Lawmakers from 4 parties file gov’t transparency bill
By The Star Staff
Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz González announced Tuesday the filing of House Bill (HB) 1303, which amends Law 141 of 2019, known as the Law of Transparency and Expedited Procedure for Access to Public Information.
The legislation, co-authored by Ortiz and Reps. José Márquez Reyes, Denis Márquez Lebrón and José Pérez Cordero, creates a new legal framework to guarantee access to public information in Puerto Rico.
“This legislation confers responsibilities and authority to the Institute of Statistics so that, in coordination with PRITS [the Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Service], it develops binding regulations regarding the Public Policy on Access to Information on the island,” Ortiz González said, noting that the legislation has been drafted in coordination with the interested sectors and across party lines. “The purpose of the measure is to establish an effective legal framework to guarantee that citizens have access to public information produced by their government. In this way, transparent processes are promoted and corruption is fought.”
Among other things, the proposed legislation repeals Law 122-2019 on Open Data, amends Law 141-2019 on Government Transparency and creates the central government position of principal officer of public information and statistics.
”Since August of last year, we have been working together with several organizations on the issue of government transparency, in an innovative participatory format between the Legislature, the executive branch, and citizens and organizations that are experts on the subject,” the legislators said in a joint statement. “In this format, the participants were divided into working groups within which the issues were discussed in a participatory and integrated manner. After several meetings under this format, we were able to produce this bill, which collects all the concerns, suggestions and observations obtained in terms of government transparency, the Open Data Law and what the implementation and achievement of it should be.”