KP govt goes good with ‘right of access to information’

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As part of the reforms agenda, the incumbent provincial government initiated activities for ensuring culture of good governance.

Towards this end, a charter of good governance framework was prepared under which a number of laws were enacted through Provincial Assembly to inter alia include the KP RTIC Act 2013.

The purpose of this act is to give the citizens their constitutional right of access to information in all matters of public importance. The aim simultaneously was to ensure transparency and accountability in the working of all public bodies of the province.

For overseeing the enforcement of this law, The RTIC was established in KP in late 2013. The commission directed all the public bodies to designate Public Information Officers (PIOs) for provision of information to citizens within the stipulated time. Till date, 623 PIOs stand notified in different public bodies. All public bodies were also asked to proactively disclose certain information of public importance through all available means including on their official departmental websites.

The public bodies were also asked to carry out indexation of their record/files. During the last 3 years, 8092 citizens applied for getting information from different public bodies. Out of these, 5279 citizens were provided information. Similarly, the RTIC as an appellate authority received 2813 appeals during the same period out of which 2120 have been decided (75pc) whereas 693 complaints are still in the process of adjudication.

For the facilitation of citizens, the KP RTIC had also established a Facilitation Center in May 2015. The center has a toll free number 0800-57784 where around 1012 citizens were provided relief from May 2015 to December 20, 2016.

In order to create awareness among public about RTI Law, the RTIC undertook a number of activities during the last three years or so. These include arranging of seminars, installation of billboards in all districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and airing of public service announcements through FM Radio and TV channels.

At present, two billboards have been installed; one each at Shama Chowk and other at Peshawar Motorway Interchange. The commission now plans to organize exclusive seminars for local bodies’ representatives in different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to take them onboard regarding the reform initiatives of the present government taken for the public in large.