The Argentine Federal Executive Branch approved the implementing regulation to the Law on Access to Public Information.
On March 28, 2017, Decree No. 206/2017 (the "Decree") approving the implementing regulations to the Law on Access to Public Information No. 27,275, was published in the Official Gazette (the "Regulations" and the "LAPI" respectively, and jointly, the "Access to Public Information Regime").
The purpose of Access to Public Information Regime is to guarantee the effective exercise of the right to have access to public information and to promote citizen involvement and transparency in public affairs, based on principles of equal treatment, procedural celerity and maximum disclosure.
The Decree, in addition to approving the Regulations, establishes that the Public Information Access Agency will act within the scope of the Presidency of the Cabinet of Ministers and that the Chief of the Cabinet will "issue the relevant explanatory and complementary provisions".
The Regulations complete and provide detail on the following topics included in the LAPI to realize their effective and actual enforcement:
- the exceptions that enable the obliged subjects to not provide public information;
- the procedure to request public information and the term to comply with said request;
- the denial of a request for public information;
- complaint procedures;
- the removal and incompatibilities of the director of the Public Information Access Agency.
The exceptions that enable the obliged subjects to not provide public information were regulated with the purpose of limiting their scope and thus, prevent them from being misapplied. The following exceptions were specified by the Decree:
- information expressly classified as reserved, confidential or secret, for reasons of defense or foreign relations;
- information which might hinder the functioning of the financial or banking system;
- industrial, commercial, financial, scientific, technical or technological secrets whose disclosure might endanger the level of competitiveness or damage the interests of the obliged subject;
- information within the power of the Financial Information Unit, related with the prevention and investigation of activities related to assets coming from illegal sources;
- information referring to personal data;
Like the LAPI, the Regulations will come into force on September 29, 2017. It will be important to follow up the implementation and enforcement of the Access to Public Information Regime to assess its effectiveness at protecting the right of access to public information and, at the same time, its consistency with the preservation of confidential aspects of the activities of legal entities and individuals.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.