Government Information: access and Greece’s Efforts for Access
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Eventhough governments worldwide is considered to be the biggest producer of information, it is not uncommon that the entities cannot have access to the information that concern them or further they are obliged to submit the same information repeatedly to different public organizations. However, the access to the information held by public administration is an institutional right of the entities. Nonetheless, governments have not always been willing to grant access to government information based on a variety of reasons to forbid the access, with national security to be the most common one. However, the re-use and dissemination of government information across government agencies and between agencies and the public is the cornerstone of electronic government. Under that scope, many countries have proceeded the last 20 years in adopting national policies for the use and access of government information. Greece has delayed in that field to be synchronised the European Union's recommendations. However the last five years, there has been efforts to move forward and close the gap with the rest Member-States by issuing a number of legislative and regulatory documents such as the Law 3448/2010 on the reuse of public sector information, the Law 3861/2010 on the obligatory publication of the legislative and regulatory documents produced by all governmental, administrative and local government agencies via Diavgeia”, the Law 3979/2011 on electronic government, and the Greek e-Government Interoperability Framework. The access to government information is a precondition to offer fast, transparent, reliable and qualitative services aiming to protect and promote the citizens’ basic democratic rights.