The Italian Freedom Of Information Act 2016.Why Transparency-On-Request Is A Better Solution
The relationship between Public Administration and Transparency is often misunderstood and misrepresented, especially in the political science discourse. While most part of administrative action gives rise to the issuing of individual acts and measures, with either favourable or unfavourable effects, the ‘deliverable’ most political scientists have in mind when addressing transparency issues is rather administrative rulemaking, if not even primary and secondary legislation. In the latter case, while referring to citizens-administration relationship, it is rather the elected-voters relationship the background idea political scientists have concretely in mind. This leads to all sorts of misunderstandings and false expectations as to the concrete ‘deliverables’ of FOI policies. The paper, first of all, refers only to the activity of Public Administrations when issuing individual acts and measures and or administrative rule-making. Secondly, it takes into consideration and compares the two possible FOI’s options: information released pro-actively and information released upon request, to express a positive judgment on the choice made with the Italian FOIA 2016, rather in favour of information released upon request. Indeed, only information released upon request - and with the possibility of the applicant to concretely interact with a public administration’s officer - can turn transparency from just a ‘manifesto commitment’ to a concrete reality in the citizens-public administration relationship.