There has been a lot of commotion surrounding the President’s law degree and whether she actually has one or not. Chequeado made a request to receive a copy under Decree 1172/03. On December 5, 2014, Chequeado received a response from the Secretary General of the Presidency dated November 25th stating that a copy cannot be given as it contains “personal information” (Law 25.326). This same statue was cited by the Ministry of Social Development to the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC) over information on beneficiaries of social plans. However, that request involved information from private citizens, whereas the position of President is not covered by the same protections.
This article describes sitatuations in which the government denied requests for information that the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC) sent out, namely one that asked for a list of names and ID numbers of social plan recipients due to a violation of privacy. The article criticizes Argentina’s transparency and access to information laws, as current legal means in acquiring information are often rebuffed, resulting in incomplete responses with no justification or agencies citing privacy and “personal information” as excuses. These anecdotes are indicative of laws filled with loopholes and create momentum around bolstering the power of public information legislation.
The Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) demanded access to contracts with the production company “Pensado para Televisión” (Thinking for TV). In December 2012, journalist Mariel Fitz Patrick asked the Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers for a copy of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 contracts between this production company and Radio y Televisión Argentina SE, the public entreprise that manages the national/state media, and was turned away. The Chief responded that she would have to demonstrate a legitimate interest to have access. Furthermore, access was denied to the contracts as they included "sensitive information." The situation is indicative of loopholes in the procedure for responding to requests, both around the supposed privacy of certain information even when it involves public funding, and interest in the outcome of the request, which in many cases extends beyond the individual.
This is a report regarding the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth's (CIPPEC) public info requests to 14 state-run companies or public entreprises (with 10% or more state ownership) between June & July 2013. Together, these 14 public entreprises represent 85% of the national budget allocated to government funded companies. Nine enterprises answered the access requests and five did not. Four sent 10% or less of the requested information; two sent 25%; three sent ~65%. Companies did answer satisfactory due to "(i) the protection of commercial secrecy; (ii) [being] outside the orbit of the national public sector, so they are not affected by Decree 1172/2003; (iii) the requested information exceeded the concept of information set in the Decree; (iv) the information is confidential, [...] (v) trade balances of the last three years were not approved, so it was impossible to send information about the financial statements." These requests challenge the issue of privacy as a loophole in public information law and highlight the need for stricter legislation.