ADOCCO: Electronic Passport Security Unconstitutional |

ADOCCO: Electronic Passport Security Unconstitutional |

Julio César De la Rosa Tiburcio, ADOCCO General Coordinator.

Santo Domingo, July 9th. The Dominican Alliance Against Corruption (Adocco) confirmed this Sunday that the decree of the executive branch declaring the contracting, design and issuance of the electronic passport in the Dominican Republic for the sake of national security, is contrary to the constitution and other laws of the country.

As Adocco noted in a press release, this provision is in particular conflict with Article 49 of Magna Carta on freedom of expression and the media.

The text states that everyone has the right to freely express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions, by any means, without prior censorship.

Everyone has the right to information. Adocco said that this right includes searching for, investigating, receiving and disseminating all kinds of information of a public nature by any means, channel or route, as determined by the constitution and the law.

Likewise, it noted that the National Security Declaration issued for a period of one year, in which all information related to contracts entered into, based on the Public Procurement and Contracting Act, is declared as “reserved,” includes an exception in its application in Paragraph 1.

Specifically, it states that the exception shall prevail solely and exclusively for information relating to the technical characteristics of the document in those which, for reasons of national security or emergency, could affect the public interest, life or economy of the country, prior declaration and support by decree.

With regard to the Freedom of Access to Public Information Law, referred to in the decree, it states that it includes the right to access information contained in the works and files of the public administration, and to submit periodic reports on the activities carried out by entities and individuals who engage in public activities. Jobs, as long as such access does not affect national security.

“In no way does it refer to the fact that information can be provided on suppliers or providers of an item acquired with public funds,” said Julio de la Rosa Tiburcio, a resident of the organization.

In the same way, the “reservation” stipulated in the law places restrictions and exceptions on the obligation to report by the state and institutions, specifically when it comes to information related to the defense or security of the state, which would have been classified as “reserved” by law or by decree of the executive authority.

And this, according to Adocoo, “makes it quite clear that it works with regard to the designs and structure of the document, and not those who provide the documents, as in the case of types.”

The laws that support the ordinance and its regulations specify exceptions to the basic right of access to information that citizens formulate, in the exercise of it, and for this reason point categorically to circumstances that can be restricted when they can affect national security.

For this reason, the decree cannot expand the reserve in fundamental aspects such as transparency in the management of the resources of the Dominican people, without them having the right to know the cost of the acquisition, the companies benefiting, the quality of what is being bought, the shareholders of the companies and above all, the capabilities, the compliance record, as well as the Solvency and experience.

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Adocco reiterated that the exception referred to in the Procurement and Contracting Act and the Free Access to Information Act applies only to information relating to notebook properties, and in no way can it override the fundamental right to information, which is set forth in the Magna Carta.

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