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January 28, 2015

Punjab, KPK RTI Commissions notify fee schedule

National

January 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Punjab Information Commission has directed all public bodies in the province to provide public record and information to applicants free of cost unless the record involves more than 20 pages or any electronic data device.
According to a circular issued by the Commission under the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013 on January 19, the public bodies and the public information officers will charge Rs2 per page as cost of computer printed or photocopy charges for information involving pages in excess of 20 pages.
Under the landmark Punjab RTI law, any citizen of Pakistan can seek information related to functioning of the government department and the public bodies have to respond to the information requests within 14 working days.
“It may be circulated among all the public bodies, administrative units and offices, especially among all the designated public information officers (PIOs) for strict implementation in respect of charging cost of providing information and copies of public record under the above-referred Act,” says the circular.
The commission has directed all public bodies to disseminate the “Schedule of Cost” by prominently displaying it on notice boards in their respective offices and by posting it on their websites for public awareness.
The public bodies have been directed to charge the actual cost of CD, diskette, floppy, cassette video or any other electronic device containing information as determined on the basis of official procurement record. However no cost is to be charged if applicant provides his own device and requires only an electronic copy of the information.
No cost will be charged for inspection of any work while Rs10 will be charged for the first hour of inspection of record/documents for taking notes or extracts. An amount of Rs5 will be charged for each extra 15 minutes after the first hour, says the notification.
Actual cost of the sample of a material will be charged while in

case of a published report, document, book or any other official record, actual price as determined by the public body or the relevant publisher will be paid by the applicant.
The commission has directed the public bodies to ensure the official Schedule of Costs is strictly implemented in its letter and spirit and that no cost other than the one prescribed by the commission shall be charged.
“The applicant shall pay, against a proper receipt, the cost of access to information to the PIO who shall deposit the same in the relevant receipt head.Meanwhile, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa RTI Commission had also issued a notification on December 19 last year specifying the schedule of fee for hard copies of information required by the applicants from the public bodies. According to the notification NO B&A (RTIC-1-3/2014), no fee will be charged for up to 20 pages while Rs5 per page will be charged if the material is in excess of 20 pages. An amount of Rs8 will be charged per page if both sides of a page are used.