PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Commission (KPIC) on Monday imposed fine on seven government departments for not providing information to the citizens, while served show-cause notice on 19 public bodies for withholding public record sought by citizens.

A statement issued here said that KPIC took the decision against the government departments during a special sitting while taking up the cases wherein the public bodies failed to provide the record sought by citizens even beyond the timeline according to the provisions of KP Right to Information Act (KP RTI Act), 2013.

The commission while invoking Section 26 (2) of KPRTI law imposed Rs10,000 each on six departments namely Khyber district education officer (male), Mansehra Press Club, village council Toru No.2 Mardan, village council Shamatpur No.1 Mardan, Kurram deputy commissioner and Nowshera district education officer (female). The commission a fine of Rs15,000 on directorate of law and human rights.

The statement said that taking strong exception to the lethargy and lukewarm response by some pubic bodies in providing information to the citizens, the commission issued final notices to four departments including administration department, Peshawar Institute of Cardiology, higher education department and Hazara University Mansehra, directing them to forthwith provide data to people, who sought it.

After inordinate delay in disposal of cases due to Covid-19 and some other related issues, KPIC worked out a mechanism to expedite disposal of complaints.

The commission while making observations about some public bodies that released information to the citizens said that following Covid-19 and subsequent measures by the government, some cases had gone beyond the time as stipulated in the law.

It directed the government departments to provide the data to the public and publish the same proactively. Show-cause notices have been issued to BISE Peshawar, Lakki Marwat DEO (female), communication and works department, health department, local government and rural development department, Peshawar DPO, Swat University, Etea, Swabi DEO (female), Khyber DEO (male), Environmental Protection Agency Peshawar and administration department.

Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2021

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