The director of the Foundation for the Development of Citizen Freedom, Panamanian Chapter of Transparency International, Olga de Obaldia explained the requests that they sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Erika Mouynes and the Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, for access to the public information with a questionnaire in relation to the acquisition of doses of vaccines and treatments against COVID19, their distribution and application in Panama.
The foundation seeks to obtain a copy of the contracts, agreements or formal instruments -public by nature- signed by the Panamanian State, their terms and conditions, prices per unit dose of vaccines, total quantities purchased; companies, states or institutions with whom the agreements were signed and who represented Panama's interests in them.
Know the sources of financing and payment, institution, budget, item, purchase orders, endorsements and publication, not only of the acquisition of vaccine
doses, but also of the supplies necessary for the storage, distribution and application of vaccines, the statement details.
Also know if transparency mechanisms and guarantees will be applied in the vaccination plan to avoid acts of corruption.
They argue that public confidence in government management in the face of the pandemic is at a time of serious crisis, with the highest rates of infections and deaths since it began ten months ago.
In this sense, they urge a change by national authorities towards proactive transparency and integrity in relation to the expected vaccines, as an essential element in the health and economic recovery.
The request to Mire was presented yesterday, January 4, 2021 in a digital version through its Online Correspondence Registry service; and the request to the Minsa
was presented in printed version to the Superior Office on January 5, 2021.
Mouynes indicated that there is a confidentiality agreement with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer
, that the contract cannot be published, since it has the terms that they want to protect for its commercial handling with other countries, and it is necessary to obtain authorization of the company.