Right to Information

Establishment Division reluctant to reveal officers who failed to submit assets’ details

ISLAMABAD: The establishment division has refused to share information about the officers who have not submitted details of their assets requested under the Right of Access to Information Act.

According to details, the list of the officials who have not submitted their assets declaration and details of the action taken by the establishment division against them were requested by a journalist namely Shehzad Yousafzai under the Right of Access to Information Act 2017 commonly known as RTI law.

The public body refused to share the information and through its letter dated February 26, 2020 claimed that the requested information is exempted in the clauses 7 (g) and 16 (c) of the said act. Moreover, in terms of Rules 7 (i) of Civil Servants Promotion Rules 2019, non-submission of annual declaration of assets for the last five years constitutes one of the conditions for deferment.

According to Rule 12 (2) of the Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964, every Government servant shall submit to the Government, through formal channel, an annual return of assets in the month of December showing any increase or decrease of property as shown in the declaration under sub-rule or, as the case may be, the last annual return.

The hearing of the case was held on March 10, 2020 in Pakistan Information Commission.

Akhtar Saeed – Public Information Officer (PIO) and Deputy Secretary appeared before the commission and argued that the list of the official who had not submitted their assets declaration cannot be provided, because if the information was published or on-aired on media it will defame these officers.

He said, the department is having two different categories, one of those officers who have never submitted their assets declaration details and the second one is those who have not submitted their details for last few years.

During the hearing he revealed, no action has been taken against any officer for not submitting their assets declarations. However, he claimed that no it has been decided to stop promotions of those officers who failed to submit their assets details.

The commission has directed the establishment division to provide the total number of the officers who have not submitted their assets deceleration while their name should be made public or not, commission will decide this in its order.

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