Oscar R. Ventana |
Valladolid (EFE).- The Common Prosecutor, in his role as Transparency Commissioner, Tomás Quintana, demanded this Thursday that lawmakers include a sanctioning measure in the Transparency Law that includes coercive fines against public administrations that do not comply with its rights. Access to information by citizens.
This situation, together with the absence of a controversial-administrative procedure in this matter, leaves the Commissioner’s resolutions “in a kind of limbo” which, in the words of Quintana, is pronounced before the Committee on Relations with the General Prosecutor of the Court. , will be saved only by “imposing coercive fines”, something that is already included in the legal system of several autonomies.
In this claim, Quintana added “there is a need for more means to carry out the implied function of the condition of guarantors of transparency in the community”, since that compliance has implications for improving the provision of public services.
The commissioner admitted that the economic crisis and the rise in prices marked by the war in Europe could condition this greater contribution to the institution he directed, but clarified that this situation “does not justify postponing the response to other needs, such as the provision of the necessary means.”
However, he added that, whether or not there are more ways to comply with the Transparency Act, the current team will continue to work “objectively and independently of the head of the Transparency Agency”: “The more intense our work, the greater our degree of satisfaction, we are sure.” “The transparent action of public entities is a valuable resource in a democratic society”, he argued.
Regarding the poor implementation of his resolutions, claims have been steadily increasing since the entity began working – they have increased fivefold in six years of activity-, Quintana explained that a third of the commissioner’s resolutions related to 2021 were “pending to be fulfilled until July 15, 2022 .
“The right of access and the effectiveness of guarantee agencies are disappointing,” Quintana summarized, noting that the topics on which they received the most demand in 2021 were related to economic information, urban planning, public employment and the environment. order
In 2021, the Commissioner received 495 complaints, the highest number since the establishment of this entity, when to evaluate the activities of public entities – more than 5,000 affected by this regulation – it adopted the “self-evaluation questionnaire” “formally for the performance of this function process and the lack of specific personal and material means” faced.
Quintana detailed that last year they sent out 111 questionnaires and that only 57 percent of the companies that received them completed them, which the commissioner said represented a “slight decrease” compared to the previous year.
Entities that did not cooperate in this way include 5 municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants, including Palencia, where out of 60 municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants, only 26 completed it, less than half, while the regional population in the area received a majority of cooperation.
Support of parliamentary groups without Vox
All parliamentary groups have expressed their support for the commissioner’s move for transparency and his demand for more material and personal resources in addition to establishing fines for complying with resolutions, although Vox representative Miguel Suarez Arca advised him that instead of increasing public spending with more staff, He should refer complaints to the State Transparency Council and instead of requesting fines for those who don’t comply, establish a warning protocol about potential complaints before the prosecutor’s office.
Confronted with this claim by a representative of Vox, Quintana reiterated his claim to have more private ways because people’s ways are “the same” but claims have already reached 570 so far in 2022, 75 more than those mentioned in the report. Presented today, but quoting Gustavo Adolfo Baker, he asserts that “you are poetry”, in reference to the fact that legislators have the power to change laws and provide public institutions with more or less means.
However, in the case of the protocol that will replace the demand for coercive fines to improve compliance with the law, Quintana explained to the Vox attorney that it does not fit the legal system that the institution can take on such issues. The Prosecutor’s Office, since this can happen before it needs to make a change to the Penal Code that foresees the non-compliance that motivates the claim as a crime.
Web version: Óscar R. Ventana