San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Ombudsman’s Office Opens Its Accounts to the Public

OMBUDSMAN José Manuel Echandilast week announced the creation of anonline Transparency Network that willallow the public to access informationabout the accounts and expenditures ofpublic institutions.The Ombudsman’s Office has postedinformation about its accounts on the network,and Echandi urged other publicinstitutions to open their accounts “toinform the public about their expenses,providers and contracts,” according to astatement from the office.Increased transparency of public institutions’finances has been a hot topic duringrecent months as the Prosecutor’sOffice launched investigations of twohigh-profile corruption cases involvingofficials from the Costa Rican ElectricityInstitute (ICE) and Social Security System(Caja), as well as three former Presidents.The Ombudsman’s Office had beguncalling for greater transparency andaccountability in government before thecurrent scandals. In June, Echandi issueda report that claimed the government hadviolated the public’s right to gain accessto information, drawing an angryresponse from the administration ofPresident Abel Pacheco (TT, June 18).To view the information, visit the Website and click on the link“Inter-Institutional TransparencyNetwork.”

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