Country

Paraguay

Paraguay

Name of law : Ley 5.282 De Libre Acceso Ciudadano a la Informacion Public y Transparencia Gubernamental
First adopted : 2014

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 2
Scope 30 24
Requesting procedures 30 18
Exceptions 30 2
Appeals 30 7
Sanctions 8 2
Promotional measures 16 6
TOTAL 150 61

Right of Access

Indicator

Description

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1 The legal framework (including jurisprudence) recognises a fundamental right of access to information.Score 0 for no constitutional right to information, 1 point for a limited constitutional right, 2 points for full constitutional recognition of a public right of access to information.2 YES Constitution Article 28 About the Right to Obtain Information (1) The people's right to receive true, responsible, and equitable information is hereby recognized. (2) Everyone has free access to public sources of information. The laws will regulate the corresponding procedures, deadlines and sanctions, in order to turn this right effective. (3) Anyone affected by the dissemination of false, distorted, or ambiguous information has the right to demand that the offending media organization rectify or clarify the report under the same conditions in which it was originally conveyed, without any other compensatory rights being affected. Note - all translations are unofficial.
2 The legal framework creates a specific presumption in favour of access to all information held by public authorities, subject only to limited exceptions.No=0, Partially=1, Yes=22 NO
3 3.1 The legal framework contains a specific statement of principles calling for a broad interpretation of the RTI law
3.2 The legal framework emphasises the benefits of the right to information?
3.1(Y/N - max 1 point)
3.2 (Y/N - max 1 point)
2 NO




Scope

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4 Everyone (including non-citizens and legal entities) has the right to file requests for information.Score 0 point if only residents/citizens; 1 point for all natural persons; 1 point for legal persons. 2 Partially Article 4. Scope and gratuity. Any person, without discrimination of any kind, you can access public information, free of charge and without any need to justify the reasons for formulating your order according to the procedure established by this Law. No mention of legal persons, though this may be inherent in the law.
5 The right of access applies to all material held by or on behalf of public authorities which is recorded in any format, regardless of who produced it.Score 1-3 points if limited definition of information information such as not "internal documents" or databases excluded, 4 points for all information with no exceptions.4 Partially 2) Public information: That produced, obtained under control or possession of public sources, regardless of format, medium, date of creation, origin, classification or processing, unless it is established as a secret or confidential nature by laws. The formulation is broad, but the language is a little off. A right to information law should apply to all information, but with exceptions for access to certain information within that. By contrast, this language appears to excise certain information from the law's applicability entirely.
6 Requesters have a right to access both information and records/documents (i.e. a right both to ask for information and to apply for specific documents).Score 1 point for only documents, 1 point for information2 NO Article 18 Prohibitions. Data output of original records or files public sources on which they are stored shall be permitted, nor may request evaluations or analyzes that are not within the scope of its functions are carried out.
7 The right of access applies to the executive branch with no bodies or classes of information excluded.This includes executive (cabinet) and adminsitration including all ministries, departments, local government, public schools, public health care bodies, the police, the armed forces, security services, and bodies owned or controlled by the above.Score 4 points for central government agencies covered: 1 for the head of state, 1 for ministries, 1 for other non-statutory agencies created by the ministries, 1 for state and local government if the government is unitary. If it´s a federalist system, 2 points for the non-statutory agencies. This can be determined by examining the length and thoroughness of the list, if such a schedule exists. Score 1 point for the archives. Add three points and deduct 1 for each exempted central agency (such as the armed forces, police, etc).8 YES Article 2. definitions. For the purposes of this Act, shall be construed as: 1 Public sources: Are the following organisms: ... b) The Executive, its ministries, departments and all other administrative bodies as well as the Attorney General's Office and the National Police; d) The Armed Forces of the Nation; e) The Ombudsman, the Comptroller General of the Republic and the Central Bank of Paraguay; g) The national universities; h) The departmental and municipal governments; e,
8 The right of access applies to the legislature, including both administrative and other information, with no bodies excluded. Score 1 point if the law only applies to administrative documents, 2-3 points if some bodies excluded, 4 points if all legislative branch at all levels of government4 YES Article 2. definitions. For the purposes of this Act, shall be construed as: 1 Public sources: Are the following organisms: a) The Legislature, its chambers, committees and all administrative bodies and Parliamentarians of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR);
9 The right of access applies to the judicial branch, including both administrative and other information, with no bodies excluded. Score 1 point if the law only applies to administrative documents, 2-3 points if some bodies excluded, 4 points if all judicial branch at all levels of government4 YES Article 2. definitions. For the purposes of this Act, shall be construed as: 1 Public sources: Are the following organisms: … (c) The judiciary, the Judicial Council, the Prosecution Panel of Judges, prosecutors and the Electoral Courts;
10 The right of access applies to State-owned enterprises (commercial entities that are owned or controlled by the State). Score 1 point if some, 2 points if all2 YES 2(f) The state financial institutions, public companies, commercial companies with state participation, the mixed companies, regulatory or supervisory authorities and all other decentralized entities with legal personality under public law;
11 The right of access applies to other public authorities, including constitutional, statutory and oversight bodies (such as an election commission or information commission/er). Score 1 point if some bodies, 2 points if all2 YES 2(i) i) Mixed binational commissions and participating entities in the Republic of Paraguay. The officers, directors and Paraguayan directors of these public agencies shall ensure the effective exercise of the right of people to seek and receive information of the public.
12 The right of access applies to a) private bodies that perform a public function and b) private bodies that receive significant public funding. 1 point for public functions, 1 point for public funding 2 NO It is unclear whether 2(i) applies here.

