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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Majority of islanders surveyed do not think public administration is transparent



Commonwealth Comptroller Yesmín M. Valdivieso

By The Star Staff


About 80% of those surveyed in a Commonwealth Comptroller report said public administration in Puerto Rico is not transparent in its management.


Of the 767 participants, 99.73% stated that knowing information about government management is essential. However, only 32.6% are aware of the open data interconnection portal, www.datos.pr.gov, and 17% indicated having visited the portal, which contains updated information on government services, as provided by Law 22 for Open Data of the Government of Puerto Rico of Aug. 1, 2019.


“This result is one of the analyses that allows us to know the opinion of citizens about transparency and accountability in the public sector,” Comptroller Yesmín M. Valdivieso said. “Furthermore, it highlights the opportunities for improving compliance with citizens’ constitutional right to access public information.”


The survey, which was open to the public from Oct. 19 to Jan. 31, 2022 showed that 62% know of Law 141 on Transparency and Expedited Procedure for Access to Public Information of 2019. However, only 41% know of Law 159 to Order the Transmission of the Meetings of the Boards of Directors on Internet Portals of 2013, and 51% are aware of Law 22-2019. In this regard, the report recommended providing greater publicity with respect to these laws.


Regarding requesting public information, 60% of the participants obtained the information from the entity, and 16% obtained partial delivery of information. Those surveyed believed that bureaucracy and ignorance of the law on the part of officials and citizens are the main obstacles in such processes.


On the other hand, an approximate average of 17% of those surveyed indicated that they totally agree that the public information provided by the government is reliable, sufficient, clear, useful, accessible and up-to-date.


The report recommends, among other things, improving information technologies and internet portals, as well as applying data quality standards and monitoring compliance.


The report says that 92% of those surveyed are aware of the Comptroller’s Office website, 57% have visited the website at least 10 times, and 81% found the information they were looking for. Survey participants also made numerous recommendations for improving access to government information on the portal.


The profile of the 767 participants corresponds to 59% women, 38% men and 3% who did not respond or mention another gender; 90% are between 35 and 64 years old and 56% reside in the municipalities of Bayamón, Caguas, Carolina, Cayey, Guaynabo, Ponce, San Juan, Toa Alta, Toa Baja or Trujillo Alto.


The report is part of a series of surveys whose aim is to determine the opinions of citizens regarding one of the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Objective 16 indicates, among other things, that transparency and access to information policies are essential pillars for accountability and citizen participation in public affairs.


“We urge the officials, employees, and citizens of the government of Puerto Rico to take into account the opinion of those surveyed and take measures to implement the recommendations of the report,” Valdivieso said. “The transparency of information is a pillar of good governance and allows citizens to participate in government decisions.”

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1 Comment


William Rosa
William Rosa
Feb 02

I found the Comptroller report quite interesting regarding the Puerto Ricans' opinion about the accessibility and their knowledge about the governing laws related to public information. While 99.73% of those that responded to the survey, indicated that information about the government's functions is paramount, only 17% believes the information provided is reliable. Perhaps, Mr. Pierluisi (and of course everyone in his government as well as those that precede him), should pay attention to what his compatriots are saying about the manner in which they inform the public.

The other area that I found troubling is the percentage (under 50%) of those aware of the laws that regulates the dissemination of government information by different government agencies. This takes me back…

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