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People start getting benefits of RTI Act

People start getting benefits of RTI Act

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People have started getting benefits of the Right to Information (RTI) Act as the increasing number of people is now obtaining their required information, especially from different public organizations, more easily and quickly, reports BSS.

A total of 9,797 applicants sought information from different authorities under the RTI Act from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 and of them, some 9,387 applicants, 95.82 percent, got their required information, thanks to Information Commission (IC) which is working relentlessly so that people can get information in a hassle-free manner. 

“The RTI Act is considered as a strong and effective mechanism to ensure transparency and accountability at all public, autonomous and statutory organizations. The IC is being cooperated by different public and private organizations in various ways in implementing this important act for the benefits of the people as well as the government,” Information Commissioner Dr. Abdul Malek said.

He said the RTI Act was enacted to ensure free flow of information, ensuring people’s right to information, ensuring transparency and accountability at all levels of the state apparatus and thus reducing corruption and establishing good governance. After assuming office for second time in 2009, the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina enacted this effective and people-friendly law that was passed in the first session of the Jatiya Sangsad on April 5, 2009.

“People are gradually becoming aware about their right to information and they are now seeking their required information from different organizations under this law,” added Dr Malek. Analysing the data of the IC’s annual report 2020, a total of 3,864 complaints were lodged with the IC from 2009 to 2020 and out of these, some 2,218 complaints were settled by the commission.

Out of the 10 ministries, divisions and entities which received the maximum number of applications for providing information, it was found that the Election Commission Secretariat provided information to the highest 832 applicants out of 833.

The 10 districts that got the highest number of applications were Nilphamari, Naogaon, Jashore, Barishal, Sylhet, Khulna, Bogura, Natore, Lalmonirhat and Sunamganj.

The ministries and their subordinate agencies concerned earned Taka 734,721 as revenue in 2020 by providing required information to the applicants.

The government formed the Information Commission on July 1, 2009 as per the section 11 of the RTI Act.

The commission is led by former information secretary Mortuza Ahmed as Chief Information Commissioner (CIC). The two other commissioners are former senior secretaries Dr. Abdul Malek and Suraiya Begum.

A total of 290 complaints were lodged with the IC from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Out of these, the hearing of some 159 complaints took place while some 62 complaints were disposed of.

As part of its regular operations, the commission holds training programmes, public awareness meetings and workshops to promote awareness among people about their right to information.

Besides, the online training activities have been introduced for the officers concerned of IC.