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Monday April 22, 2024

Audit shows no Punjab dept fully implemented RTI Act

By asif mahmood
March 23, 2021

LAHORE: The social audit report, carried out by the Punjab Information Commission to assess the implementation of the Right to Information Act 2013, has revealed that no provincial department implemented the Act 100 per cent during the past year.

According to the documents available with this reporter, the social audit of 200 government departments was carried to check the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The initial report showed that all government departments showed slackness with varied degrees to implement the law. The report pointed out non-appointment of chief public information officers and public information officers (PIOs), establishment of departmental RTI websites, non-sharing of departmental information on the RTI websites, not imparting RTI law training to the PIOs, non-provision of facilities to the PIOs, and non-issuance of annual reports by the provincial departments about implementation of the RTI Act, etc.

The audit report also pointed out the lack of interest in implementation of the RTI law by the administrative secretaries or heads of the departments due to fear of disclosure of financial as well as administrative irregularities to the public.

However, the Punjab Information Commission has decided that the copies of the social audit report will be sent to all important offices including those of prime minister and the Punjab chief minister.

According to the Punjab Information Commission, the departments which implemented the RTI Act up to 70 per cent include: Punjab Police, Irrigation, Agriculture, Secretariat and General Administration Department, Finance and Information and Culture Department.

However, the departments which implemented the RTI only up to 20pc included the Old City Authority, Punjab Public Service Commission, Faisalabad Development Authority, PHA, Governor’s Secretariat, Punjab Curriculum & Textbook Board, Anti-Corruption, Auqaf, Food and another 100 departments.