RTIO to play key role in curbing corruption

Wednesday, September 04, 2013 - Peshawar—Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Secretary Information and Public Relations Azmat Hanif Orakzai has said that access to information was the due right of every human being and the KP Right to Information Ordinance (RTIO) will play a key role in the provision of relief to the people, developing good governance and curbing corruption. It will make the public bodies transparent, besides making the accountability drive a success and above all making access of the people to the basic information.

This he said while addressing a seminar on Right to Information Ordinance arranged by the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) at a local hotel in Peshawar on Tuesday. The purpose of the seminar was to practically implement the RTIO and to initiate drive to apprise the public of its advantages. Azmat Hanif Orakzai said their religion Islam and the Constitution of Pakistan has given them the right to access to information and according to aims objectives of the law everybody could get access to information.

He said with this law every citizen could get information from those public bodies which were being run on the public funds or working for the welfare of the people. He said under this ordinance none of the applicant could be refused to have access to information and record he wanted. He said any type of information could be given to the applicants except those where there were certain legal acceptations.

Azmat Hanif Orakzai said that the applicant would submit his written application on plain paper to the Public Information Officer where none of the applicants would be asked about the reason for getting the required information. He said the officer concerned would be bound to provide receipt to the applicant and would provide the demanded information within ten days of the receipt of the application. He said if the applicant required information regarding security to life and liberty, then the same information would be arranged within two days. The secretary information said if the applicant was not satisfied with the info so far provided to him in response to his application, he could contact the information commission. He said this commission would consist of three persons.

He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Ordinance was better than those implemented in other countries. He said the ordinance would not only bring transparency in the public bodies but would also play a vital role in the disposal of matters of national interests. He said the good impacts of the RTIO would be felt on the lives of the common man as well. He said the Right to Information Ordinance was the first agenda item of the provincial government and the Information Department wanted its completion in letter and spirit. He said on the implementation of the Right to Information Ordinance poverty, frustration, lawlessness etc would vanish from the society. However, he underscored the need for initiating a strong public awareness campaign in this regard. He said through workshops, seminars, meetings and media in all the districts a campaign would be made for the purpose.—APP