How do we make information on salaries and retirement pensions of ex-officers available?

 

Date of publication

23/4/2017

Link to article

https://www.lanacion.com.ar/2015545-las-pensiones-de-los-ex-presidentes-un-beneficio-con-algunas-disparidades

Other links related

https://www.lanacion.com.ar/2078653-zaffaroni-el-ex-ministro-de-la-corte-suprema-con-la-pension-mas-alta

Description of your project

LA NACION Data team explores every day about government databases and great volumes of public documents apparently “lost” on the Argentine legislation. This work allows to find not only new sources of information but also data which become important sources for news stories that have never been told. 

As part as this task, at the beginning of the year 2017, we found that Act 24018, passed in 1991, authorizes ex-Presidents, ex-Vice Presidents and ex-Ministries of the Supreme Court to receive a life pension after completing term of office. This pension is not given automatically, it is part of a procedure that the interested person must commence. Additionally, this benefit may extend to wives, husbands, and, in case of death of the interested person and, exceptionally, to sons.

After thoroughly analyzing this law and researching on how this authorizing procedure is established, in March 2017, we requested access to public information from the National Commission on Pensions. We asked for first and last names and gross and net remunerations of Argentine ex-Presidents and vice presidents in a particular month. Besides, we requested information concerning what other officers had asked for this benefit but had not been authorized.

At the same time and taking into consideration that the Judicial Power has data of pensions of former Judges of the Supreme Court, LA NACION Data submitted a request to access data based on the Act of Public Information Access.

What makes this project innovative?

Although the information used for the journalistic research was public, this information was not available on government sites or on documents published through the different websites.

In the past, mass media included this subject on public agenda, but documents with official information had never been available to access.

LA NACION Data team, the infography team and the television production of LN+ TV channel worked together on this production. This work resulted in the broadcast of this news on each one of the platforms of the newspaper: web and printed edition and TV channel.

What was the impact of your project?

The news article, originally published in LA NACION and which included the official document with the answer, was reproduced by several mass media in Argentina: radio, TV, printed and digital edition.

Mendoza Post

Audio Radio Mitre –  Jorge Lanata

Due to the far-reaching repercussions of the article about life pensions of ex-presidents, Congresswoman Elisa Carrió introduced a bill to Congress that proposes to eliminate this benefit for ex-Presidents and ex-Vice Presidents.

Article in Télam

Article in Radio Continental

Source and methodology

To write this article, a request of access to public information was submitted. The strategy of preparation for this request took two weeks’ work. This work did not only include laws and regulations but also the contact of different sources.

Technology used

We used the tool Tableau to work with data regarding pensions of the Supreme Court and data visualization.

Team

Romina Colman, Iván Ruiz, Mariana Trigo Viera y Nicolás Rivera

 

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