The acceptance of the right to information will sometimes require balancing with other rights. However, best practices around the world have indicated that the public interest resulting from transparency and openness of public accounts takes precedence over the rights of civil servants to keep their salaries confidential. Also, there are ways to disclose the salaries of officials by ranks, while preserving their identity.
Furthermore, the right of access to information is based on the assumption that information held by public institutions is the property of the public, so there should be no obligation placed upon the public to explain why they need the information requested.
The right to information fosters accountability and efficiency in governments by allowing civil society groups to participate in public affairs, not only monitoring salaries, but also public policies.
ARTICLE 19 calls on the Venezuelan government to refrain from demanding the reasons behind information requests and from limiting the amount of information disclosed. We also urge the Venezuelan authorities to adopt a progressive jurisprudence on the right to information, highlighting clearly the prevalence of public interest and the proactive disclosure of public information.
• For more information please contact: Arthur Serra Massuda, firstname.lastname@example.org, +55 11 3057 0042.