Low Marks for Puerto Rico on Transparency and Access to Information

An analysis by the Canadian-based Centre for Law and Democracy gives Puerto Rico low marks for transparency in terms of access to information and “open data” laws.

“Puerto Rico needs stronger rules guaranteeing the right to information if it truly aspires to adequately implement this constitutionally guaranteed right. Its current laws are much weaker than most national laws adopted in the Americas,” said Toby Mendel, the Centre’s executive director, who presented the analysis.

The nonprofit’s analysis places Puerto Rico’s legal framework for the right to information in 87th place out of the 128 countries currently assessed on the Right to Information Rating, or in the least favorable one-third of these countries.

Mendel explained that the RTI Rating measures the strengths of countries’ laws enabling access to public information on the basis of 61 indicators divided into seven major categories: right of access, scope, requesting procedures, exceptions and refusals, appeals, sanctions and protections, and promotional measures. He stressed that the index measures the legal framework, not enforcement of the laws.

Among the key weaknesses identified in the Puerto Rican laws governing access to information were the following: (Read more)