In a bid to make the political parties transparent and accountable, the freedom1 Forum has launched a campaign by seeking information with the political parties representing in the parliament.
The Right to Information (RTI) Act 2007 has defined political parties as public bodies, so they are obliged to proactively disclose information of their entire activities in a routine manner.
Premised on this very provision of the RTI Act 2007, right activists in the freedom1 Forum sought the following information with the parties:
1. Name of information officer in the central office of the party, his telephone number and email.
2. What is the official media to disseminate the news and information about the party? Does the party have any mouthpieces, website, newspaper, radio or notice board (citizens’ charter)? If any, information about this.
3. Has the party formulated any formal policy on dissemination of information? If formulate, copy of the policy.
4. What is the total number of the members in the party? Is the membership of two or more types? If any, what are these and the information about these.
5. How many staffs does the party have for full time? Information about this.
6. Are there any leaders and office bearers receiving regular perks and benefits? If any, provide information about the monthly perks and benefits to them.
7. Does the party get regular donation in addition to its members? If gets, give information about those providing more than 20,000 donations in the recent three years.
8. Has the party invested in any business, hospital, media, cooperatives, bank, finance, school, college, commercial building, transport service, and share in any firm? Detailed information about this.
9. Information about the fixed asset (land, house etc) of the party and the party using.
10. Does the party carry out annual auditing? If carries out auditing, provide copies of the reports of the auditing of recent three years.
11. Copies of the party’s statute, regulations, directives and other policy level documents.
The political parties are not only public bodies but also the entities to propel the agenda of transparency and accountability. Therefore, the parties are urged to provide information by internalizing the essence and emergence of the RTI as a tool to foster people responsive governance.