Making connections: Web portal launched under RTI act

Published: September 30, 2015
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Provincial government to increase transparency for public. DESIGN: TALHA KHAN

Provincial government to increase transparency for public. DESIGN: TALHA KHAN

PESHAWAR: If you need any information about the provincial government under the K-P Right to Information (RTI) Act 2013, then you need not bother yourself with a written application any longer. You also do not need to visit a department in person nor send the application through Pakistan Post or other private couriers because it’s all online.

Just navigate to www.erti.kp.gov.pk, fill an application for your relevant Public Information Officer (PIO) and obtain a tracking ID.

The K-P government, under its e-Governance initiative, launched a designated web portal for the K-P Right to Information Commission. This allows the general public to attain information under the RTI legislation while sitting inside their rooms through online applications.

Minister for Information and Higher Education Mushtaq Ghani officially inaugurated the portal developed by the Science and Technology and Information Technology (ST&IT) department. The site has been launched for Peshawar and will  later be extended to the rest of the province, said project coordinator and assistant director at Directorate of IT Akif Khan while giving a presentation at the Civil Secretariat.

The portal provides separate dashboards to the PIOs of various departments through which they will receive the application and subsequently reply to the applicants. It also displays a list of the PIOs from which the applicants could select their relevant officer and contact him or her directly through the numbers given in the directory of the web-portal. “In the first phase, we have trained 150 PIOs and we will analyse the lessons learned from this, after which it will be extended to the rest of the province,” said Akif.

Sahibzada Muhammad Khalid, commission chairman, and Zafar Ali Shah, secretary of Planning and Development (P&D) as well as secretary of ST&IT, also addressed the ceremony and praised the RTI law. Khalid said he never thought such a law would exist. “One thing scares me; the newspapers are not going to leave us now. We have to work hard,” said Khalid speaking about the usefulness of the law.

Shah called the RTI law “a landmark achievement,” of the K-P government and the launch of the web-portal to be a step towards its goal of coming closer to public. “The provincial government introduced the RTI law because it wanted to become open,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2015.

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