Public access to information

The right of citizens to access administrative information has been declared by the 26 May 2011 Decree-Law No. 2011-41 on access to administrative documents in public institutions, and amended by Decree- Law No. 2011-54 of 11 June 2011.

The framework established by this Decree seems to conform to the core standards on this matter. Data is thus publicly accessible, except in cases where the reason for restricted access is well substantiated, and public institutions are required to proactively publish key data on their structures, functions, and results. This latter requirement implies that the Prime Minister be informed of the implementation of these provisions, as well as of the possible appeals for non-conformity made before the administrative court.

Box 1.3. Criminalisation as required by the UNCAC

The Convention requires participating countries to establish criminal and other offences to cover a wide range of corruption practices that are not already defined as crimes under domestic law. In some cases, States are legally obliged to establish offences; in other cases, in order to take into account inconsistencies between respective national penal codes, they are required to consider doing so. The Convention moves beyond previous instruments of this kind in that it criminalises not only basic forms of corruption such as bribery and the embezzlement of public funds, but also trading in influence and the concealment and laundering of the proceeds of corruption.

Source: www.unodc.org/unodc/fr/treaties/CAC/index.html.

Note: The efficacy of these new provisions is still in need of verification. The experiences of other countries demonstrate the importance of an independent monitoring mechanism - whether it is a State agency or a civil society initiative - to ensure that the new regulatory regimes function properly. While the existing scheme provides for the Cabinet of the Prime Minister to receive progress reports on the implementation of these new provisions, an additional verification step is needed to guarantee the report’s accuracy. Administrative Court decisions on existing shortcomings should also be opened up to further scrutiny.

 
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