05.07.2011 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

Seminar on access to public information is organized by CGU and UNESCO in Brazil

The Office of the Comptroller General (CGU), in partnership with Brazil’s country office of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) will host the International Seminar on Access to Information: implementation challenges, in Brasilia, on 7-8 July.

The event will feature experts on access to public information from several countries, such as the USA, Mexico, England and Chile.

During the two-day meeting, four sessions will be held in order to discuss issues related to: the right to information in comparative perspective; the challenges to the effective implementation of systems; active transparency and open government. The International Access Seminar will be held at the Espaço Unique, which is located at Setor de Clubes Esportivos Sul (SCES), Trecho 2, Conjunto 42.

According to the Comptroller General’s Integrity, Transparency and Ethics Manager, Izabela Moreira, the seminar is aimed primarily at public officials, especially those that are involved in public service activities, information management and other areas related to transparency. The seminar will deal with issues related to demands for information received by the Administration in a concrete manner.

Izabela Moreira states that the seminar also pertains to the discussion regarding a bill that proposes regulating the right of access to information, which is currently being analyzed by the Brazilian National Congress.

According to the Comptroller General’s Minister, Jorge Hage, “this bill attempts to establish deadlines for replies to the requests that are made; sanctions for failure to reply (noncompliance); procedures for citizens to appeal when an answer is denied or delayed etc.”

“All of this is, of course, in addition to the issues related to information confidentiality, which, in fact, has been the only feature emphasized by the press. But it is important to remember that the project, regardless of the topic of deadlines, will result in improvements that are essential for citizenship and which have been, unfortunately, overshadowed by the debate that deals almost exclusively with confidentiality, which is the exception, not the rule.”

The UNESCO in Brazil Deputy Director, Lucien Muñoz, free access to public information and transparency are important tools to strengthening democracy, modernizing culture and management efficiency, as well as tools that contribute to the battle against corruption. And, in this sense, the Brazilian Federal Constitution is in accordance to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which establishes access to public information as a citizen’s right.

The bill, which regulates access to information, has been approved by the Chamber of Deputies’ and now is now waiting to be voted in the Senate.

 

Programme and registration (in Portuguese)

 


Further information:

- Comptroller General’s Press Office:
Pedro Formigli and Gisele Maeda, 0055-61-2020 6740

- UNESCO in Brazil Public Information sector:
Ana Lúcia Guimarães, 61-2106 3536, 61-9966 3287, ana.guimaraes@unesco.org.br
Isabel de Paula, 61-2106 3538, isabel.paula@unesco.org.br





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