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1 DRAFT law No. 473/X PARLIAMENT'S ACCESS to documents and INFORMATION on the CLASSIFICATION of STATE SECRETS 1 — the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic and the law enshrines the fundamental right of citizens to access information and documents of the Administration and of the organs of the State. Transparency as a rule and the secret as exception is thus the expression of a normal public life that extends to all levels of political activity, economic, social and administrative. The exceptional nature of State secret models in understanding that can only be closed material to the attention of the citizens the information, objects or facts to be disclosed to unauthorized mode, can lead to a damage, more or less significant, to safeguarding the national independence, of the unity and integrity of the State and the internal and external security. The law No. 6/94, of 7 April, which approved the State secrets, not needed, however, in compliance with the own powers of the organs of sovereignty, the conditions of access of the Assembly of the Republic to information and documents classified as State secrets. However, the need for regulation of this matter is all the more relevant as the exercise of supervisory and legislative powers of the Assembly of the Republic require an information and document access which cannot undergo a State secret logic to exclude Parliament, as if this wasn't also an organ of the State. The fit between the need of institutional information and the reservation of the State secret requires are 2 rules and procedures that comprise so proportionate and effective, these relevant interests in conflict. In addition, the law of the State secret came to make the Assembly of the Republic the confidentiality regime in accordance with the Constitution and the rules of procedure and established, with this, the Audit Board of State secrets. 2 — the proposal we present and if previous legislatures, resumption of a wording that takes lessons of parliamentary experience however collected, aims to meet the need of completing the legislative and institutional building of the system of State secret. And is consistent with the idea that, if it is true that the Government welcomed the Constitution does not require that the ' parliamentary body have access, unlimited, to information and documents classified as State secrets by the President of the Republic or by the members of the Government ', until by the mode of operation of the parliamentary body and by advertising that is inherent to their activities which pities hardly reserve requirements with regard to State secrets» (in TC Judgment No. 458/93), this must not go so far as to jeopardize the normal exercise of the constitutional powers of the Assembly gives Republic, in particular those relating to article 162, paragraph 1 (a))-watch for compliance with the Constitution and laws and the acts of the Government and administration- , in subparagraph (f)) of article 163 (in conjunction with article 197, paragraph 1, subparagraph (i)), of the Constitution)-follow and enjoy in accordance with law, the participation of Portugal in the process of building the European Union. It should be noted that it is up to Parliament, and since 1997 only to this (article 161, paragraph (i)), of the Constitution), ' approve treaties, including the treaties of Portugal's participation in international organizations, treaties of friendship, peace, defense, rectification of frontiers and the respect of military affairs as well as international agreements that focus your competence reserved matters or that the Government may refer to your enjoyment» and still, inter alia, the deliberations relating to the State of siege and emergency or, in the limit, the authorization to the President of the Republic to declare war and make peace. However, such skills, among others, involve access to State secret as essential need for the performance of functions of sovereignty that the Assembly of the Republic, which you can't decouple, for your time, individual Members access to reserved matters and, much less, the material classified as secret 3 by the President of the Assembly of the Republic. Of course, the Assembly of the Republic shall take appropriate safety procedures and ensure that your compliance. This framework lays down the legal framework and the status of a State secret surveillance by the Assembly of the Republic with the allocation of competences, the definition of the composition of the Audit Board of the State secret and consequent revision of articles 13 and 14 of Act No. 6/94. Thus, pursuant to article 167 of the Constitution of the Republic, the undersigned Members of the parliamentary group of the Socialist Party presents the following draft law: Article 1 subject-matter this law establishes the terms and conditions under which the Parliament has access to documents and information classified as a State secret and defines the nature, composition and powers of the Commission for the Supervision of State secret.
Article 2 principle of need-to-know access to documents and information classified as State secret occurs only when Parliament has need to know its contents with a view to fulfilling their supervisory skills of inquiry, or those laid down in article 4.
Article 3 Access Initiative 1 — Parliament has access to documents and information classified as a State secret on the initiative of the President of the Assembly of the Republic, parliamentary committees, committees of inquiry or the Conference of leaders or on the initiative of the Prime Minister. 4 2 — access to documents and information covered by State secrets is required to the Government through the President of the Assembly of the Republic.
Article 4 access to State secrets
1 — the communication of documents and information with the classification of State secrets is ensured in conditions of secrecy and appropriate security: a) the Chairmen of the parliamentary groups or a representative of each group in the Committee that has taken the initiative to request access, including the Commission of inquiry; b) exclusively to the President of the Assembly of the Republic and Chairman of the Committee that requested access, by reasoned decision of the entity with powers of classification, based on exceptional grounds. 2 — the President of the Assembly of the Republic and the Government may differ, and why for the time strictly necessary, access to a State secret because of the course of international negotiations or for the safety of relevant national interest.
Article 5 transmission of secret Committee documents and information covered by State secrets may be transferred by the Government to the Committee responsible to know and appreciate the materials relating to the provisions of point (f) article 163) and (i)) of article 197 of the Constitution in a meeting subject to secret and exclusively owned by members of the Committee.
Article 6 access to classified documents by peer documents and information classified as a State secret by the President of the Assembly of the Republic are accessible to members in accordance with article 4 of this law. 5 article 7 right to information of members 1 — access to the Assembly of the Republic to the State secret shall not affect the right of individual Members to access information under the terms established in the rules of procedure of the Assembly of the Republic and in the law. 2 — the refusal of information required by members in accordance with article 156, paragraph (d)), of the Constitution, can only achieve with safeguard provisions of article 177, paragraph 2, of the Constitution.
Article 8 security of classified information the President of the Assembly of the Republic, by Decree, the instruction on security of classified information and candle for your application by parliamentary agents and services.
Article 9 Supervisory Commission of 1 State secret — the Secret surveillance Commission is an organ of the State Assembly of the Republic. 2 — the Commission is chaired by the President of the Assembly of the Republic or Vice-President of the Assembly of the Republic in which it has delegated that function, and two members elected by the Assembly of the Republic, one being proposed by the largest party which supports the Government and the other by the parliamentary group of the largest opposition party. 3 — the Commission shall ensure compliance with the law. 4 — the Commission organize an up-to-date register of documents classified as State secrets, based on the elements sent by entities with power for such classification, including the identification of each one, generic indication, date and your bedding. 6 5 — it is up to the Commission to determine, checked the omission of the entity competent in principle, the disqualification of any information or documents for the period elapses or the reasons which motivated the ceased your classification. 6 — the Commission approves your regulation, to be published in the Diário da República.
Article 10 Rule set Are deleted articles 13 and 14 of Act No. 6/94, April 7 – law of State secret.
Palácio de s. Bento, February 29 2008 Members,
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