Government Creates New Transparency Agency
On Monday, February 25, President Funes swore in the representatives to the Access to Public Information Institute (IAIP) after 15 months of delay. The IAIP is the final and key piece in completing the Access to Information Law, and its formation marks a significant achievement in government transparency for El Salvador. The IAIP is charged with ensuring the application of the Access to Information Law, groundbreaking 2011 legislation that has propelled El Salvador to the rank of 5th in the world in transparency.
In a recent controversy, the Legislative Assembly approved a reform that weakened the still unformed Institute’s enforcement powers, but President Funes vetoed the measure following a strong public outcry. “With this law, and with the full functioning of the Institute, a new stage in the institutional life of this country begins in terms of the transparency and social control of government action,” said Funes at Monday’s ceremony. The Institute is comprised of five representatives and their alternates from unions, the private sector, media, higher education and professionals, named by the President from a list of candidates nominated by those sectors. Their selection was delayed by Funes’ rejection of the list of 30 candidates last May, but in December, the Supreme Court ruled that the President must choose the representatives from the list presented to him.
CISPES congratulates Alex Gómez, the labor leader who recently visited CISPES committees along the west coast of the United States as part of the Labor Solidarity Tour, for his selection as the alternate to union representative Carlos Adolfo Ortega, who presides over the Institute.