The Organic Law of Transparency and Access to Public Information (LOTAIP) is a tool for dealing with poor transparency, and improving the quality and timeliness of public information. The public institutions have a specific link on their websites in which they publish the required information, and the law enables citizens to request information and receive a reply within 15 working days. The People’s Ombudsman has specified minimum standards of obligatory information (see http://www.dpe.gob.ec/portal/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=105&Itemid=71) , the formal process for delivering the confidential information, and the provision of a printed version of the information when it is not available on the website. The State Function of Transparency and Social Accountability (see www.transparencia.gob.ec), created by the 2008 Constitution, promotes monitoring of the public institutions and the private sector which provide services or develop activities of public interest so that they comply with the principles of transparency.
Despite this legal framework, it is still a challenge to move towards daily practice with tools that promote more open public institutions. There is a lack of political will, organisational culture, technological infrastructure, budgetary resources and reinforced penalties, as well as that citizens’ demands for public information have not increased. The law has not been translated into other indigenous languages, nor has it been summarised to make it easier to understand. Although the law has facilitated public access to information, it is difficult to analyse its impact on the forest sector. There is no way of knowing what type of information citizens have requested on forest issues and no way of evaluating the compliance of the public institutions in providing that information.
The area of Environment and Society within Grupo FARO sent eight information requests to different public institutions between September 2011 and January 2012. Only one reply was received with complete information and on time.
|Title||a. Organic Law of Transparency and Access to Public Information
b. Resolution on the Parameters for Application of Articles 7 and 12 of the Organic Law of Transparency and Access to Information
|Organisation||a. The People’s Ombudsman
b. The People’s Ombudsman
|Date||a. 18 May 2004
b. 7 May 2010