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Back to 2013_10_03_ECO_Abrir las puertas de las instituciones

Rafa Rubio Núñez, Professor of Master's Degree in Political and Corporate Communication and Governance Program

Opening the doors of the institutions

With regard to the project Transparency Law currently being processed at congress , the author considers that it is a great opportunity to regenerate the public administration

Thu, 03 Oct 2013 09:11:00 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

EHE committee of Ministers approved a few days ago a report with 40 measures against corruption. This report comes with unusual promptness, although with debatable technique rules and regulations, to propose additional measures to the Law on Transparency, access to public information and good governance that, after passing the vote in the congress of the Deputies, will foreseeably see the light before the end of the year. It is true that the three months that the Government gave itself for its approval in December 2011 have turned into two years, but it is also true that this long wait is the consequence of a process of broad dialogue, which has allowed the introduction of substantial improvements.

The first thing that is striking is the degree scroll of the future provision, which joins the legislative fashion of grandiloquent headings with little normative content, using the name of "good governance" in vain.The first thing that catches the eye is , which joins the legislative fashion of grandiloquent headings with little normative content, using the name "good governance" in vain. The initial project , which sought to respond to two different but related issues, deals with the regulation of transparency but skips over good governance, focusing exclusively on conflicts of interest and the economic management -management assistant, and leaves aside aspects such as consensus, equity, sensitivity, participation, effectiveness and efficiency, which are essential aspects in the standards of good governance throughout the world, both in public and private entities.

The law has also been greatly influenced by events during its processing, which have favored the adoption of decisions, especially with regard to the subjects it affects, initially discarded. We could say that, on this point, we citizens should be very grateful to people like Luis Bárcenas or Iñaki Urdangarín.

But beyond the non-existent good governance, as far as transparency is concerned, its content oscillates between the right of access of citizens to public information, where the law is not very innovative, limiting itself to collect mandates already established in previous regulations, and what the law calls ¿advertising activa", a field in which the future law is more innovative but in which it is perhaps generic and abstract, without a clear normative content. Among the most criticized aspects of the essay approved by the congress of the Deputies are:

  1. The refusal to proclaim the right of access to public information as a fundamental right, something for which the ordinary legislator has no competence. as a fundamental right, something for which the ordinary legislator has no competence.

  2. The excessive limitations, and their generic nature, which leave a wide margin of discretion to the public administration, entrusting to the committee of Transparency and Good Governance practically everything in relation to the criteria for the application of the law.

  3. The negative sense of administrative silence in the case of requests for public information, which is common in our legal system when it comes to the acquisition of rights, as is the case, for example, with the right to petition.

  4. The fact that the Autonomous Communities can attribute the skill for the resolution of the claim to autonomous bodies. This decision is the result of the need for parliamentary support for the text, but is likely to weaken the essential coherence of criteria necessary for the application of this law and is likely to favor unequal treatment depending on the territory.

  5. Finally, an opportunity to establish a regulation for lobbies in our country has been lost. Regulation requested by all parliamentary groups and the professional associations of the lobbying sector themselves.

In this goal, the core topic of the arch is found in the committee of Transparency (whose composition and performance is pending of development regulatory ) and which is now more than ever essential. In this regulatory development the central issue to be taken into consideration by the Government will be to understand that this time, for the success of the committee, its configuration as a body dedicated to control is not enough, but to facilitate the transparency of the institutions. To set up a real strategic plan for transparency in Spain on final , convinced that it is not possible to transform the social reality of a topic so deeply rooted in our country "by means of a BOE".

We are facing a great opportunity to provoke a real change of mentality in the public administration, an opportunity to start working with real, measurable and understandable indicators, to start opening a door to the real participation of society, and even a good opportunity for the birth of a new sector of the Economics, around the processing of these public data . tool It is in the hands of the Government to ensure that this becomes an important part of democratic regeneration and does not remain a mere short-term electoral marketing tool . It is a cultural change that is as necessary as it is demanded by citizens.