The Organic Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information (LOTAIP) is a tool for improving the quality and timeliness of public information. The Public Ombudsman (DPE) is responsible for promoting the law and ensuring that its requirements are complied with by the public institutions. The DPE is part of the Function of Transparency and Social Monitoring, the fifth power in the Ecuadorian state, which has the same hierarchical level as the other functions: Executive, Legislative, Judicial and Electoral.
Some progress has been made since the LOTAIP was approved in 2004, but the challenge is still to ensure that transparency is practised on a daily basis, with tools which promote more open public institutions. In November 2011 the government approved parameters relating to articles 7 and 12 of the LOTAIP, which deal with the minimum compulsory information and the annual reports on fulfilment of the right to access to public information. The DPE has joined with civil society to develop processes intended to make the benefits of the LOTAIP known to a wider public. Internally, it has developed a system to make it easier to deliver annual reports with all the information required in article 12 of the LOTAIP. This system was in the trial stage at the time of this assessment, and expected to begin operating by the end of 2012. Further progress recorded within the DPE is that apart from provincial delegates, they have appointed regional commissioners to facilitate contact between public institutions, citizens and the DPE at a local level.
Grupo FARO carries out four-monthly monitoring of compliance with article 7 of the LOTAIP by institutions linked to the forest sector. The monitoring carried out in April 2012 showed that they had made some improvements. It should be emphasised, however, that the LOTAIP continues to be a general law which does not take into account sectoral information parameters; it is hoped that this will improve with the process led by the Public Ombudsman.
Finally, regarding the use of the LOTAIP by forest users, a number of training sessions on LOTAIP were carried out as part of the Making the Forest Sector Transparent Project. These sessions revealed that both the population in general and public officials are still unaware of rights of access to information, how to make applications for public information, and how to respond to them. The efforts made by the DPE and other organisations to address these issues are positive.
|Title||a. Organic Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information
b. Resolution Parameters of Application Articles 7 and 12 of the LOTAIP
|Organisation||a. People’s Ombudsman
b. People’s Ombudsman
|Date||a. 18 May 2004
b. 18 November 2012
|Source||a. http://www.dpe.gob.ec/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=776&Itemid=113b. http://www.participacionycontrolsocial.gov.ec/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=7ff2cecf-fc22-4a1c-b450-71cc3c589d88&groupId=10136