freedom1 Forum has again moved the National Information Commission (NIC) on June 28, 2012 again regarding the denial of Nepal Oil Corporation to provide complete information the FF sought.

Although the NOC had provided partial information to the FF as per the NIC directive on April 9, 2012, it did not abide by the NIC directive to provide all information.

The clause 10 (d) of the Right to Information Act mentions, final decision should be taken with necessary action on the appeal within 60 days. The FF had appealed in the NIC about this on April 10, 2012, making defendant to NOC Chief Suresh Kumar Agrawal, and demanded action as well. But nothing further is provided by the NOC though 60 days of the appeal passed.

Therefore, the FF wants to know what is going on about the appeal further development is on this.

Earlier, after the directive of the NIC, the NOC, on April 9, 2012 provided 75-page long information to the FF.  It showed there was no policy and scheme of distributing fuel. The NOC provided the fuel randomly to the bigwigs.

The partial information of the NOC revealed it distributed a total of 37,824 litres of petrol and 29,484 litres of diesel free of cost to the bigwigs since fiscal year 2008-09.

But the list is full of anomalies. NOC failed to provide all vehicle numbers to which it distributed petroleum free of cost. The Executive Chief in the NOC exercised his rights to distribute the fuel.

Distribution of fuel without keeping record points to corruption. Even the numbers that it has provided seem bogus as they don’t mention zones or the alphabets. Coupon numbers mentioned in the list are also not in order. Moreover, there is no buying and selling rate of petroleum products as demanded by the FF.

Seeking information with the NOC about distribution of fuel is an intervention on public enterprise as per the RTI Act to make the enterprise transparent and accountable.

Free distribution of fuel by NOC
2011-12 Petrol – 535 litres Diesel – 590 litres
2010-11 Petrol – 8,936 litres Diesel – 8,740 litres
2009-10 Petrol – 15,812 litres Diesel – 11,014 litres
2008-09 Petrol – 12,541 litre Diesel – 9,140 litres

Earlier, the Information Commission had issued a verdict on March 20, 2012 ordering the Chief of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to compulsorily provide information to the freedom1 Forum about the free distribution of oil, diesel and petrol, and its buying and sales details within 15 days of the verdict, reasoning that it was illegal to deny information by the NOC, a public agency, on this as per the RTI Act 2007.

Also, the Commission summoned NOC Chief to present himself before the Commission to clarify why he could not be punished as per the Act for he denied information sought by the freedom1 Forum as per the Act.

The Commission verdict was expected to render great effects and impact on the public bodies like NOC to be transparent by abiding by the RTI Act, but the NOC denied complete information.

freedom1 Forum has, therefore, appealed to the NIC for move clear and complete information about the freed distribution of fuel today.

Earlier, the freedom1 Forum, on March 20, had filed application in the Commission demanding action on the NOC for it denied information violating the RTI Act.

The freedom1 Forum, on December 27, 2011 had filed application addressing NOC Chief demanding the information but he denied it.

freedom1 Forum had sought the following information with NOC for the first time on December 6, 2012:

a)    Complete details about the free coupon of petroleum products distributed to the persons/offices by the NOC since July 17, 2006 till date (name and address of the persons/office getting petroleum products, amount provided and petrol pump and date)

b)     On which basis the NOC has provided the free coupon; photocopies of any policy documents or guidelines or decision if has any

c)    Amount of the petroleum products and LP Gas the NOC purchased and sold, and details of purchase and retail prices since July 17, 2006 (separate purchased amount and sale prices of each time with clear date)

As the NOC is a public body, every Nepali citizen has the ownership on it. Its administrative and financial activities must therefore be transparent to all Nepalis.