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Published in D.R. number 198 (Series I-B) of 24 September 2009
Presidência do Conselho de Ministros (Council of Ministers' Presidency)
Resolution of the Council of Ministers
One of the main axes of the National Initiative for the Information Society, clearly expressed in the Green Book for the Information Society, is what has been defined as the Open State.
The objective, essential in any democratic society, of bringing the State and the citizens and the organizations closer together gains enhanced perspectives of realization, thanks to the new information technology. In fact, these new tools allow for a change in the traditional ways of communication between the Administration and those under the Administration, as well as in the consultation methods of the information it possesses.
In this field, the Government has already legislated in the sense that public organisms should provide themselves with an e-mail address, so as to be contacted by citizens and public and private bodies. It was also determined that all correspondence exchanged via e-mail should have the same value and treatment as that exchanged in paper form.
Another main objective of the Government regarding the information society is to promote the multiplication and diversification of the national contents on the Internet, therefore contributing not only to the development of a national industry of contents, but also to an easier access of citizens, companies and other bodies to information.
In this scope, it is important to legislate the availability, in digital support, of the information held or produced by the Administration, so that the possibility of accessing it through the traditional ways, co-exists with the access through electronic means. Also, the access through electronic support to a great part of this information will make the resort to other means unnecessary.
The advantages of consistently using the Administration services and bodies in this manner are obvious. First of all, advantages to the Administration, since it will contribute to enhanced efficacy and productivity and reduced costs. Then, also advantages to the economic agents acting in a field where fast and easy access to information is often an essential factor for decision-making.
The availability of digital information is not only translated by a mere addition of another access possibility to the ones already existing. In fact, digitalisation brings an obvious added value, not only to the way information is accessed, but also to the possibilities of exploring and crossing information originating from different sources.
On one hand, this diploma forces general managements and accredited services, as well as public bodies, to make all information published on paper available digitally on the Internet. On the other hand, it also establishes that it is compulsory for the aforementioned organisms to elaborate scheduled plans for the online publication of other contents of public interest, without prejudice to the facilitation online of other information not included in the obligation mentioned above. All measures mentioned in this diploma, will not only not present any difficulties of achievement, since in most cases the information being published on the Internet already exists, but will also contribute to reducing costs, namely due to the elimination or reduction in the use of paper in many situations, to not having the need for a traditional archive or to the cutback on postage expenses.
Under the terms of Part 199, Subpart G of the Constitution, the Cabinet resolves that:
1.1 - All general managements and accredited services, as well as public organisations in all its aspects, should make available to the public all the forms (periodical or not) they use as well as all information they produce and publish.
1.2 - The rule mentioned in the previous point is applied to all publications and information published after this diploma becomes effective, as well as all forms used after that date.
1.3 - In point 1.1, these forms and information can be made available to the public gratuitously or onerously.
1.4 - The dissemination on the Internet, carried out in compliance with the contents of this diploma, will be made in respect to the rights of intellectual property.
2. The organisms mentioned in the previous number should also elaborate scheduled plans for dissemination of contents of public interest on the Internet. These may include not only texts, but also images and sounds that should be submitted to the respective supervisor.
3.1 - The aspects of the application of the dispositions in nr. 1 may be the object of realisation and planning by the supervisor of the organisms mentioned there. Nevertheless, the dissemination of information of great interest to the public should have priority.
3.2 - The aspects referred in the previous point may except (upon justification) the publication on the Internet of certain works or groups of works.
4.1 - All the information made available on the Internet by the bodies mentioned in nr. 1 should be clearly presented and in such a way as to be easily accessed and consulted. Namely, there should be implemented search mechanisms easy to use.
4.2 - When making the information referred to in the previous point available, the specific needs of citizens with special needs should be taken into consideration, in such a way as to ensure their access to the information divulged digitally on the Internet.
5.1 - All the information made available on the Internet by the bodies mentioned in nr. 1 may be freely used by the public that has access to it, provided that the respective source is mentioned.
5.2 - Exception from the previous point is made as regards all information that, by force of a legally binding instrument, cannot be freely used, in which case, this fact should be explicitly mentioned.
6. The Minister responsible for the Public Administration will drive forward the realisation process of the dispositions present in this diploma, to direct in that sense all services and organisms it includes and will closely follow its application, suggesting the adoption of complementary measures recommended by that follow-up.
7. The Minister for Science and Technology will promote the follow-up and evaluation of the accomplishment of this diploma, regularly informing the Government on its application.
8. The organisms included in this diploma should report to their respective supervisors, within six months, the measures taken to accomplish what is established in this diploma.
The Presidency of the Cabinet, July 29th, 1999. The Prime Minister, in office, Jaime José de Matos da Gama.