Right to Information

Pakistan Information Commission Releases Bi-annual Report

Islamabad: The Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) has published its latest bi-annual report, fulfilling its obligation under Section 19(2)(c) of the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017. This comprehensive report outlines the Commission’s endeavors and accomplishments, reflecting its unwavering commitment to upholding citizens’ right of access to information.

The report, mandated by the Act, provides a detailed overview of the PIC’s activities, aligning with the Act’s preamble. It delves into various aspects, emphasizing the Commission’s initiatives to empower citizens through information access. The report meticulously details information requests, interactions with public bodies, appeals filed, and their subsequent resolutions.

The Annual Report encompasses statistics from 2018 to June 2023, indicating the reception of 3,317 appeals, out of which 1,887 have been successfully resolved, while 1,430 are pending before the Commission.

Notably, the bi-annual report highlights a specific breakdown of appeals received between January 2023 and June 2023. During this period, the Commission received 492 appeals, successfully resolving 239 of them.

An overview of the appeals reveals that the Capital Development Authority received the highest number of appeals, standing at 66. This is followed by 59 appeals against the Ministry of Finance, 58 against NADRA, and 57 against FBR and FIA each. Additionally, 56 appeals were filed against the Election Commission of Pakistan, while 55 were directed towards the Ministry of Defence. Equally, 50 appeals were registered against both Cantonment Boards and the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Moreover, the report highlights significant orders passed by the PIC from January 2023 to June 2023, citing notable cases such as Khushdil Khan Malik Vs Election Commission of Pakistan, Nisar Ahmed Vs Federal Investigation Agency, Saddia Mazhar Vs Ministry of Communication, and Kaleem Ahmed Vs Pharmacy Council of Pakistan.

While recognizing the progress made, the report underscores areas for improvement to enhance the Act’s implementation. It advocates for strengthening the legal framework, capacity building, expediting case resolution, technology integration, performance evaluation, autonomy, and international collaboration.

However, the report also acknowledges various challenges impeding the effective execution of the PIC’s mandate. These challenges encompass a lack of awareness, limited resources, enforcement mechanisms, privacy and data protection concerns, and the pace of digitalization.

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