PESHAWAR: Spokesman for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government Kamran Khan Bangash on Tuesday said the provincial government was committed to ensuring transparency in all spheres of governance by facilitating the people’s access to all the information of public importance held by government departments.

In a statement issued here in connection with the International Day for Universal Access to Information, Mr Bangash said KP was the first province in the country to legislate on RTI and establish an independent commission for the oversight and implementation of the law.

He said KP had been declared the ‘most transparent province’ by civil society organisations in surveys conducted over the last two years.

Govt spokesman says departments disclosed 89pc data proactively

“Our government believes in the maximum disclosure of public information. The government departments have disclosed 89 per cent of their data proactively through their respective websites and other mediums, while the information department made 100 per cent proactive disclosure of information,” he said.

He said 21,328 residents had so far sought information from different public sector bodies in the province and 88 per cent of them got response on their requests, while rest of the cases were being processed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Commission.

The spokesman said the outbreak of Covid-19 badly affected all sectors of governance and service delivery in the last two years.

“The people’s need for information has never been stronger than these two years as the nations struggle to overcome the pandemic and rebuild communities and institutions,” he said.

Mr Bangash said during the last two years, 4,585 people sought information from government organisations and around 60 per cent of them received it, while the KPIC decided 80 per cent of the complaints filed with it.

He said in the pandemic-induced situation, the KPIC launched a web portal to help the people get the required information.

“A total of 1,935 citizens have used the portal to access data held by public sector bodies. The information commission has so far received 433 online complaints and 74 per cent of them have been resolved,” he said.

The spokesman said the government, in order to facilitate the provision of the sought-after information to the people on their doorstep, had worked out a comprehensive plan to support the KPIC in setting up its field offices at the divisional level.

He added that five of those seven divisional offices had already become functional.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2021

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