About this project
Show list of needs
Three weeks work to adapt software to Spain.
Write a report on the legal situation on Spain, write a guide for requesters and search for contact details for public bodies.
Support and moderation of the site for the first six months.
Create a new design / corporate identity for the site.
Web hosting for a year.
Hosting, second year
Hosting cost for the second year
|Total||€ 4.100||€ 5.700|
Tuderechoasaber.es will be a web site where any person will be able to send access to information requests to Spanish public bodies. The project aims to facilitate the effective use of access to information rights.
Spain is the only country in Europe with more than one million inhabitants that doesn't have an access to information law, so getting information from public bodies is hard, although not impossible. We want to simplify the request process, and promote this right among the Spanish society, in order to achieve an effective accountability of our institutions.
How does it work? It's very easy: you can send a request to a public body through the site. We'll then send an email to that body, and publish the request. As soon as we receive a response we'll send it to you and will publish it automatically on the site. You'll then have to specify whether you're happy with the request, whether you need more information, or if you want to submit an appeal. This way, anyone can check the response and they won't have to make a request again.
Description of the project. Main features, strengths and differentials.
The project will be based on the Alaveteli software, created from the well-known UK FOI site WhatDoTheyKnow.com developed by mySociety. Work is ongoing to translate the software and extend it to support different jurisdictions. As a first instance, AsktheEU.org was launched to handle access to information requests to EU institutions.
Any person will be able to sign up to the site and quickly send an access to information request free of charge to any Spanish public body. The site will hold contact details for all the bodies, and will forward the request by email. Both the requests and the responses will be published on the site, offering complete transparency of the process, and allowing any other person to access the information without submitting another request.
Transparency in the process also allows the society at large to acknowledge the good work of public bodies who reply, and to increase the pressure on those who don't. User will also be able to subscribe to responses for a given request, and the number of people who "want to know" will be clearly visible on the web. This way, any citizen or NGO can measure the success of their particular campaigns to obtain information, and leverage the public interest to demand an answer.
Why this is important
Spain doesn't have a Freedom of Information law, despite being an electoral promise by the party in power since 2004. This makes it very hard for citizens to demand information from public bodies.
This project wants to create an easy-to-use tool so anybody who has a question about the behaviour of a public body can submit it quickly, lowering many of the practical hurdles that exist nowadays, and thus allowing more thorough social and political accountability.
Goals of the crowdfunding campaign
The first goal is to highlight the lack of transparency in public institutions and to push for the approval of the access to information law promised since 2004. The site will show clearly those instances where public bodies deny information, so it can be used as a campaigning tool. An access to information law is essential to force public bodies to respond, and to give citizens the legal tools needed to demand an answer if they don't.
As soon as the law is passed, the site will help all citizens to submit a request easily, using previous ones as an example, and offloading them from the task of finding the needed contact details. Answers will be published immediately to spread the information as widely as possible.
The project will be implemented by David Cabo and AccessInfo Europe, the same team who developed AsktheEU.org using WhatDoTheyKnow.com and Alaveteli as the starting point.
David Cabo is vice-president of Pro Bono Publico (http://blog.probp.org/) and creator of dondevanmisimpuestos.es, the Spanish version of the OKFN project Where Does My Money Go. He has a long experience as developer, and has worked in transparency-related projects for the last two projects, including the Spanish Open Data Hackathon AbreDatos (http://www.abredatos.es/).
Access Info Europe (www.access-info.org) is an NGO whose mission is to promote the access to information right in Europe. It's based in Spain, since it's the only European country with more than a million inhabitants that doesn't have an access to information law. In Spain they lead the Coalición Pro Acceso, a civil society movement campaigning for a law that allows for true transparency.