The biggest challenge faced by the K-P Right to Information Commission is that information is not “proactively disclosed” in government departments. This was said by Chief Information Commissioner Sahibzada Muhammad Khalid while briefing members of the Chitral District Bar Association gathered at the head office of the RTI Commission in the city on Monday.
“We have been successful in implementing the RTI law in the province with more than 600 designated public information officers in government departments who take action on requests received,” Khalid said.
Chitral District Bar Association Vice President Siraj Rabbani urged the governor and federal government to extend the RTI Act to Malakand Division so transparency can be ensured in public bodies there as well. “This will ensure funds are being used ethically and honestly by government officials,” he added.
While addressing the participants, the K-P Information Commissioner Abdul Matin said to ensure pro-active disclosure, all public bodies must maintain their records in a way the general public can easily access them. He said, “The commission has given guidelines to the prison department on the directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to put all relevant information on their official website. Now all the information that pertains to public interest can be accessed with just a click of a button.” Matin added proactive disclosure will not only make information available to public but will also ensure transparency.
The commission entertained a bulk of complaints filed by the government employees, asking their parent departments to disclose the seniority list of the employees, test and interview points.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2016.