Requesting Procedures

Indicator

Description

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13 Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.Y/N answer 0 or 2 points2 YES Article 4. Scope and gratuity. Any person, without discrimination of any kind, you can access public information, free of charge and without any need to justify the reasons for formulating your order according to the procedure established by this Law.
14 Requesters are only required to provide the details necessary for identifying and delivering the information (i.e. some form of address for delivery).Score Max 2 points and deduct if requesters are required to give any of the following: ID number, telephone number, residential address, etc.2 Partially Article 12 Form and content. Anyone interested in access to public information, must submit an application to the corresponding office established in the public source, in person, by email, in writing or orally, and in the latter case, a certificate will be issued. The submission shall contain the identification of the applicant, his royal residence, clear and precise description of public information required, and finally, the preferred format or support, without this constituting an obligation for required. Minus one point for requiring a residential address. It is unlcear to me whether "la identificación" means the requester needs to provide an ID number, or merely to identify themselves (provide a name) - but I gave them the benefit of the doubt for one point.
15 There are clear and relatively simple procedures for making requests. Requests may be submitted by any means of communication, with no requirement to use official forms or to state that the information is being requested under the access to information law.Max 2 points. Considerations include that there is no requirement to state that the request is under the RTI law, nor to use an official form, nor to identify the document being sought. 2 YES Article 12 Form and content. Anyone interested in access to public information, must submit an application to the corresponding office established in the public source, in person, by email, in writing or orally, and in the latter case, a certificate will be issued. The submission shall contain the identification of the applicant, his royal residence, clear and precise description of public information required, and finally, the preferred format or support, without this constituting an obligation for required.
16 Public officials are required provide assistance to help requesters formulate their requests, or to contact and assist requesters where requests that have been made are vague, unduly broad or otherwise need clarification. Score 1 point for help in formulation and 1 point for clarification procedures2 YES Article 6. competent organ. Public sources should enable an Office of Access to Public Information, in which applications will be accepted, as well as guide and assist the applicant in simple and understandable way. Article 13 defects. If the application does not contain all information required in the preceding article, he shall inform the applicant or defects, to correct them and complete your submission, for the purposes of processing.
17     Public officials are required to provide assistance to requesters who require it because of special needs, for example because they are illiterate or disabled.Score Yes=2 point, No=02 Partially Article 6. competent organ. Public sources should enable an Office of Access to Public Information, in which applications will be accepted, as well as guide and assist the applicant in simple and understandable way. This is sort of included in Article 6, though the phrasing is a little to soft for full points.
18 Requesters are provided with a receipt or acknowledgement upon lodging a request within a reasonable timeframe, which should not exceed 5 working daysScore 1 point for receipt, 1 point for max 5 working days2 Partially Article 12 Form and content. Anyone interested in access to public information, must submit an application to the corresponding office established in the public source, in person, by email, in writing or orally, and in the latter case, a certificate will be issued. The submission shall contain the identification of the applicant, his royal residence, clear and precise description of public information required, and finally, the preferred format or support, without this constituting an obligation for required.
19 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for situations where the authority to which a request is directed does not have the requested information. This includes an obligation to inform the requester that the information is not held and to refer the requester to another institution or to transfer the request where the public authority knows where the information is held.Score: 1 point for information not held, 1 for referrals or 2 for transfers2 NO Not mentioned.
20 Public authorities are required to comply with requesters’ preferences regarding how they access information, subject only to clear and limited overrides (e.g. to protect a record).Score: 2 points for Yes, only 1 point if some limitations2 NO Article 12 Form and content. Anyone interested in access to public information, must submit an application to the corresponding office established in the public source, in person, by email, in writing or orally, and in the latter case, a certificate will be issued. The submission shall contain the identification of the applicant, his royal residence, clear and precise description of public information required, and finally, the preferred format or support, without this constituting an obligation for required.
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 NO
22 There are clear and reasonable maximum timelines (20 working days or less) for responding to requests, regardless of the manner of satisfying the request (including through publication).Score: 1 point for timeframes of 20 working days (or 1 month, 30 days or 4 weeks). Score 2 points for 10 working days (or 15 days, or two weeks) or less.2 Partially Article 16 Term and delivery. All requests must be answered within fifteen working days from the day following the presentation. Public information required shall be delivered personally, or through the form or medium chosen by the applicant.
23 There are clear limits on timeline extensions (20 working days or less), including a requirement that requesters be notified and provided with the reasons for the extension.---2 YES No mechanism for extensions.
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 YES Article 4. Scope and gratuity. Any person, without discrimination of any kind, you can access public information, free of charge and without any need to justify the reasons for formulating your order according to the procedure established by this Law.
25 There are clear rules relating to access fees, which are set centrally, rather than being determined by individual public authorities. These include a requirement that fees be limited to the cost of reproducing and sending the information (so that inspection of documents and electronic copies are free) and a certain initial number of pages (at least 20) are provided for free. Score 1 point for fees being limited to reproduction and delivery costs and set centrally, 1 point for at least 20 pages free of charge or for fees being optional2 YES Article 4. Scope and gratuity. Any person, without discrimination of any kind, you can access public information, free of charge and without any need to justify the reasons for formulating your order according to the procedure established by this Law. There is no mention of fees within the law except for the article at the beginning saying that access should be free - implying that no fees can be charged whatsoever.
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 YES Lack of any fees makes this moot.
27 There are no limitations on or charges for reuse of information received from public bodies, except where a third party (which is not a public authority) holds a legally-protected copyright over the information. Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.


