Joint statement of ACIJ, Democracia en Red, Legislative Directory, Fundeps, Citizen Power, Vía Libre and the Regional Alliance for Free Expression and Information, on the occasion of the conclusion of the hearing in which the set of observations presented in around the candidate proposed by the Executive Power, Gustavo Fuertes.

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On March 23, the public hearing was held to evaluate the candidacy proposed by the Executive Power for the Agency for Access to Public Information, which promotes Attorney Gustavo Fuertes for the position. Contrary to what is established by current regulations, and what should have even happened due to the nature of the position under discussion, the hearing was not broadcast live for the general public, which restricted the number of listeners and access by part of journalists.

The candidate presented some work proposals, but his answers to the questions asked – generally incomplete and limited – showed the lack of specific knowledge regarding access to information and protection of personal data, which corroborates that his professional career in other areas of the public sector do not make him a person qualified for the task that is intended to entrust him. Far from reaffirming that he is the most suitable person for the position, the candidate acknowledged on several occasions the need to study the issues on which he was asked and the existence of people with a greater background in the matter.

The hearing revealed what numerous civil society organizations raised in their challenges: the candidate lacks the knowledge and track record to show his suitability and commitment for the position. Dozens of male and female speakers presented their objections over almost 5 hours. All the people who spoke agreed on the need for another candidacy to be sent to ensure the proper functioning and autonomy of this fundamental body, while no person came forward to argue in favor of the candidacy.

Public hearings must be an instance of substantive participation of the citizens that result in better decision-making by the State. Otherwise, they become a mere formality. It is clear from the results of this hearing that the candidacy of the Executive Power for the position does not meet the requirements of the law.

We ask the Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers, Santiago Cafiero, to withdraw this candidacy and send that of a person who demonstrates his suitability and commitment to the position, in compliance with articles 20 and 21 of Law 27,275 on the Right of Access to the Public information.