Lahore, April 23, 2013: The District Copying Manual contains list of public records and citizens can get copies of these records by depositing prescribed fee to the concerned department. There have never been public services messages about the fee and procedures making people aware how common people can have access to their own records. Neither public bodies display such information at prominent places at their premises. Consequently, a majority of citizens do not know about the fee and procedures to get copies of public records held by courts, revenue department and other district public bodies. These views were expressed by speakers in a seminar on ‘Punjab Public Bodies and Proactive Disclosure of Information’ held by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, (CPDI) in a local hotel in Lahore. Mr. Zahid Abdullah, Program Manager CPDI shared with the participants that there are plethora of records related to a common man that are held by public bodies. The power wielded by the public officials stems from the ignorance of the masses. As a result, a common man runs from pillar to post, offers bribes for the copies of his own records like Fard, Fard, Fard beah, Khasra paimaish, Jamabundi, General and special power of attorney, Final court order/judgment and decree, Records of plaint, petitions and written statements of civil, criminal, family and rent cases, any interim order of the court, record of order sheet of any case which he should be able to get by paying a fee of two rupees per page. This lack of information about fee and procedures to get copies of these records results in corruption and hardships for a common man. Senior journalist, Shahzada Irfan stressed the need for proactive disclosure of information by public departments through their web sites. He was of the view that online sharing of information will go a long way in improving service delivery. He lamented the fact that even district Lahore web site is not functioning. The participants of the seminar demanded the provincial government to take launch awareness campaign about the procedure and fee for getting copies of public records from revenue, courts and union councils. They also demanded that all district should be duty-bound to prominently display information about procedures and fee at their promises.