Last week El Faro reported that FMLN legislators have committed to supporting a law on transparency and access to public information. The announcement followed a meeting with a group of stakeholders that include the Association of Salvadoran Journalists (APES), the Latin American Institute of Constitutional Law, the National Foundation for the Development, the Salvadoran Chapter of Transparency International, the University of José Siméon Cañas (UCA), the Association of Broadcasters (Asder), and FUSADES.
The Legislative Assembly considered a similar proposal last year, but ultimately rejected it, arguing that the cost of a new government institution to oversee transparency was too great considering the country’s economic concerns. The stakeholders group argues that the cost of implementing a transparency program far outweighs the current costs of corruption and misappropriation of government funds. In a recent public statement, representatives from Transparency International also stated that a country that is transparent and accountable to its citizenry is more efficient and faces less national and international arbitration.
In June, representatives from the ARENA party committed their support for legislation to promote transparency and access to public information. With support from both parties, legislators and members of the working group will begin drafting a new law followed by legislative discussions. El Salvador is one of the last countries in Latin America to adopt a transparency law.