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     November 26,  2015

Detail

 
CGPA scorecard reveals poor implementation of KP right to information law

Chitral Times Report

Peshawar: Nowshera and D.I.Khan turned out to be the best performers in implementation of KP Right to Information (RTI) Laws while Chitral and Upper Dir are the worst performers. At provincial level, Finance, Food, Information and Public Relations, and Tourism departments are the best performers in implementation of the RTI law, while health, labour, law, mineral development, and Planning and Development (P&D) departments are the worst performers. The Right to Information Commission could resolve only 50 complaints out of total 90 complaints filed. Police department at district level is the best implementer of KP RTI law, followed by health and PHE departments. District courts and district education departments lie at the bottom of the district level departments’ ranking of five selected departments’ comparative performance. This is revealed by the scorecard developed by the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) for evaluating public bodies’ performance on implementation of KP RTI law.

The RTI scorecard weighted both responses and provision of the requested information. If the department responded to information request even without providing information, it was also weighted. The maximum weightage for responding to information requests within 10 days was 10 marks. CGPA filed 152 information requests to 32 provincial departments and 120 to district level health, education, public health engineering, district courts and police departments. The information requests were about utilization of development funds in fiscal year 2014-15. Public bodies, under KP RTI law, are supposed to proactively disclose such information themselves even without any information requests from the citizens.

The maximum weightage for each department be it a district level or a provincial level was 10 and a district’s maximum score for its 5 selected districts was 50. The best performer districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on implementation of RTI law, Nowshera and D.I.Khan could score only 27 each out of 50 marks. While Chitral district is the most unresponsive district vis-à-vis RTI law’s implementation. It is however to be considered that Chitral falls in Provincially Administered Trial Areas (PATA) and the RTI law is yet to be extended to PATA. In the settled districts, District Abbottabad ranked the lowest with scoring only 4 marks.

The scorecard findings identify an emphatic necessity of affirmative action on part of the executive and change in mindset of the public bodies. Under the KP Right to Information law, every public body shall provide requested information within 10 working days. Only one department, Public Health Engineering Department of D.I. Khan provided the requested information within 10 working days. It is also revealing that out of 152 information requests, only 62 departments responded within 20 working days and 90 complaints had to be filed with the RTI commission. Those 90 complaints should have been resolved within 60 days as per KP RTI law but only 50 could be resolved. 40 complaints are yet not resolved despite the lapse of 60 days.

CGPA demanded affirmative actions on part of the KP public bodies and RTI Commission for the implementation of RTI law in the province. CGPA demanded all administrative heads of the public bodies at the districts and provincial level to fulfill their constitutional and legal responsibility to

implement RTI law. The public bodies should proactively disclose all information of public importance in order that citizens can positively engage themselves in improving public service delivery, it concluded.

 

 

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