Access to Information


Resolution of the 73rd General Assembly

Salt Lake City, Utah

October 27-30


WHEREAS in Argentina, a regulatory executive order was issued to amend the Law on Access to Public Information, passed just last year, and this amendment authorizes the Office of the Cabinet Chief to design its organizational structure

WHEREAS in Barbados, nine years after a proposed Law on Access to Information was drafted, this bill has still not been submitted to Parliament, and in Jamaica journalists' access to government officials, including the prime minister, is hindered

WHEREAS in Costa Rica the proposed Law on Access to Public Information provides exceptions to the right to access information in cases not currently exempted, such as monetary and fiscal policies "prior to implementation"

WHEREAS journalists in the United States face difficulties in gaining access to members of the administration as well as public records, and a number of federal offices removed information from their websites in violation of laws on access to information and transparency

WHEREAS laws in Honduras restricting access to public information remain in effect, such as the Law for Classification of Public Documents Related to National Security and Defense, as well as the National Intelligence Act.

WHEREAS in Nicaragua the government restricts access to all sources of public information and the Law on Access to Information is not being followed, thus reducing it to a dead letter

WHEREAS in the Dominican Republic obstacles are being imposed on compliance with the general law on free access to public information, which has been in effect for 13 years, and the requirements of the law are not being followed

WHEREAS in Venezuela the government is creating new mechanisms to limit access to public information even further

WHEREAS Principle 3 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: "The authorities must be compelled by law to make available in a timely and reasonable manner the information generated by the public sector."


To urge the countries of the Americas that restrict laws on access to public information to discontinue these practices and to comply with the laws' requirements

To urge that the amendments to a critical law on transparency and institutional dynamics in Argentina be debated in the legislature

To urge the authorities in Barbados to move forward in the debate and passage of the Law on Access to Information, and to urge the authorities in Jamaica to foster a spirit of inclusion so that journalists may perform their work without being hindered

To ask the authorities in Costa Rica to carefully consider the proposed changes in the bill in order to fully ensure the right of access

To reject the restrictions on access to information that journalists and media outlets in the United States have been encountering

To urge the authorities in Honduras to eliminate provisions that run contrary to the principles of press freedom and access to public information

To condemn, in Nicaragua, the government's control of information and its monopolization of the independent media, as well as the closure of access to all sources of government information

To urge the authorities in the Dominican Republic to promote a culture of transparency and to create an autonomous and independent entity with special authority to monitor and disseminate the right to access public information

To censure, in Venezuela, the government's policy of denying access to public information, which gravely undermines freedom of expression