The government reversed and repealed on Friday the decree that created a new office in Casa Presidencial, under the president Carlos Alvarado, which could access information of a “confidential nature” that is available in public institutions.

Costa Rica president Carlos Alvarado

The Minister of Communication, Nancy Marín, through a press release informed about the annulment of Decree No. 41996-MP-Mideplán, which gave rise to the Unidad de Análisis de Datos (UPAD) – Data Analysis Unit.

The elimination of the norm, according to the communiqué, is due “due to doubts externalized by various sectors”.

“The decision was made with the objective of opening a dialogue on the need for the Executive Branch to have a permanent department of data analysis, which allows the formation of public policies based on statistics and data science,” adds the statement, issued by the Presidency at 1:13 pm Friday afternoon.

President Alvarado, meanwhile, said publicly: “We have repealed the decree  … I reiterate my government’s vocation for respect for human rights.”

Marín argued that “governments must work with accurate and timely information that will guide public policy for the benefit of people.”

According to the decree published in La Gaceta on February 17, in brief, the UPAD would be an entity attached to the Presidency of the Republic and will serve as the “advisory body” of the President.

Its function would be to exercise permanent advice to the president, “strengthening a public policy decision-making approach based on the evidence provided by the data analysis.”

The document established that the president’s office would access information from the central and decentralized public administration, except that which is considered a state secret.