Newsletter 108

A newsletter containing news

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A newsletter containing news, views, articles, investigative stories in the field of

Right to Information

From

Around the World

Issue No: 108

E - Alert

Issue Date: 05-10-2015

 

 

Editorial:

Greetings from Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, (CPDI).

Not exactly 50 but RTI movement in Pakistan has many shades. We have excuse of RTI laws and we have highly rated RTI laws. We have commissions as well as Ombudsman as appellate bodies. We see politicians enacting effective laws in KP and Punjab and see same politicians trying to dilute RTI law in the case of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a combo of bureaucrats and politicians trying to thwart work of Punjab Information Commission through their all too familiar shenanigans i.e. not posting staff, not approving service rules for the commission so that it could not hire on its own and delaying the release of budget, to name a few. Yet another peculiar shade is reflected in the attitude of PPP towards RTI legislation. The party played instrumental role in insertion of 18th Amendment in the constitution thereby playing pivotal role in according right to information constitutional protection and its Senator Farhat Ullah Babar playing leading role in the approval of draft federal RTI bill by Senate Committee on Information and Broadcasting and yet this party has not repealed Sindh Freedom of Information Act 2006 and neither it repealed federal FOIO 2002 when it was in power from 2008 to 2013.

These shades of RTI situation in the country necessitate multi-pronged responses from civil society actors. Yes, we wanted independent and autonomous information commission and we got these in two provinces. Are these information commissions delivering? We have been endeavoring for enactment of effective right to information laws and we got them in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. Are citizens using them for attainment of their rights? If yes, to what extent and if not why not? Have civil society groups working in health, education environment and agriculture sectors been able to use these laws? These and other questions we need to find answers to in order to strengthen RTI movement in the country.

CPDI is in the process of finalizing ‘Information Commissions’ Performance Barometer’ to scientifically measure performance of Punjab Information Commission and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Commissions and we will be sharing details soon.

Happy reading,

CPDI

 

UK

Hypocritical politicians 'hate' freedom of information, says former commissioner

The Guardian

Public commitment to freedom of information on all sides of politics is “rank hypocrisy”, the former information commissioner, John McMillan, has said...

 

Pakistan

Punjab Information Commission still understaffed

The News International

ISLAMABAD: Despite introduction of much-trumpeted Right to Information (RTI) law, Punjab's bureaucracy is still not allowing general public to access ...

 

Canada

Fix Canada's Broken Access to Information System

Canada NewsWire (press release)

Send an email to your representatives: using CJFE's simple one-click platform, you can easily make your right to information a priority to federal party ...

 

India

IAS officer takes the RTI route over sudden transfer

Chandigarh Tribune

... Vineet Chawdhry, Additional Chief Secretary (Health), has sought information under Right to Information (RTI) about he being divested of the Urban ...

 

USA

Changes sought in Michigan's Freedom of Information Act

WLNS

State lawmakers Tim Greimel and Jeremy Moss will be introducing a plan that would expand the Freedom of Information Act to cover the state ...

 

Pakistan

Despite Promises, KP did not undo regressive changes to KP Right to Information Law

Daily Pakistan

LAHORE (Staff Report) – Despite well-publicized promises, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has yet to undo the widely criticized ...

 

India

Local governments to offer information suo motu under RTI

The Hindu

Local governments such as Chennai Corporation have started implementing suo motu disclosure under Right to Information Act 2005. Residents will ...

 

USA

APNewsBreak: Arkansas execution plan may use UK firm's drug

U.S. News & World Report

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, the AP obtained redacted photographs of the containers, product inserts and expiration dates of drugs ...

 

Bangladesh

Govt asked not to enact laws against right to info

The Daily Star

Transparency International Bangladesh has urged the government not to enact laws conflicting with the Right to Information Act, 2009.

 

Armenia

Armenian ministry of agriculture wins Golden Key award of Freedom Information Center

Arka News Agency (press release)

The award was handed to deputy minister of agriculture Armen Harutyunyan by the head of the Freedom of Information Center Shushan Doydoyan.

 

Scotland

Public services escaping freedom of information scrutiny, campaign says

Herald Scotland

The public's right to know about public services is being eroded as more and more policies stop being covered by Freedom of Information (FOI) laws, ...

 

India

Maharashtra ministers lobbied for transfers of senior IPS officers, reveal RTI papers

The Indian Express

... for transfers of senior IPS officers, reveal RTI papers. Official papers obtained by The Sunday Express under the Right to Information (RTI) Act show.

 

Canada

Canada slides to 59th of 102 nations on information freedom

TheChronicleHerald.ca

... Canada's Access to Information Act ranks a very poor 59th place globally from among 102 countries with right to information (RTI) laws, just behind ...

 

UK

Sir Jeremy Heywood attacks Freedom of Information laws

Daily Mail

The Cabinet Secretary also said Whitehall departments faced rising costs as they dealt with requests under the Freedom of Information Act – which ...

 

UK

AG rules against Rauner, in favor of Illinois Times

Illinois Times

... ruled that the governor must turn over his appointment calendar in response to the paper's request made under the state Freedom of Information Act.

 

America

Naperville spent $760000 on fixes after 2012 cyber attack

Chicago Tribune

A Naperville Sun Freedom of Information request for any FBI records related to the Naperville hack remains ongoing. Krieger said he had not heard ...

 

India

SC declines info on prefix 'justice'

Chandigarh Tribune

In its response to an application filed under the Right to Information Act by advocate Hemant Kumar, the Supreme Court has said: “It is beyond the ...

 

 

 

 

Transparency and Right to Information Program
-------------------------------------------- 
Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, Pakistan (CPDI-Pakistan)
Tel: +92 (0) 51-2375158-9; 4319430
URL: 
www.cpdi-pakistan.org