Puerto Rico’s Government has Problems Complying With its Transparency and Open Data Laws

More than two years ago, laws were passed to ensure the availability of specific data generated by public agencies and to establish procedures to access government information. The Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) found that the government has appointed 98% of the Public Records Officers and only 36% of the Data Officers in the agencies, while the contact information for the majority of these appointed officials has not been made available to the public. Approximately 20% of both types of officers’ appointments occurred after the CPI sent public information requests in January. In an exercise to oversee the implementation of Act 122 of 2019, “Puerto Rico Open Government Data Act,” and Act 141 of 2019, “Transparency and Expedited Procedure for Public Records Access Act,” the CPI sent information requests on the compliance of these statutes to La Fortaleza (the Governor’s Office), the Office of Management and Budget (OGP, in Spanish), and the Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Services (PRITS). In light of the information received in response to these requests, it is clear that there is duplicity, and even confusion, with regards to the appointments of Public Records Officers and Data Officers.