Exceptions

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28 The standards in the RTI Law trump restrictions on information disclosure (secrecy provisions) in other legislation to the extent of any conflict.Score 4 points for a resounding "yes" and 1/2/3 points if only for some classes of information or for some exceptions. If the state secrets law is not trumped by the RTI law max score is 2 points. 4 NO 2. Public information: That produced, obtained under control or possession of public sources, regardless of format, medium, date of creation, origin, classification or processing, unless it is established as a secret or confidential nature by laws. The entire exceptions regime is excluded from the law - meaning it will presumably be found in a patchwork of other legislation.
29 The exceptions to the right of access are consistent with international standards. Permissible exceptions are: national security; international relations; public health and safety; the prevention, investigation and prosecution of legal wrongs; privacy; legitimate commercial and other economic interests; management of the economy; fair administration of justice and legal advice privilege; conservation of the environment; and legitimate policy making and other operations of public authorities. It is also permissible to refer requesters to information which is already publicly available, for example online or in published form.Score 10 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which either (a) falls outside of this list and/or (b) is more broadly framed10 NO 2. Public information: That produced, obtained under control or possession of public sources, regardless of format, medium, date of creation, origin, classification or processing, unless it is established as a secret or confidential nature by laws. Because the law has no exceptions regime whatsover, it cannot score points on these indicators.
30 A harm test applies to all exceptions, so that it is only where disclosure poses a risk of actual harm to a protected interest that it may be refused. Score 4 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which is not subject to the harm test 4 NO 2. Public information: That produced, obtained under control or possession of public sources, regardless of format, medium, date of creation, origin, classification or processing, unless it is established as a secret or confidential nature by laws. Because the law has no exceptions regime whatsover, it cannot score points on these indicators.
31 There is a mandatory public interest override so that information must be disclosed where this is in the overall public interest, even if this may harm a protected interest. There are ‘hard’ overrides (which apply absolutely), for example for information about human rights, corruption or crimes against humanity.Consider whether the override is subject to overarching limitations, whether it applies to only some exceptions, and whether it is mandatory.4 NO Not mentioned.
32 Information must be released as soon as an exception ceases to apply (for example, for after a contract tender process decision has been taken). The law contains a clause stating that exceptions to protect public interests do not apply to information which is over 20 years old.Score 1 point for each2 NO Not mentioned.
33 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for consulting with third parties who provided information which is the subject of a request on a confidential basis. Public authorities shall take into account any objections by third parties when considering requests for information, but third parties do not have veto power over the release of information.Score: 1 point for consultation, 1 further point if original time frames must be respected and the law allows for expedited appeals.2 NO Not mentioned.
34 There is a severability clause so that where only part of a record is covered by an exception the remainder must be disclosed. Score 1 point if yes but sometimes can be refused (eg: if deletions render meaningless the document) and 2 points if partial access must always be granted2 NO Not mentioned.
