PESHAWAR: Chief Information Commissioner of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information (RTI) Commission Sahibzada Mohammad Khalid on Tuesday asked the administrative departments of the provincial government to update their respective official websites regularly and make sure public access to information.

Speaking at a press conference at Peshawar Press Club, he said that the trend of maintaining secrecy on departmental level was now the thing of the past. The rule of maintaining official secrecy about information had now been replaced with the access to information under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act, he said.

Mr Khaid said that regular activation of the government departments’ websites would facilitate people who wanted to know about the working and efficiency of respective departments.

Special Assistant to the chief minister on law and parliamentary affairs, Arif Yusuf advocate, Commissioner RTI Commission Prof Kalimullah and Abdul Matin were also present on the occasion.

The chief commissioner shared information about the activities of the RTI Commission across the province for the implementation of the law.

He said that the commission had conducted training workshops for public information officers across the province including DI Khan, Mardan, Kohat, Peshawar, Abbottabad, and Mansehra.

He said that the commission had also arranged two-day training workshops for PIOs at the KP Judicial Academy where 90 government officials had so far been trained so that they could efficiently perform their responsibilities under the RTI law.

He said that the commission had so far received 71 cases lodged as complaints by citizens of which 31 cases had been solved and the rest were in the process of hearing by the commission.

The cases have to be decided by the commission within 60 days under the law. He said that they had been creating public awareness about the law through media advertisements.

Answering a question, Mr Matin said that so far no public body had declined provision of information to a citizen as directed by the RTI Commission.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2014