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Right of access to information

Public information

The right of access to public information is the civic right to access public information. It has a dual dimension: first, it is an instrument for the democratic control of the institution and, at the same time, from an individual perspective, the information the citizen obtains is valuable in itself, insofar as it relates to both to the activity and the relationship with the institution.

In a democratic society, the right of access to information becomes an instrument for applying the principles of transparency and accountability to institutions and is thus a requirement for participating in management and decision-making processes.

What is the right of access to public information?

In accordance with Act 19/2014, of 29 December, on transparency, access to public information and good government in Catalonia, all natural persons aged 16 years and over and legal persons have the right to access public information by means of the pertinent request without being conditioned by the concurrence of personal interest, or by the incentive or invocation of any regulation (Art. 18 of act 19/2014).

 Public information refers to the information produced by the Administration which it has in its power as a consequence of its activity or in carrying out its functions, including the information provided to it by other subjects obliged to do so in accordance with the law (Art. 2 of Act 19/2014). The law on access to public information includes any form or support by which this information has been obtained or is kept.

The request can be submitted by any means that allows the identity of the applicant to be recorded, in addition to the requested information, a contact address for communication purposes (preferably an email), and the preferred way of accessing the requested information. Even though the motives for requesting access to information do not need to be explained and neither is a personal interest in it required, if the motives for which the request is made are set forth they will be able to be taken into account when processing the request.

Denial and restriction of the right to access public information

The right to access public information can only be denied or restricted if knowledge or the divulging of the information will harm public safety; the investigation or sanction of criminal, administrative or disciplinary offences; secrecy or confidentiality in procedures processed by public administrations, if the secret or the confidence are the subject of a regulation with the rank of law; the principle of equality of the two parties in legal processes or effective legal protection; the rights of minors; privacy and other legitimate privacy rights or professional secrets and intellectual and industrial property rights (Art. 21 of Act 19/2014).

Should the information contain personal data, access can be given to the information after the public interest of divulging the information and the rights of the affected persons are previously and reasonably weighed up.

The Commission for Guaranteeing the Right to Access Public Information (GAIP) is the independent organ guaranteeing the rights of any citizen not given access to the public information they have requested. The decisions reached can be seen at: GAIP Decisions.

Procedure for accessing public information

Period for making a request:
At any time.
This procedure is free if the data are consulted in the place where they are deposited or if they are in electronic format, in which case they will be delivered by email. Making copies and transposing the information to different formats from the original one can be subject to a fee, which under no circumstances will exceed the cost of the operation.
Organ responsible for the decision
Deadline for the decision
Notification of the decision will be made within a month of submitting the request (Art. 33 of Law 19/2014)
Effects of administrative silence
Administrative silence will indicate a positive response (Art. 35 of Law 19/2014)

Requests for access to public information received by the University of Girona

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