QCOSTARICA – Many of the officials working in Central American governments are annoyed at the idea of the information they handle being accessible to citizens, and one way or another, they are impeding its availability.
“- Send a letter to the Mrs Fulana (the equivalent of Mrs. Smith), the person who is in charge of authorizing the release of information you have requested, stating the reasons for your request”.
“- The IT person who prepares this type of information is busy and I don’t know when they are coming back”.
These are some of the many excuses put forward by Central American officials when asked to respect the rights of citizens to see public data which has not been expressly classified as secret by law.
A culture of secrecy surrounding the data held by the state administrators prevails throughout the region. Even in countries that have a law about this issue, such as Costa Rica, dissemination of information by state and municipal management is far from complete, and often is hampered by technical problems when it comes to their publication.
This is the issue that is addressed in an article on Elfinancierocr.com written by Maria Fernanda Cruz, who notes: “The common denominator among most institutions in the country is that the data, which should be open, available and manipulable, becomes diluted in paper imitations of digital records which, among other problems, are not even indexable for the purpose of carrying out the type of common searches which citizens do on the Internet. ”