freedom1 Forum has been elated to share a spectacular verdict of the National Information Commission thereby leveraging the right to information (RTI) movement in Nepal.
The Information Commission 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 is sure to render great effects and impact on the public bodies like NOC to be transparent by abiding by the RTI Act.
freedom1 Forum believes that the Commission’s verdicts help check financial irregularities in the public agencies as they have to provide information sought on the matter of public importance.
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.
Yet again, the freedom1 Forum knocked the Commissions’ door to prod the NOC to provide information.
Now, the verdict has come in freedom1 Forum’s favour.
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.