Name of law: Ley N°6 de 22 de enero de 2002: Que dicta normas para la Transparencia en la Gestión Pública, establece la acción de Hábeas Data y dicta otras disposiciones.
First adopted: 2002
Last modified: n/a
RTI Rating last updated: 2024-01


Due to strong performances in many categories, Panama’s law rates above the global average. Notably, the legislation creates a capable administrative oversight body, which permits external appeals to an independent tribunal. Additionally, this authority has both a wide promotional mandate and the power to levy steep sanctions on both those wilfully act to undermine the right to information, as well as public authorities who systematically fail in their legal obligations under the law. Additional areas of strength include the law’s near-perfect scope and relatively strong recognition of the right to information that creates presumptions in favour of the requester. Areas for further improvement, include a strengthening of its exception regime, as the law should incorporate a harm-test and mandatory public interest override within all exceptions. Additionally, the requesting procedures remain poorly defined and relatively vague.

Note: Panama also passed Ley 33 de 25 de abril de 2013 which created its RTI oversight body: the National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information. The 2013 law is cited alongside the 2002 law in our RTI Rating.