Freedom Forum welcomes the order issued by the National Information Commission (NIC), urging all 744 local governance units to fully abide by the Right to Information Act.
Mentioning clearly about the constitutional provision under the fundamental rights, the NIC order has said citizens have the right to seek information of his and of public importance from the public agencies, and made aware the public agencies at local levels to fully abide by the RTI Act, providing the demanded information to the public. The adherence to the RTI Act is the practice of transparency and accountability, which not only empowers citizens but also bolsters democracy.
Through the order issued on May 3, the public agencies have been asked
- to appoint the Information Officers,
- to make public his/her address,
- to keep record of the information demanded and supplied,
- to provide training to the office staff; and to adopt and maintain electronic record system to ensure various national languages and media so that it would convenience citizens’ access to information at public agencies
- and ensure the incorporation of RTI while preparing any law, policy, annual work plan and the visions.
Freedom Forum, as an organization working and advocating continuously for transparent and accountable governance with the use of RTI had suggested and prodded the NIC for it, so that it would help create a base for the implementation of RTI in the changed context.
At present, Nepal has witnessed tremendous change in terms of the constitution and governance model. With the federal system in place, unitary system of governance is transformed into the effective decentralization of power. It is in deed the the devolution of authority empowering the local levels. Therefore, improved, transparent and accountable public service delivery is expected from the local units of government across the country.
As the federal system is getting implemented, the NIC order has made aware the public agencies to practice transparency from the very beginning.
The FF has realized that its untiring RTI campaigns, advocacy and suggestion for building information-friendly local governance are gradually creating effects. It is laudatory in deed.