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After public criticism, Costa Rican gov. repeals decree that created department with access to ‘confidential’ information

February 21, 2020

The Costa Rican government repealed a decree that had created a Data Analysis Unit, after public criticism questioned its purpose and scope.

Casa Presidencial announced Friday afternoon that it had repealed Decree No. 41996-MP-MIDEPLAN “as a result of doubts expressed by various sectors.”

The criticism stemmed from a CRHoy.com story detailing the contents of the text, signed by President Carlos Alvarado in October 2019. As published in official government newspaper La Gaceta, the decree gave a government-run Data Analysis Unit “access to confidential information available to public institutions when so required.”

The Data Analysis Unit director responded only to the President, and the decree did not specify what information — confidential or otherwise — the department could collect.

According to Casa Presidencial, the intention was for Costa Rica “to have a permanent department of data analysis, which allows the execution of public policies based on statistics and data science.”

“In the 21st century, governments must work with accurate and timely information that will guide public policy for the benefit of people,” said the Minister of Communication, Nancy Marín, in a statement from Casa Presidencial. 

 

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