The proclamation of the principle of publicity, which is characteristic of advanced democratic systems, seeks to abolish secrecy as a general rule for the actions of public authorities, seeking to make the exercise of power transparent.
In a democracy, the legitimacy of power rests ultimately with the citizens themselves, as befits the popular sovereignty enshrined in Article 1 of our Constitution. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to make the actions of the public authorities known, seen and known to all, which must be carried out with maximum transparency.
On 10 December 2014, the Preliminary, I and III Titles of Law 19/2013, of 9 December, on transparency, access to public information and good governance, came into force for the General State Administration [Administración General del Estado]. The autonomous communities and local entities had one more year, until 10 December 2015, to adapt to their obligations. These titles regulate the subjective scope of application, active publicity, the right of access to information and the Transparency Council. The provisions of Title II, on good governance, entered into force the day after the publication of the law in the Official State Gazette [Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)] on 10 December 2013.
The most important aspects of Law 19/2013 are, first, the requirement of active publicity in institutional, organisational, legal, economic, budgetary and statistical matters, and, second, the recognition of the right of access to public information and the creation of a procedure for its exercise.
With the intention of moving in this direction, the Ombudsman [Defensor del Pueblo] made this transparency section public on 14 January 2013, and since then it has been completed with all the contents that have been considered significant for general knowledge, beyond those required by the aforementioned Law 19/2013, of 9 December, on transparency, access to public information and good governance.
The information published on this transparency portal has been revised in February 2022.