After a dispute between the Anti-Corruption Institute and the Head of the Personnel Division, Juan Enrique Aaron, about the right to access copies of the records for the work of the UTL of some senators, the 4th Civil Judge of the Circuit ruled in favor of the fundamental rights of the Institute.
In a ruling dated 7 March 2022, the Judge agreed with the Anti-Corruption Institute’s arguments and determined that the information requested “is not seeking very personal, intimate information about each person indicated by the actor who is part of the legislative branch, but rather these are matters of a public nature referring to their performance in their duties, attendance at meetings, etc. and they refer to the exercise of their functions as public servants”.
For five months, in the submission of a petition that was raised on 2 October 2021, the Anti-Corruption Institute requested from the House of Representatives the records of compliance with tasks, a copy of the receipts issued for the fulfillment of the certified tasks and a copy of the paid and unpaid leave with regard to members of the UTL (Staffers) of certain House Representatives. However, the Head of the Personnel Division, Juan Enrique Aaron, rejected the request on the grounds that this information was personal and would remain on the officials’ resumes. He stated that handing it over would be a violation of the officials’ rights to privacy.
However, the Anti-Corruption Institute, arguing that this data was public information, filed an appeal for reconsideration where it argued that the exceptions to access to public information expressed by the official are not admissible, highlighting within its arguments that: “not all the data that rests in the resumes, work history, pension files and other personnel records are protected by confidentiality […] data that is deemed to be of public relevance and which does not fit into the category of sensitive personal data will not be subject to confidentiality” (Constitutional Court Judgment c-591 of 2014).
The Institute also argued that the response failed to comply with the provisions of Article 21 of Law 1712 of 2014, which allows for the partial delivery of information, and Article 28 of the same Law, which demands the provsion of a proven and precise argument to justify the rejection of the provision of this information.
Juan Enrique Aaron responded to the motion for reconsideration, maintaining his initial position, indicating among other things, that: “the records of compliance with tasks, a copy of the receipts provided for the fulfillment of the certified tasks and a copy of the permissions for paid and unpaid leave, requested by the members of the Legislative Work Unit […] during the constitutional period 2014-2018, mean it is clear that the information sought is an integral part of the resume of the officials since it refers to information that appears on the CVs of the members of the UTL».
On 22 February, the Anti-Corruption Institute filed a lawsuit action with a view to protecting their fundamental rights due to the official’s refusal to surrender the requested information. You can read all the related information about the case here: