It is a great pleasure for the Federal Institute for Access to Public Information and Data Protection (IFAI) to introduce you to its English section.
Since its inception in 2003, IFAI has promoted these two fundamental rights nationally and worldwide.
This leads us to develop associations with other oversight bodies of access to information and data protection to learn their good practices and experiences, and also to share the Mexican experience in access to information and data protection to the world.
The Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI) is an autonomous, specialized, impartial and collegiate body with operational, budgeting and decision-making autonomy, in charge of guaranteeing the right to access public information, issuing resolution on denial of requests for access to information, and protecting personal data. IFAI is responsible mainly for:
Ensuring the right to access to government information
Protecting personal data held by both the Federal government and of individuals; and
Deciding on the refusals of access to information
IFAI is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Federal Law of Transparency and Access to Public Government Information (LFTAIPG – Transparency Act) and the Federal Law on Protection of Personal Data Held by Private Entities (LFPDPPP – Privacy Act).
Since the entry into force of the Transparency Act, on June 12, 2003, over 240 departments and agencies of the Federal government are required to respond information requests.
Transparency Act and IFAI have empowered citizens to investigate and denounce cases of corruption or bad behavior of public institutions.
Both mechanisms, the law and the enforcing agency, have also helped in
executing the following actions:
•Regulating of the otherwise unjustified scope and
application of financial
citizens the full access to their medical records
•Ordering access to accounting data regarding
trusts and funds
which are completely or partially financed with public resources
•Debating on the importance of privacy and
the protection of personal data
of state-of-the-art procedures to
appeals to the authority
of article 7 of the act “Transparency obligations” (to the institutions regulated under the
Transparency Act), which consist on the publication of relevant data of this regulated institutions, such as the organizational structure, monthly wages of
public servants, goals and objectives of the administrative units, budget,
information regarding audits, hiring agreements, and many more.
•Promoting the creation and use of electronic tools,
such as INFOMEX, POT and ZOOM, to simplify the knowledge of the government
administration and structure and the manner in which institutions make and take
Is an electronic system for information requests. Any person from any place,
with access to internet may submit a request of information
•POT: An on-line system through
which citizens have access to information related to the transparency
obligations of the agencies of the Federal Government, under the Transparency
Act. This is a unique tool of its kind nationwide.
•ZOOM: It is a Google-like search engine of
public information requests and appeals resolved by the Institute. The user can
enter key words and phrases in the system, and it will provide the results of
those requests and appeals and studies that contain in their attached documents
the words given by the user
The current worldwide trend of promoting
open governments implies that these tools will play a key role in harnessing
technological advances for people to reuse and exploit the socially useful and relevant information.
|IFAI||IFAI in Numbers|
2003 to February 2014, a total of 1,036,761 requests of public information were
•During this same period 54,127 appeals have
been submitted before IFAI
•The percentage increase of information
requests since 2004 in comparison to 2013, represented a total of 454.7%, from
having filed 37,732 requests of information in 2004 up to 137,713 requests in
•The average of annual growth rate of
requests is about 15.1 percent
•From January 1 to November 28, 2013, a
total of 102,620 public information requests and 35,093 access and data
correction requests were filed
•In the same period, 91,407 public
information requests and 29,039 access and data correction requests were responded
users are academia, private sector, government and mass media
•IFAI’s annual budget for the promotion of
access to information is around $310,362,867 Mexican pesos (23 million
dollars), and was devoted mainly to create a culture of transparency and
promote this legislation nationwide
•With the new powers of IFAI as a Data
Protection Authority, its budget arose to $573,079,976 Mexican pesos
($44,000,000 USD) in 2013
•Last November 6, 2013, the Transparency
Portal (POT) registered 100,000,000 (a hundred million) consultations
further statistical information,
(Spanish version only)
|President Commissioner||Ximena Puente de la Mora|
Ximena Puente de la Mora was sworn in before the Senate as Commissioner of the autonomous Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI) on May 14, 2014 to a four-year period that expires in March 31, 2018. On May 15, 2014, she was elected by her fellow Commissioners to serve as Commissioner President of IFAI for a three-year period.
Prior to joining the IFAI, Puente de la Mora was Commissioner President of the Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Data Protection of the State of Colima. She was a professor at the Universidad de Colima’s School of Law, where she carried out extensive research.
She is the author of numerous research articles on transparency, access to information, data protection, and information technologies. As an expert in such topics, Puente de la Mora has lectured in numerous events and conferences in Canada, Chile, Italy, Peru, Costa Rica, and Venezuela, among other countries.
Puente de la Mora holds a PhD cum laude from the Universidad de Guadalajara (Mexico), a Master’s degree in Law cum laude from the Universidad de Navarra (Spain) and a Law Degree from the Universidad de Colima (Mexico).
|Commissioners||Francisco Javier Acuña Llamas|
Francisco Javier Acuña Llamas was sworn in before the Senate as Commissioner of the autonomous Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI) on May 14, 2014 to a nine-year period that expires in March 31, 2023.
Prior to joining the IFAI, Acuña Llamas served as Information, Documentation and Transparency Coordinator in the Electoral Court of the Judicial Branch of the Federation, where he also was Director General of Liaison and Transparency; and Secretary of the Commission for Supervision and Resolution on Transparency and Access to Information.
He is an expert on human rights and access to public information, transparency, data protection, anticorruption, accountability, and constitutional procedural law.
Acuña Llamas holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Sociology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), and a Law Degree from the Universidad Regiomontana (Mexico).
|Commissioners||Areli Cano Guadiana|
Areli Cano Guadiana Mora was sworn in before the Senate as Commissioner of the autonomous Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI) on May 14, 2014 to a four-year period that expires in March 31, 2018.
Before joining the IFAI, she was Director of Transparency, Services and Procedures at the Miguel Hidalgo borough in the Federal District; and previously she served as Commissioner of the Federal District Institute of Access to Public Information and Data Protection (InfoDF). Earlier, she was Chief of Staff of the President of the General Council of the Federal District Electoral Institute.
As a Commissioner of the InfoDF, she was an active member of the Mexican Conference on Access to Public Information (COMAIP in Spanish), where she headed the Legal Coordination (COMAIP is a forum that gathers the 33 transparency and access to information institutes of the Mexican States and of the Federal District, and IFAI, to share experiences, exchange good practices, analyze trends and promote cooperation).
She is the author of several essays and think pieces on transparency, access to public information, files, data protection and political parties, such as “El derecho de acceso a la información en el Distrito Federal. Orígenes, alcances y perspectivas” (“The Right of Access to Information in the Federal District. Origin, Scope and Perspective”).
Cano Guadiana holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública and a Law Degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
|Commissioners||Óscar Mauricio Guerra Ford|
Oscar Mauricio Guerra Ford was sworn in before the Senate as Commissioner of the autonomous Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI) on May 14, 2014 to an eight-year period that expires in March 31, 2022.
Prior to joining the IFAI, Guerra Ford was President Commissioner of the Institute for Access to Public Information and Data Protection of the Federal District (Mexico City), from 2006. Previously, he worked for the Ministry of Finance as Advisor to the Coordination Unit for States.
For over 25 years, he has been a professor with the School of Economics of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He also headed the Latin American and the Caribbean Association of Economists and the National Association of Economists (El Colegio Nacional de Economistas).
Guerra Ford has authored numerous articles discussing transparency, access to information and accountability systems, such as Los Órganos Garantes de Transparencia. Integración y características: su funcionamiento como organismos autónomos (Transparency Oversight Bodies. Configuration and Characteristics: their Operation as Autonomous Bodies) (UNAM, 2011), and “Logros y retos del Instituto de Acceso a la Información Pública del Distrito Federal” (Achievements and challenges of the Institute for Access to Public Information and Data Protection of the Federal District). He is a columnist with El Universal, a leading national newspaper in Mexico.
Guerra Ford holds a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
|Commissioners||María Patricia Kurczyn Villalobos|
María Patricia Kurczyn Villalobos was sworn in before the Senate as Commissioner of the autonomous Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI) on May 14, 2014 to a six-year period that expires in March 31, 2020.
Before joining the IFAI, Kurczyn Villalobos was a full-time researcher at the Institute for Legal Research of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). She is a leading scholar in collective and individual labor law, litigation, labor and social security; topics on which she has lectured and published profusely. Some of her titles are Social Security (Kluwer, 2009), Los derechos de las mujeres trabajadoras (Working Women’s Rights) (UNAM, 2000), and Panorama internacional del derecho social (International Overview of Social Rights Law) (UNAM, 2007).
During this time, she has also collaborated with numerous institutions in different capacities, like as a member of the Council of the National Commission for Human Rights, appointed by the Senate to serve from 2002-2007 and 2007-2012; as an external advisor to the International Labor Organization; and as President of the Mexican Society for Labor Rights and Social Security, position for which she was elected for the 2010-2012 period.
Kurczyn Villalobos holds a Law Degree from UNAM, a Master’s degree in Sociology from the Universidad Iberoamericana, and a PhD in Law from UNAM.
|Commissioners||Rosendoevgueni Monterrey Chepov|
Rosendoevgueni Monterrey Chepov was sworn in before the Senate as Commissioner of the autonomous Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI) on May 14, 2014 to an eight-year period that expires in March 31, 2022.
Prior to joining the IFAI, Monterrey Chepov was President Commissioner of the Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Data Protection of the State of Mexico and Municipalities (INFOEM in Spanish), since October 2010. In this position, he was elected president of the Mexican Conference on Access to Public Information (COMAIP in Spanish), in 2012 (COMAIP is a forum that gathers the 33 transparency and access to information institutes of the Mexican States and of the Federal District, and IFAI, to share experiences, exchange good practices, analyze trends and promote cooperation).
Previously, he had served as Coordinator of the Liaison Unit for Transparency and Access to Information of the Federal Electoral Institute and coordinator of Transparency and Head of the Information Unit, Planning, Programming and Evaluation at the Department of Finance of the State of Mexico.
Monterrey Chepov holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Universidad del Valle de México and has taken academic courses on Economics at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (Mexico).
|Commissioners||Joel Salas Suárez|
Joel Salas Suárez was sworn in before the Senate as Commissioner of the autonomous Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI) on May 14, 2014 to a six-year period that expires in March 31, 2020.
Before joining the IFAI, Salas Suárez served the Ministry of Public Administration as Head of the Office for Transparency and International Cooperation. Earlier, he was an advisor to the Executive Director of the Electoral Professional Service at the Federal Electoral Institute; and also to both houses of Congress.
His academic and professional focus has been on open government, anticorruption strategies and policies, and social movements and democratization.
Salas Suárez holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Trade from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO Mexico) and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the Institute for Higher Studies of Latin America (IHEAL France). He is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3.
|Legal Corner||Federal Law of Transparency and Access to Public Government Information|
The Federal Law of Transparency and
Access to Public Government Information (Transparency Act) recognizes the
individual's right to access information of public institutions and agencies
and provides the necessary means so that every person may have access to
information through simple and expeditious procedures.
Act was published in the Federal Official Gazette on June 11, 2002. Today the
Transparency Act faces new challenges with the imminent approval of a
Constitutional Amendment on Transparency and Access to Information.
With the enactment of the Federal Law of
Transparency and Access to Public Government Information on June 12, 2002, the
lack of specific regulations that support and facilitate the exercise of the
right to information established in the Federal Constitution is remedied.
The enactment brought a change in the
relationship between government and governed, because the exercise of public
office shall be under the premise of participation and scrutiny of the
governed, having as objectives, among others, "make transparent public
administration", "encourage accountability to citizens" so that
they can evaluate the performance of government entities, and "contribute
to the democratization of Mexican society and the full rule of law"
The Transparency Act regulates the right
of everyone to access to information held by the three Powers of the
government, autonomous constitutional bodies, the federal administrative
tribunals and other federal agencies.
Act sets forth the organs, criteria and procedures, principles and specific
deadlines by which the right of access to information before federal
authorities can be enforced.
First, the Transparency Act provides that
government information is public,
and instructs government agencies to promote the "principle of maximum
disclosure and availability of information," which means that in case of
doubt about the public or reserved nature of the information, it should be
resolved in favor of the right of access there to.
Likewise, it grants individuals the right to
request information from government agencies through simple and expeditious
procedures, and without having to prove any interest, or justify the use that
will be given to it. Additionally, the Transparency Act establishes a catalogue
of information to be published routinely by government agencies on functions,
budgeting, operations, staff directory, salaries, internal reports, and the
execution of contracts and concessions, among others.
It cannot be overlooked that the
Transparency Act also provides for means by which individuals may file a claim
against the refusal of access to information in the first instance before an
administrative body functionally independent and, in second instance, before
courts of the Judiciary of the Federation.
|Legal Corner||Federal Law on Protection of Personal Data|
The right to protection of personal data
was recognized, for the first time, in the Federal Transparency and Access to
Governmental Public Information Act (2002). This document states as one of its
objectives to guarantee the protection of the personal data (Article 4),
forcing departments and agencies of the Federal Public Administration to:
a) Implement the required procedures to receive and
resolve the requests for accessing and correcting data;
b) Handle personal data as long as they
are adequate, appropriate and moderated in connection with the purposes for
which they were obtained;
c) Make available to private entities, at
the time of obtaining personal data, a document stating the purposes for its
d) Implement the required measures to
warrant the safety of personal data and prevent their alteration, loss,
transfer or unauthorized access, among others. (Article 20)
Due to the importance of the topic and to
the national context, this act was strengthened in 2009 with the amendments to
articles 16 and 73 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States.
In the first one, the protection of personal data was recognized as one of the
fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, while the amendment to
Article 73 conferred upon Congress of the Union (Mexican Parliament) the power
to legislate for the protection of personal data held by private parties.
In order to ensure a right of new
generation, these changes led to the enactment of the Federal Law on Protection
of Personal Data Held by Private Parties in 2010. This law “[…] has the purpose
of protecting personal data held by private parties, in order to regulate its
legitimate, controlled and informed processing, to ensure the privacy and the
right to informational self-determination of individuals.” (Article 1)
In the case of Mexico, the first approach
to the right of access to information dates from 1977 and is since registered
in the Constitution of the United Mexican States. Article 6 of the Constitution
sets forth the obligation of the State to guarantee the right to information
and, in Article 8, the "right of petition" that empowers any Mexican
citizen to consult on government activities. It must be recognized, however,
that in the absence of legal regulations applicable to the subject matter, access
to information had been a gracious or discretionary concession of the
authority, subject to the willingness of public servants and the physical
availability of the information.
It was the development of the
jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nations Office that
defined during this first stage, the contours of the right of access to
information, considering it in the beginning as a social right to express opinions
through the media, in the context of political parties, in order to evolve then
into a genuine individual right requiring the State to provide complete and
It is until 2007 that, based on a
constitutional reform by consensus, the principles and bases for the right of
access to information applicable to the Federation, states and the Federal
District, within their respective jurisdictions are established.
set the minimum requirements for any State Access to Information Law to have.
These minimum requirements are:
•The principle of maximum publicity must
always prevail and all information in possession of any public authority,
entity, or organ, in the federal, state or municipal level, is public and may
only be reserved temporarily and for reason of public interest in the terms
established by the Law.
•Information regarding private life and personal data
shall be protected according to the terms and exceptions established by the
•Speedy mechanisms of access to information and
revision procedures shall be established. These procedures will be
substantiated before specialized and impartial organs with autonomy in their
operation, management and decisions.
•Within the next year, the Federation, and every
state shall establish electronic systems (INFOMEX) that would allow any person
to use the mechanisms of access to information and appeal procedures from any
location in the world, without the need to prove the Mexican nationality.
municipalities with population greater that 70,000 inhabitants should also have
electronic systems for the same purpose.
approval of the Federal Law on Protection of Personal Data Held by Private
Parties (Privacy Act) IFAI becomes the Authority Data Protection at the
national level, as the scope of the law is for general observance throughout
the entire country