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CONGRESS APPROVES ACCESS TO INFORMATION LAW

Honduras has joined the growing number of Latin American countries that have passed access to information laws, reports Probidad. On 23 November 2006, congress approved the Transparency and Access to Public Information Law (Ley de Transparencia y Acceso a la Información Pública).

The law provides for the establishment of an independent body called the National Institute for Access to Public Information (Instituto Nacional de Acceso a la Información Pública, IAIP) that will process public requests for government information and oversee the law's implementation.

The new law will come into effect 20 days after its publication in the "Official Gazette". However, its application will be delayed for one year to allow government institutions and bodies to adapt to the law's requirements.

For the past three years, civil society organisations in Honduras, including Probidad's partner, the Committee for Free Expression (Comité por la Libre Expresión, C-Libre), have played an active role in pushing for an access to information law.

Honduras is the sixth Latin American country to pass an access to information law, joining Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

Visit these links:

- PROBIDAD: http://probidad.net/cs/index.php
- C-Libre: http://www.conexihon.com/
- Freedom of Information Advocates Network: http://www.foiadvocates.net/index.php
- Access to Information Laws Around the World: http://www.justiceinitiative.org/activities/foifoe/foi/foilaws
- Freedominfo.org: http://freedominfo.org/countries/index.htm

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