Right to Know

PIC vows to make govt data accessible

LAHORE: The Punjab Information Commission (PIC) has arranged a second meeting of the National Forum of Information Commissioners of Pakistan here on Friday.

The two-day meeting, attended by all the information commissioners, discussed the issues, efforts, and promotion of transparent and accountable regime in Pakistan with maximum public access to information whereas a massive crowd of vigilant civil society including judges, academia, lawyers and journalists were also present in the meeting.

The participants also shared their progress and initiatives to implement RTI laws and also discussed the issues, like non-allocation of funds, delay in appointment of information commissioners, lack of administrative support from the government, delay in finalizing the working rules and subsequent shortage of staff, resistance in disclosing information and colonial mindset of public bodies.

The commissioners also discussed their annual performance and challenges faced by them and the future strategy to effectively implement the RTI law across the country.

During the interactive session, the participants also appreciated the efforts of information commissions but they expressed reservation about the poor response from government departments by not appointing PIOs in all offices and for proactive disclosure of information.

PIC Chief Commissioner Mehboob Qadir Shah informed this scribe that the purpose of the meeting was to create awareness about the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The participation of commissioners from all over the country proves that the commission was interested in making people aware of the practice. “The PIC is focusing on the appointment of PIOs in all the government offices of Punjab,” he concluded.

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