35 When refusing to provide access to information, public authorities must a) state the exact legal grounds and reason(s) for the refusal and b) inform the applicant of the relevant appeals procedures.Score Y/N: 1 point for a and 1 point for b2 YES Article 14 Incompetence. If the required public source does not have the requested public information, not competent to deliver it or not have it, you must send the presentation to that qualified for such effect. Article 19 Denial. One may deny the public information required by reasoned decision, which shall be issued by the highest authority of the requested public source, who expressed the pleas of fact and law on which the decision is based. In this case, the public fountain shall inform the applicant, regarding the procedural avenues that are granted to the claim of the decision as well as the relevant statutory bodies to hear the matter. This seems to be a requirement for notification. The level of specificity required in the reasoning for rejection is not completely clear… but close enough to give them the benefit of the doubt here.


Appeals

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36 The law offers an internal appeal which is simple, free of charge and completed within clear timelines (20 working days or less).Score 2 points if the internal appeal fulfills these criteria, 1 point if an appeal is offered that does not fulfill this criteria, 0 for no internal appeals.2 Partially Article 22 Definition. Public Information is the one that has been or is qualified or determined as such expressly by law. This seems to point to some form of internal appeals mechanism, but it's very vague.
37 Requesters have the right to lodge an (external) appeal with an independent administrative oversight body (e.g. an information commission or ombudsman). 1 for partial, 2 for yes2 NO
38 The member(s) of the oversight body are appointed in a manner that is protected against political interference and have security of tenure so they are protected against arbitrary dismissal (procedurally/substantively) once appointed.Score: 1 point for appointment procedure, 1 point for security of tenure2 NO
39 The oversight body reports to and has its budget approved by the parliament, or other effective mechanisms are in place to protect its financial independence.Score 1 point for reports to parliament, 1 point for budget approved by parliament2 NO
40 There are prohibitions on individuals with strong political connections from being appointed to this body and requirements of professional expertise.Score 1 point for not politically connected, 1 point for professional expertise2 NO
41 The independent oversight body has the necessary mandate and power to perform its functions, including to review classified documents and inspect the premises of public bodies.Score 1 point for reviewing classified documents, 1 point for inspection powers2 NO
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 NO
43 In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the power to order appropriate remedies for the requester, including the declassification of information. 1 for partial, 2 for fully2 NO
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES Article 23 Competition. If express or implied denial of a request for access to information or any other breach of a public agency with respect to the obligations under this Act, the applicant, whether or not filed a motion for reconsideration, he may, your choice, bring proceedings in any court of First Instance with jurisdiction over the place of his domicile or in which its seat public fountain.
45 Appeals to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such body exists) are free of charge and do not require legal assistance.1 for free, 1 for no lawyer required. 2 NO
46 The grounds for appeal to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such body exists) are broad (including not only refusals to provide information but also refusals to provide information in the form requested, administrative silence and other breach of timelines, charging excessive fees, etc.).Score 1 point for appealing refusals, additional points for appealing other violations.4 YES Article 23 Competition. If express or implied denial of a request for access to information or any other breach of a public agency with respect to the obligations under this Act, the applicant, whether or not filed a motion for reconsideration, he may, your choice, bring proceedings in any court of First Instance with jurisdiction over the place of his domicile or in which its seat public fountain.
47 Clear procedures, including timelines, are in place for dealing with external appeals (oversight/judicial).Score 1 point for clear procedures, 1 point for timelines. 2 NO
48 In the appeal process (oversight/judicial/) the government bears the burden of demonstrating that it did not operate in breach of the rules.Score Y/N and award 2 points for yes. 2 NO
49 The external appellate body has the power to impose appropriate structural measures on the public authority (e.g. to conduct more training or to engage in better record management)1 for partial, 2 for fully. 2 NO


