Government sets up demo site for public records

The central government has put up a demonstration site to show how officials plan to deliver public information to citizens.

In addition, the central government is promoting a revision of the law to provide more access to the public.

The demonstration site is

A lot of the information there already is available at other government sites. For example, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados also has a Web site where users can report water leaks.

But what is new is that the demo site contains the salaries by name of employees at Casa Presidencial.

There is a record more than 5,000 lines long showing who received how much.

The plan is to have the entire government on the site, said officials. The salaries of public employees have been a major news thread in the last four months.

A.M. Costa Rica has long urged editorially that the government publish on the Internet every payment. Part of that concept fits into unfosite012616the government plans. There is a location for purchases.

The demo site is a long way from what the government promises, and there is no guarantee that this or future governments will keep the documents updated. The salaries listed on the site now are from October.

Still, the central government says it has promised to provide access to information to fight corruption and encourage the participation of citizens.

The project is part of the open government initiative, called Gobierno Abierto. Plans are to eventually have data from all ministries on the site. Eventually the site will hold reports of government audits and information on the process of hiring new government employees in the civil service ranks, an announcement promised.

The government correctly noted that transparency in hiring, issuing contracts for bridges and roads and other government activities reduces the chances of corruption.

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