'RTI law helped improve governance quality in K-P'

K-P RTI Commission Chief Commissioner Azmat Hanif Orakzai says people are using the law in increasing numbers

Our Correspondent March 07, 2019
Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: The imposition of a right to information law in the province has helped improve the quality of governance in the province.

This was stated by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Right to Information Commission (RTI) Chief Commissioner Azmat Hanif Orakzai on Wednesday while addressing an awareness seminar on the RTI Law at the Kohat University of Science and Technology (KUST).

He added that the RTI law has helped protect the public’s constitutional right to access information of public importance. In doing so, it has promoted transparency and accountability in the functioning of government departments and institutions.

As a measure of the law’s success, Orakzai pointed out that ever since the law had been promulgated, a large number of citizens were exercising their constitutional right as enshrined in the Constitution to seek information about government departments.

As a second step the process (the first being convincing the public to file information requests), public bodies have now started exercising due care and vigilance while performing their official duties.

This, in turn, has helped improve governance, Orakai claimed. The RTI commissioner explained that citizens can file a request for information before the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the public body through a written application or fax or even via e-mail and that the PIO is bound to provide the requested information within 10 or a maximum of 20 working days.

In case of denial, the PIO must provide cogent reasons in writing quoting the Section of the Act relied upon for such refusal.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2019.


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