Right to Information Act

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Current situation

Under Article 19-A of the Constitution of Pakistan, people have a right to access information held by public bodies. This Act is to create a two-way interaction between the citizens and the government bodies.  When violated, it implies that the institutions are trying to conceal information. K-P and Punjab came up with strong RTI legislation in 2013 followed by the Sindh and federal governments in 2017. There are Right to Information Commissions in this regard. Each commission has one chief commissioner and two commissioners. These commissions are responsible for effective implementation of RTI laws, entertaining public complaints and imposing penalties on public officers who violate laws.  Currently only K-P has a full functioning information commission.

Promise

We will allocate resources and build public sector capacities to effectively implement Right to Information (RTI) laws.

Progress

8 November 2018

PM Imran Khan constituted a three-member commission to review the Access to Information Act 2017. Information and broadcasting former secretary Muhammad Azam, Information Chief Commissioner Zahid Abdullah and Fawad Malik have been appointed as the members of the information commission.  According to Information Minster Fawad Chaudry, this act is to ensure accountability, help to eliminate the corruption, nepotism and bring transparency in government affairs.

25 November 2018

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has notified the Federal Information Commission to expedite the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act across the country. Mr. Chaudhry said that if departments failed to provide information sought from them, citizens can approach the commission, which will ensure that the requested data is released within a month. If the information is not released within 20 days, the citizens can take the matter to a civil court.

9 February 2019

The Coalition on Right to Information (CRTI) urged the Sindh government to implement the Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Act, 2016. More than one year has passed yet measures like the designation of public information officers (PIOs) in public bodies and functionality of the Sindh Information Commission (SIC) is not guaranteed by the provincial government.

29 March 2019

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has launched a ‘good governance strategy’ under which people’s right to access public information is considered a main pillar. The provincial government affirmed that right to information (RTI) remains the most effective tool to ensure transparency that leads to accountability, which serves as power vehicle to achieve the ultimate goal of good governance.