Right to Information

PIC Issues Show Cause Notices to MD NESPAK, Registrar NEPRA

Islamabad: The Pakistan Information Commission has taken a strong stance on non-compliance with its orders by issuing show cause notices to the Managing Director of the National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) and the Registrar of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).

The notices demand an explanation from these officials as to why proceedings under Section 20(f) of the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 should not be initiated against them.

The show cause notices are a result of the absence of responsible officers before the Commission and their failure to provide requested information to an appellant, despite clear directives from the Pakistan Information Commission.

Section 20(f) empowers the PIC to impose fines equivalent to one day’s salary, up to a maximum of a hundred days, for willful obstruction of activities mandated by the Act, including preventing or delaying the disclosure of information to an applicant.

The Managing Director of NESPAK was summoned for hearings on September 19, 2023, and today, October 19, 2023. However, no written reply was submitted, and no representative attended on his behalf.

Similarly, the Registrar of NEPRA was directed on September 27, 2023, to provide requested information to an appellant within ten days, but the order was not complied with.

It is pertinent to mention that the PIC has passed orders for the deduction of 100 days’ salary of the CEO, Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and 30 days’ salary of the Superintending Engineer, Pak PWD in different appeals for not complying with the order of the Commission this month.

The PIC is a quasi-judicial body established under the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 to oversee the implementation of the Act and to adjudicate on appeals filed against the public bodies. The Act guarantees the right of every citizen to have access to information held by public bodies.

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