares this type of information is busy and I don't know when they are coming back".

These are some of the many excuses put forward by Central American officials when asked to respect the rights of citizens to see public data which has not been expressly classified as secret by law.

A culture of secrecy surrounding the data held by the state administrators prevails throughout the region. Even in countries that have a law about this issue, such as Costa Rica, dissemination of information by state and municipal management is far from complete, and often is hampered by technical problems when it comes to their publication. This is the issue that is addressed in an article on written by Maria Fernanda Cruz, who notes: "The common denominator among most institutions in the country is that the data, which should be open, available and manipulable, becomes diluted in paper imitations of digital records which, among other problems, are not even indexable for the purpose of carrying out the type of common searches which citizens do on the Internet. "

More on this topic

Sanctions for Withholding Public Information

April 2016

State officials do not own the information they manage, and when that information has not been legally declared as reserved, they must ensure its availability to the public.


And 'availability´means that public institutions must have all the doors to obtain it wide open, both administratively and technically.

Eternal Struggle for Disclosure of Public Information

October 2015

The delay in publication of the database obtained from the Survey on Living Standards in Nicaragua in 2014 is another example of the difficulty in accessing and viewing in timely manner information which is in the hands of state officials.

Being informed is essential for decision-making in any aspect of life, especially in the field of business.

"Paperless Panama” Project Implemented

January 2012

In the next few weeks, more than one hundred public procedures, will be available online.

Some of the procedures that will be available are: the acquisition of Paz and Salvo at the Social Security Fund, request for criminal records, quering IDAAN balances, the Digital Passport System, the program ‘100 a los 70’, and consultation and payment of traffic tickets.

Guatemala: 8 Thousand NGOs to Provide Financial Information

April 2009

About 8 Thousand NGOs that manage state funds must provide data on their financial statements.

Next Tuesday, the Law on Free Access to Public Information will come into force and it will force these non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to give information to the citizenry if it is requested.

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