The Ministry of Health has responded to the request made ten days ago by the Council for Transparency and Good Governance (CTBG) with a notification sent this Thursday in which avoids disclosing the names of the expert committee cited by the director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simon, as in charge of advising the Government in the management of the covid pandemic.
He argues that the Transparency Law itself obliges him to ask these experts first to comment on the aforementioned request for information.
In a brief notification made by the Transparency Unit of the Ministry of Health, to which Europa Press has had access, the department of Salvador Illa points out to the individual claimant that his request affects the rights of third parties, so that on Thursday, December 10, they have been transferred “so that make claims about the access request to said information ”, for which they have a response period of 15 working days.
In resolution nothing is indicated regarding the number of experts of the aforementioned committee about the pandemic, a piece of information that was also required by the complaining attorney and that does not imply information that should be understood to affect third parties or their rights or interests.
It is simply stated that article 19.3 of Law 19/2013 on transparency, access to public information and good governance establishes that “if the requested information could affect the rights or interests of third parties, duly identified, they will be will grant a period of 15 days for them to make the allegations that they deem appropriate.
Health informs the claimant of this circumstance and of the suspension of the period given by the Transparency Council to disclose the names, which was ten business days since such order was communicated last November 30.
In this way, delay the resolution of the matter “Until the allegations have been received or the deadline for submission has elapsed,” the notification continues.
The procedure is late
Experts consulted by Europa Press point out that consulting the members of the scientific committee about the effect that public knowledge of their identities may cause them it should have been done by the Ministry of Health when it received the first request from the lawyer, which became interested in this matter last May, as it is a procedure that the Transparency Law itself provides prior to the official response.
But nevertheless, Health chose not to claim these allegations and simply respond negatively to the citizen’s request.
Therefore, the same sources interpret Illa’s answer as an attempt to delay the order of the Transparency Council, which has already analyzed the matter and resolved that the right to information of the complaining citizen was above the right to data protection of the experts of the scientific committee.
After this answer, the claimant only has wait for the final answer after collecting the arguments of the experts or go to an administrative litigation before the Ministry of Health, since the resolutions of the Transparency Council are enforceable even with a request for disciplinary measures to be issued against the Administration.
Precisely this Thursday Illa has avoided responding in parliamentary headquarters to the demand that has raised the PP to make known in said forum the names of the members of the expert committee, as requested by the Council for Transparency and Good Governance (CTBG).
The people’s deputy Ana Pastor He has taken advantage of his first intervention in the Health Commission that has been held in Congress this Thursday to ask the minister to comply with that CTBG resolution. “Today You should not leave this committee without answering us who are the members of this committee ”, has defended.
However, Illa has not made any reference to this matter during her response to the people’s deputy. Later, in his turn to reply, Pastor has not taken up this matter againNeither did the minister in his final speech.