June 29, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Daniel Bevarly
Executive Director, NFOIC
Espacios Abiertos (Open Spaces), an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization has joined NFOIC. The organization promotes open, transparent and accountable government in Puerto Rico to create and strengthen mechanisms for civic participation. Established in 2014, Espacios Abiertos' objectives are to enable the people in Puerto Rico to directly and effectively influence the country's social, political, and economic processes through participation and equality.
Conversations between NFOIC and EA began after the organization signed a statement on government coronavirus emergency transparency NFOIC and the Brechner Center published in March. "We are impressed with the work of Espacios Abiertos and the influence it has achieved in a relatively short time to promote open, accountable government in Puerto Rico and local jurisdictions," said NFOIC executive director Daniel Bevarly.
Cecille Blondet-Passalacqua, executive director of Espacios Abiertos, said the major challenges that limit freedom of information in Puerto Rico are not very different from the challenges that most jurisdictions face in the United States. She stated in recent years EA's work has focused on fiscal matters. "As we try to advance fiscal literacy and civic engagement, to navigate through an economic crisis caused by an unprecedented public debt burden, the lack of transparency and accountability in government spending of public funds has been a great challenge," said Ms. Blondet-Passalacqua.
"We believe that if there was a need to strengthen civic capacities in Puerto Rico before the fiscal crisis, after hurricanes Irma and Maria, the January earthquakes and now the COVID pandemic, a stronger, engaged and participatory civil society is more important than before to ensure an open, just and equitable allocation, distribution and disbursement of public monies." She added, "Information is key to well informed and effective participation, and we very much look forward to the opportunity to learn and collaborate with NFOIC and its members, to advance transparency and access to information both in Puerto Rico and on the mainland."
Contact: María Mercedes Rodríguez Rivera, Policy Analyst
Address: P.O. Box 9024270
Old San Juan, PR 00902-4270