Sanctions & Proteccions

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50 Sanctions may be imposed on those who wilfully act to undermine the right to information, including through the unauthorised destruction of information.Score 1 point for sanctions for underming right, 1 point for destruction of documents 2 YES Article 5 Responsibility. Those that manage, manipulate, preserve or maintain public information, shall be personally responsible for their actions or omissions that result in the concealment, alteration, loss or dismemberment of the same, without prejudice to the State liability. Article 28 Administrative Summary. The breach of the duties and obligations under this Act, by public servants, will also be considered as a serious offense and will incur administrative liability, which shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Law No. 1,626 / 00 "CIVIL" and the relevant legal provisions.Article 29: Governing Law. In the event that the breach is committed by an individual who is not a public official or employee, the sanctions established in the laws governing their employment with public source to which it belongs will apply.
51 There is a system for redressing the problem of public authorities which systematically fail to disclose information or underperform (either through imposing sanctions on them or requiring remedial actions of them).Score 1 point for either remedial action or sanctions, 2 points for both 2 NO
52 The independent oversight body and its staff are granted legal immunity for acts undertaken in good faith in the exercise or performance of any power, duty or function under the RTI Law. Others are granted similar immunity for the good faith release of information pursuant to the RTI Law.Score 1 for oversight body, 1 for immunity for others2 NO
53 There are legal protections against imposing sanctions on those who, in good faith, release information which discloses wrongdoing (i.e. whistleblowers).Score 2 for strong protections, 1 for moderate protections2 NO Paraguay has no whistleblower protection in place as of Feburary 2014 according to http://www.refworld.org/docid/53284a8b3.html.


Promotional measures

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54 Public authorities are required to appoint dedicated officials (information officers) or units with a responsibility for ensuring that they comply with their information disclosure obligations.Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES Article 6. competent organ. Public sources should enable an Office of Access to Public Information, in which applications will be accepted, as well as guide and assist the applicant in simple and understandable way.
55 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, is given overall responsibility for promoting the right to information. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO
56 Public awareness-raising efforts (e.g. producing a guide for the public or introducing RTI awareness into schools) are required to be undertaken by law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 Partially 8(p) A description of the procedures for interested persons to access the documents in its possession, including the location where they are stored and the name of the responsible officer;
57 A system is in place whereby minimum standards regarding the management of records are set and applied. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 Partially Article 3. Broadcasting. Public information will be subject to advertising and public sources are required to provide proper organization, systematization and computerization availability to have disseminated permanently, for the purposes of ensuring greater and easier access to stakeholders.
58 Public authorities are required to create and update lists or registers of the documents in their possession, and to make these public. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO
59 Training programs for officials are required Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES Article 7. functions. Public sources should train, update and train constantly to officials of the office, to progressively optimize the application of the provisions of this Act.
60 Public authorities are required to report annually on the actions they have taken to implement their disclosure obligations. This includes statistics on requests received and how they were dealt with. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO
61 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, has an obligation to present a consolidated report to the legislature on implementation of the law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO