Nowshera, DI Khan do better than other districts on RTI scorecard

Published: November 25, 2015
CGPA states Chitral, Abbottabad lag behind in implementation. PHOTO: FILE

CGPA states Chitral, Abbottabad lag behind in implementation. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA)’s scorecard to evaluate implementation of the K-P Right to Information Act 2013 revealed Nowshera and DI Khan were performing well. However, Chitral and Upper Dir were lagging far behind, stated a handout issued by CGPA on Tuesday. CGPA has based this scorecard on responses to requests it filed.

Highest & lowest

Nowshera and DI Khan scored 27 out of 50 marks.

Though Chitral is the most unresponsive district as far as the implementation of RTI Law is concerned, it falls under the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata) where the law is yet to be extended. In that sense, Abbottabad ranked the lowest, with only four points for implementation.

RTI Commissioner Kalimullah Khan told The Express Tribune lawmakers in Pata should work on getting the RTI law passed in the region so it could be implemented there as well. “It should be implemented in Pata so people there can also access information. This will give them an opportunity to learn and grow.”

Star departments

At the provincial level, departments for finance, food, information and public relations, and tourism have been listed as the best performers, dealing with information requests. Departments for health, labour, law, mineral development, and planning and development (P&D) scored the worst. However, at a district level, the police department implemented the information law most effectively, followed by health and public health engineering departments. District courts and district education departments lie at the bottom of the district-level departmental ranking.

The process

CGPA filed 152 information requests to 32 provincial departments and 120 to district level health, education, public health engineering, district courts and police departments.

The information requests were about utilisation of development funds in the fiscal year of 2014-15. The RTI scorecard weighed both responses and provision of the requested information. If the department answered a request without providing the requested information, this was also counted as a response.

The maximum weightage for each department, at the district or provincial level, was 10 points and a district’s maximum score for its five selected departments was 50 points. The law states every public body must provide requested information within 10 working days.

Out of 152 information requests, only 62 departments responded within 20 working days and 90 complaints had to be filed with the RTI Commission to obtain a response. Those 90 complaints should have been resolved within 60 days as per the K-P RTI law but only 50 could be resolved.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th,  2015.

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