List Summary

Record Count: 30

How does the government calculate economic indices?

On July 18, 2007, the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) asked the National Statistics and Censuses Institute (INDEC) for information regarding their methodology and variables when calculating the consumer price index. ADC asked again through legal means in August 17, 2007 after INDEC did not initially respond. INDEC then responded with limited information, notably leaving out variables and not specifying their methods. In October 2008, a court ruled in favor of ADC and asked INDEC to provide the solicited information. The data was made publicly available on INDEC’s website August 2009. This ruling represents a significant recognition of the constitutional right of every person to have access to public information held by the state.

NGOs ask the house and senate for information on government employees, budgeting information and subsidies

In 2011, the Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ), the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC), the Fundación Directorio Legislativo, and Poder Ciudadano requested information on employee contracts (part-time or full time), community expenses, and the grants and subsidies given to the Congressmen of the House and the Senate. In August 2014, they, along with several NGOs, once again requested this information, indicating that the information was not made available on their websites. In February 2015, after receiving no response, the NGOs filed two lawsuits suing the House and the Senate. The Administrative Court ruled in favor of ADC, ACIJ, Directorio Legislativo and Poder Ciudadano. The Senate has 15 days to respond now. The rest of the information requested was made public on the Senate website, signaligning a huge victory for civil society groups trying to bolster public engagement.

Judges mandate personal data be produced on the appointment of department director

In 2013, Manuel Garrido, an Argentine deputy, requested information from the National Directorate for the Protection of Personal Data about the appointment of the department's director, but was initially denied because it was argued that deputies waived their rights to such requests once in office. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Garrido, sponsored by the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC). This solidified the fact that being in certain positions of employment does not limit your ability to make information requests.

Courts order release of information on teacher absenteeism

As a result of the efforts of the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) beginning in 2007, the Supreme Court ordered the Director General of Culture and Education of the Province of Buenos Aires to release information on the amount of days no classes are taught due to the absence of teachers, specifically in 36 schools. The Director General has 15 days to respond. The request serves as yet another example of how freedom of information laws give citizens tools to evaluate how tax dollars are being spent, especially when it comes to their welfare and that of their children.

The right to access to information in Argentina: a roadmap

Although not a FOI request, this site lists Argentina's national, provincial, and local FOI laws. The following serves as a useful resource for those interested in how laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and can aid in the creation of top-level, wider-reaching laws on the subject.

The government continues to turn its back on providing official data on poverty

This article describe's the Argentine government's refusal to provide official data on poverty rates. The last official index on poverty was published in 2013, but was discontinued due to problems with how its methodology determined levels of poverty. Although Argentina's National Statistics and Censuses Institute (INDEC) stated that there are about 6000 ways to calculate poverty, nothing was ever published regarding how this could be done. When Axel Kicillof, Argentina's Minister of Economy, was asked to explain why the data was not published, he didn't address the issue, but rather answered evasively. As such, the silence raises questions on how citizens can remain engaged in awareness and action around improving the standard of living for everyone when information on its metric is kept hidden from the public.

Social planning should not be kept secret

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.

Shards of light: Freedom of information in Argentina

On March 26, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that the government must release information related to the programs administered by the ministry of social development, including lists of beneficiaries. Requests for this information have been previously rejected on the grounds that such information affects vulnerable groups. The Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC), an Argentine think tank, had its 2007 request for this information denied. When CIPPEC requested finanicial information in the same vein from 14 state-run companies, only three sent more than half of the requested data. In a similar move, the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) sent 49 requests to various government departments, oh which only 47% were answered satisfactorily. The Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ) sought to investigate the Executive Decree's power and submitted 44 requests of info between January 2012 and 2013: 14 were not answered, 14 were answered after 10 days, and 16 were answered on time. Regarding the quality of answers, only 12 answered completely and adequately as stated in the Decree. Reports of insufficient responses to information requests are rampant, and perhaps make the case for stronger consequences in the case of shoddy replies.

Sensitive information and TV contracts: what's being publicly funded

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.

Investigations into the railroad tragedy of 2012

In August 2012, the Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ) made a request to access information from the National Commission for Transport Regulation (CNRT), the Railway Infrastructure Administration (ADIF), and the Secretary of Transportation in order to learn more about the functions and responsibilities of these organizations following the Sarmiento railroad accident on February 22, 2012. ADIF responded to ACIJ's request by saying that it does not have jurisdiction over the railway line in question. CNRT responded to ACIJ’s request on transportation responsibilities with a report detailing numerous economic sanctions and fees from CNRT to TBA, a dealership/concessionaire related to the Sarmiento and Mitre lines. In response to ACIJ’s question, “Did CNRT have any report on the risks that TBA and the way it ran its service?”, CNRT stated that the agency limited itself to inspections, reports, and penalties, but did not send any report proving this to be the case. Thus, ACIJ sent a new request for information to verify the response that was provided. The requests are demostrative of the ways in which revelations from freedom of information laws can help better inform public safety outcomes.