The Public Transparency Program contributes to the 3rd Action Plan of the Open Government Partnership

In April, the Public Transparency Program at FGV (PTP-FGV) sent to the Ministry of Transparency, Supervision and Control, programmatic document with recommendations for reform that are to be included in the annual Brazilian plan of the Open Government Partnership. The text discusses the problems that the identificação de solicitantes de informação traz na hora de exercer o direito de acesso à informação.

The Open Government Partnership was created in 2011 by the Brazilian national and state governments; since then, it has worked on establishing metrics of transparency, as well as evaluations of the fulfillment of these metrics. The 3rd Action Plan (2016-2018) consists of a collaborative force of the Federal Government with civil society organizations and researchers to agree upon compromises in the field of Open Data and Governmental Transparency.

The researchers of the Public Transparency Program raise the question of identification as a source of vulnerability for the requester. There have already been cases of persecution and threats made against citizens by agents of the state. This has proven to be a more endemic problem at the municipa level, where there is greater proximity between citizens and the state.

Some demand for identification are so complex that on occasion they have been an impediment to the carrying out of the information request. The Public Ministry of the State of Rio de Janeiro[1], for example, demands more than just one's CPF (Brazilian Taxpayers Number): I.D. Card, the date of receipt of the I.D. Card, issuing body of the I.D. card, date of birth, e-mail, full residential address, and telephone number – these are all obligatory fields to be filled out in the request form. An troubling situation also occurs in the Court of Auditors of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, which insists that the requester digitalize their I.D. before they may send their request[2].

It is emphasized that the absence of any mention of identifcation requiremtns by the Freedom of Information Law also leaves room for the Judiciary and Legislature to seek whatever they deem necessary, despite said Law determining that access-to-information request forms cannot demand information that might make the request invalid.

The problems with regulations discordant with access-to-information laws can be particularly common in countries where different jurisdictions can create their own rules.This problem is well understood in Brazil, and a case which comes out in a poor light is the state of Rio de Janeiro – the regulatory decree of the Access Law[3] stipulates various illegal elements, including the signature of a ‘disclaimer for the use and dissemination of information’. Furthermore, the citizen must deliver physical copies of the request and of the Access Agreement to the offices of the state body they are requesting from. 

Regarding these issues, a series of actions were recommended. Some of these are:

Recommendation 1: Development of tools that make the requesters identity anonymous in the e-SIC system as a whole, with the help of encryption. Information regarding identity should only be available through habeas data (personal information) or in a proven case of improper use/legal violation of the platform.

Recommendation 2(a): Creation of a unified platform of information requests involving states, punicipalities, other powers and autonomous bodies - an existing example would be the National Transparency Platform of Mexico. Its intention is to reduce  é reduzir the discretion with which public organs establish their requirements for information.

Recommendation 2(b): Development of a campaign directed at municipalities, states and other powers to encourage the adoption of the e-SIC platform of receiving information requests. Through patronization of the platform, the amount and quality of required information demanded by Brazilian public bodies can be regulated.

The forecast for the conclusion of the 3rd Action Plan is June 2017. At that point, the document will become available in full.

[1] See at:

[2] See at:

[3] Decree 43.597/2012, which regulates Law 12.527/11 in the Executive branch of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Available at: