SPANISH citizens are finally going to be allowed to see ‘who is spending their money.’
The government has approved the draft for a new far-reaching transparency law promoting open government.
The three pronged proposal, passed by the cabinet on Friday and based on the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), covers public contracts, right to information and good governance.
It will give citizens full access to official documents and records, and will even sanction politicians who fail to comply, with those who hide or falsify data facing a 10 year ban from work in the public sector.
“With this law, all citizens will be able to find out who is spending money in all the agencies,” insisted Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
“In the coming months we are going to introduce more reforms because we need to modernise Spain so that it can compete globally,” he added.
It marks the first legislation in Spain which controls public access to information on governments and administrations.
Spain currently has one of the least open governments in the developed world and is one of only four countries in Europe, including Luxembourg, Cyprus and Malta, not to have a law.
According to the group Access Info Europe 50 per cent of the requests for information from the public currently go unanswered and the new law will have a dramatic effect in reducing corruption.
From Monday the public will have 15 days to comment or make suggestions through a government website after which time the legislation will be debated in Congress and could be approved in 100 days.