Pakistan improves position in Global RTI rating

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan improves its position in international Right To Information rating from 91 to 33 due to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and federal government’s positive steps toward Right to Information Act.

According to latest RTI rating issued by Global Right to Information Rating, Afghanistan has replaced Mexico at the very top of the RTI rating, with an impressive score of 139 points out of a possible 150, or 93 per cent.

Mexico is now in second place, with 136 points, followed by Serbia with 135 and Sri Lanka with 131. Countries from the Global South dominate the top of the RTI Rating, with not a single Western country in the top 25.

All but one of the countries in the top 25 positions adopted their laws since 2000, reflecting the fact that RTI laws are, on average, getting stronger and stronger as time goes on.

Interestingly, Pakistan was at 91st position and Afghanistan occupied 33rd   position in the Global Right to Information Rating list in 2017 but both countries improved a lot. Pakistan government adopted the RTI in 2002 and Afghanistan in 2014.

The Global Right to Information Rating (RTI Rating) is a methodology which comparatively assesses the strength of legal frameworks for the right to information from around the world.

At the heart of the methodology for applying the RTI Rating are 61 indicators, each corresponding to a particular feature of a good RTI regime. For each indicator, countries earn points within a set range of scores, depending on how well the legal framework delivers the Indicator, for a possible total of 150 points.

The indicators are divided into seven different categories, namely: Right of Access, Scope, Requesting Procedures, Exceptions and Refusals, Appeals, Sanctions and Protections, and Promotional Measures.

On November 26, 2018, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain launched a three-member Federal Information Commission for implementation of Federal Right to Information Law. He said the law will help journalists to seek information on various issues from the government departments.

Each government department will be obliged to give information in ten days. If it does not comply, the case will be sent to the relevant Commission. He said a whistle blower act to curb corruption is also coming soon which is a great step towards ending this menace. Reward money of twenty per cent will be given from the recovered amount to the person who blows the whistle regarding any corruption.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Bill, 2013 had been passed by the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on 3st October 2013. KP government is actively implanted the RTI Bill in the province. Punjab government had also launched RTI commission but t could not implement as effective as KP.



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