11 Active Transparency

State decree No. 58.052 of May 16, 2012, which regulates the federal Brazilian Information Act in the state of São Paulo, incorporates in Article 23 the principle of active transparency, and outlines the following requirements:

Article 23 - It is the duty of the agencies and entities of the State Public Administration to promote, regardless of requirements, the disclosure, in an easily accessed location, of information that includes their competencies, documents, data, and information of collective or general interest produced by them or in their custody.

§ 2º - In compliance with the heading of this article, the state agencies and entities shall use all legitimate means and tools available to them, and the information must be published in official sites on the World Wide Web (Internet).

The publication of information on the Internet, according to the state decree, must meet certain criteria, such as offering a content search tool that allows access to information that is objective, transparent, clear, and in easy-to-understand language. The agencies must also allow the reports to be saved in various electronic formats, including open and non-proprietary formats such as text spreadsheets, in order to facilitate the analysis of the information. It is important to note that although the text of the decree does not establish in detail what an "open and non-proprietary" electronic format is, the characteristics of such formats are already well established. The Open Data Guide has a dedicated section describing a number of open electronic formats, most of them non-proprietary.

Regarding active publication of information on the Internet, the decree states that the agencies should provide the information in a manner that enables automated access by external systems in open, structured, and machine-readable formats. A PDF, file, for example, it is not sufficient to meet what the decree requires. PDF is not considered an open technology under the terms of this guide because it is not structured, much less machine-readable. Its function is to generate documents that will be printed exactly as they appear on the computer screen. It is not a technology that aims to facilitate automated access by external systems. The format section of this Open Data Guide presents a number of technologies that better fit the requirements of the state decree.

The decree also provides that the agencies shall disclose in detail the formats used for structuring the published information, as well as ensure its authenticity and integrity and keep it up-to-date. The agencies should also take all necessary measures to ensure that the content is accessible to people with disabilities.