San Juan – A special petition for access to public information was filed this Wednesday in the San Juan Superior Court against the Puerto Rico Health Insurance Services Administration (ASES, in Spanish) for failing to comply with a request from the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) regarding the government’s health insurance plan.
On May 24, the CPI, through journalist Jeniffer Wiscovitch Padilla, began efforts to obtain data on the providers that participate in the government’s health insurance plan named Vital and their quality reports.
After multiple telephone and email communications with ASES, the legal recourse was filed given that the term provided by Act 141-2019 (Transparency and Expedited Procedure for Access to Public Information Act) has elapsed for the agency to respond or provide what was requested.
In its filing, the CPI also asks the Court to order ASES to prospectively disclose this information when requested, in compliance with Article 4 of the Transparency Act.
“In this case, the request made to ASES complied with the requirements established by the Transparency Act; everything requested is public information of high interest to the people of Puerto Rico and isn’t protected in any way by any privilege or confidentiality claim,” said Carla Minet, executive director of the CPI.
“The CPI is forced once again to turn to the court to get information from a public agency that is failing to comply with the public policy of transparency expressed in the statutes as well as in what the Governor has said,” she pointed out.
The CPI and journalist Wiscovitch Padilla are represented in this case by Attorneys Luis José Torres Asencio and Steven P. Lausell Recurt, from the Access to Information Project of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico Law School’s Legal Assistance Clinic.