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Information ministry directed to public record regarding accreditation cards to journalists

Islamabad: The Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) has directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to public information regarding accreditation cards its sub-department PID has issued to media practitioners.

Taking action against the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for ‘adopting delay tactics’ in information sharing with a citizen under the Right of Access to Information Act 2017, the Commission ordered the ministry’s public information officer (PIO)  to public the relevant record with intimation to this office, at the earliest, but not later than 10 working days of the receipt of this order.

The information ministry is also directed to upload notification of the public information officer (PIO) along with the name, designation and contact details on its website as required under section 5 (1) and (h) of the act and submit compliance report to the commission within 10 working days of the receipt of this order.

It is to mention here that all federal public bodies, including the ministry of information and broadcasting, are bound to upload information of their designated public information officers under Section 5 of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017.

The Commission also directed the PIO to take immediate steps to proactively share through the website all categories of information mentioned in Section 5 of the federal RTI law and submit the compliance report to the Commission by May 23, 2021.

According to details, a resident of Rawalpindi has filed an information request with the Ministry regarding provision details about accreditation cards that its sub-department [PID] has issued to journalists under the right to information law.

However, the concerned department neither responded to the citizen nor shared the requested information. Later, the matter was taken up with the Commission who conducted hearing of the cases. But the PID didn’t share the information yet.

When this correspondent approached Pakistan Information Department (PID) Spokesperson Sohail Ali Khan for his comment about the reports and the Commission decision, he was not available for the comment. Ali Khan’s PA picked up the call and told the PIO is not available this time and will respond once he returns from official commitment.

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