RTI Act empowers citizens to improve governance: Info commissioner

ISLAMABAD-Chief Information Commissioner Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui has said that the Right to Information Act, 2017 empowers every citizen of the country to improve governance significantly through the power of knowledge and raising questions in the right and powerful way.
Talking to APP here on Monday, the Information Commissioner said that the RTI Act brings an end to the concept of careless citizenship and makes every Pakistani responsible to ask for information if they find anything doubtful in running the affairs of the government at any level.
“Applicant can file an application on plain paper to the head of the department elaborating which information is required. If the applicant does not receive an answer up to the satisfaction within 10 or even 20 days, RTI can be contacted   through an email to appeals@rti.gov.pk or through the post without visiting ,” he explained.
The aim of RTI is to improve governance through transparency, the Commissioner said adding that currently, they have received more than 3000 appeals and half of them have been disposed of.
He said that the RTI Act encourages citizens to take an active part in improving governance. He highlighted that it is a people-centric and public-friendly law due to which citizens can take an interest in the affairs of the government through framing the good question.
He said that the inclusion of citizens will make government officials mindful, careful and efficient and will double the quality of governance. The commissioner said that Abrupt and unplanned criticism helps none. “Come to a proper forum with practical questions and enjoy the positive outcome”, he added.
He underlined that if the applicant is not satisfied with the quality or quantity of information, the commission will go further until the questioning citizen is satisfied.
Shoaib Siddiqui further stated that no one can harm the whistle-blower as the Commission and the laws of the land are there to protect him against any unlawful consequences. A citizen, aware of the law and his rights, cannot be harmed and such citizens are the people who make a country strong, he added.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt