November 11, 2014 - Comments Off on “The State of Proactive Disclosure of Information in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab Public Bodies” Research Report Released
Lahore, November 11, 2014:
The second quarterly of research report ‘The State of Proactive Disclosure of Information in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab Public Bodies’ reaffirms our earlier finding that public bodies in both provinces are not complying with their respective right to information laws. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab public bodies are required to proactively disclose categories of information mentioned in Sections 5 and 4 of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act 2013 and Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013.
The broader aim of this research report, conducted by Digital Rights Foundation, a member organization of Coalition on Right to Information’, (CRTI) is to measure how public bodies have been using the web and making it easier for citizens in the processes of getting information and filing requests. Major aim of this effort is also to promote public bodies who are proactively sharing information with citizens on self-basis.
The current report indicates a serious lack of maintenance of websites by departments. In the process of doing research for the current report, many websites were found in the same state as they were during the previous quarter, in terms of both their conformation with RTI laws and updating their websites with regular news and information. Which shows that while the public bodies have adopted to the latest web standards and have created and somewhat maintained a web presence, there is a significant lack of tangible reforms adopted to implement key sections of the respective laws of the provinces. Specifically, the public bodies do not share information pertaining to public employees’ remuneration, benefits, and any other privileges in line with the provisions of their provincial right to information laws.
The coalition and DRF has decided to add the websites of information commissions of both the provinces in the next phase of this research report. Commissions are expected to be a role model for other governmental bodies when it comes to have a maintained websites sharing information proactively with citizens on self-basis along with outlining proper procedures with named contacts for citizens to ask queries.
Digital Rights Foundation urges Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Commission and Punjab Information Commission to ensure public bodies comply with the right to information laws and make available information specified for proactive disclosure under relevant provisions of provincial right to information laws. The websites of these aforementioned commissions will be included in the next quarterly report.
Link to the report: Proactive Disclosure Report
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“Coalition of Right to Information seeks to promote an open information and communications policies at the federal, provincial and district levels across Pakistan. With various initiatives, the coalition of civil society organizations aims to promote citizen awareness and improve dialogue between the citizens and state.”
Digital Rights Foundation is a research based advocacy organisation based in Pakistan focusing on ICTs to support human rights, democratic processes and better digital governance. DRF opposes any and all sorts of online censorship and violations of human rights both on ground and online. We firmly believe that freedom of speech and open access to online content is critically important for the development of socio-economy of the country. www.digitalrightsfoundation.pk