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Brazil

Development of the “Access to Information Library” (BR0047)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Brazil Second Action Plan

Action Plan Cycle: 2013

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Office of the Comptroller General

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Anti Corruption and Integrity, Capacity Building, E-Government, Right to Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Brazil End-of-Term Report 2013-2016, Brazil Progress Report 2013-2014

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

to develop actions with the aim of disclosing the set of decisions adopted by the Office of the Comptroller General within its competence as an appellate instance of the Access to Information Law, thus ensuring transparency to the decision process. A controlled vocabulary for the formulation of abstracts shall be developed as a second stage of this commitment, thus providing for more accurate thematic searches. Additionally, the website shall contain quantitative information on the requests/appeals answered, partially answered, and rejected in each instance.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 2.1. Development of the “Access to Information Library”

Commitment Text: To develop actions with the aim of disclosing the set of decisions adopted by the Office of the Comptroller General within its competence as an appellate instance of the Access to Information Law, thus ensuring transparency to the decision process. A controlled vocabulary for the formulation of abstracts shall be developed as a second stage of this commitment, thus providing for more accurate thematic searches. Additionally, the website shall contain quantitative information on the requests/appeals answered, partially answered, and rejected in each instance.

Responsible institution: Office of the Comptroller General

Supporting institution: None

Start date: Not specified                          End date: 14 August 2014

Commitment aim

The commitment attempted to better organise and publish access to information jurisprudence in the country, based on the Office of the Comptroller General’s (CGU) appellate records. Specifically, the commitment sought to offer, in a virtual space, organized information about legislation, jurisprudence, and specialised literature on access to information to improve further regulations and enhance public accountability.

Status

Midterm: Completed

The commitment was completed at the midterm review. Frequently asked questions about the access to information law (LAI) are now answered online, and citizens can access related legislation and the history of the law. In addition, the government put together a collection of documents to establish an LAI vocabulary for easier searches, and published statistical reports that can be downloaded.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Major

The commitment strengthens the LAI, one of the principal legal frameworks of open government in Brazil, by giving citizens access to information on how the law works and how decisions are made. Citizens can now view and download previous information requests and their contents, appellate decisions on why requests were granted or rejected, and general statistics in open data format. At the same time, the new background information on the law and its procedures creates greater understanding of the process, which citizens can use to defend their requests. As the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI) points out, the commitment benefits both government institutions and citizens. Now, government agencies can consult the virtual library to determine whether or not certain information should be disclosed, without having to rely on the CGU to rule in its appellate role. This is conducive to faster responses. As a result, the IRM researcher considers this to be a major step forward for open government in Brazil.

Carried forward?

The “Access to Information Library” is not included in Brazil’s third action plan. If the government moves to include it in a later OGP plan, the IRM researcher suggests developing APIs to expand the access to information process, and to increase opportunities for the public to comment on its results.


Commitments

Open Government Partnership