Thursday, 7 July, 2022

‘Proper enforcement of RTI act essential for SDG achievement’

RAJSHAHI: Successful implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) act can be the best way of supplementing the government efforts of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, reports BSS.

Full-length implementation of the RTI act with unhindered flow of information by all government and non-government organisations concerned needs to be ensured for expediting development and ensuring good governance everywhere in the society.

The observation came at a daylong training workshop on RTI for government officials and staff at Hotel Warisan here Saturday.

Association for Community Development (ACD) hosted the training supported by the Carter Centre under the "Advancing Women's Right of Access to Information in Bangladesh" project.

Ensuring responsiveness of the public offices for providing information in an efficient and equitable manner was the main objective of the workshop.

With ACD Executive Director Salima Sarwar in the chair, the inaugural session was addressed by Additional Deputy Commissioner Shariful Haque and Deputy Director of the Department of Youth Development Golam Mahbub as the chief and special guests respectively. Rokhsana Afroz from the Carter Centre also spoke.

ACD Director Sharmin Subrina gave an overview of the project along with its objectives and implantation strategy during her concept paper presentation while Project Coordinator Subrata Kumar Paul moderated the discussion.

Sharmin Subrina told the meeting that the project is being implemented in the Ward Number 5 and 6 of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) and Gogram and Matikata Unions of Godagari upazila and Chanduria and Saranjai Unions of Tanore upazila of Rajshahi district.

As a whole, the project is intended to create an enabling environment where women, especially Dalit and Marginalized are able to enjoy Right to information from government and non-government agencies for protecting their fundamental Rights.

Former Secretary to the Information Commission Mohibul Hossain and Prof Salma Akter from the Department of Sociology in Dhaka University conducted the training sessions as resource persons.

A total of 29 staff of different public offices who support the designated officials to provide information to the public in general joined the training workshop.

Terming the access to information as vital Mohibul Hossain observed that the role of RTI act to achieve the SDGs is very much effective as its basic objective to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, adding its key commitment is "no one will be left behind".

Shariful Haque said the present government under the prudent and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has adopted diversified steps to attain the goals within stipulated time.

"Implementation of RTI act has become crucial for the sake of establishing good governance in the society and enhancing transparency and accountability in all tiers of public services," he added.