RTI bill passed in Srilanka
2 years ago curradmin 0
RTI bill passed in Srilanka, Yes, you have the right to question how much money was spent to repair the road. You also have the right to question if foreign money was obtained to repair the road and how much of it has really been spent. People also have the
right to question how many people were paid wages to repair the road and how much the meterials cost. You will then know if the money allocated for the road went to its repair or into a contractor’s pocket at your expense.
RTI bill passed in Srilanka
After receiving public feedback and engaging in consultations with Public Authorities (PAs), the RTI Commission has meanwhile finalised Guidances on Pro-active Disclosures by Ministers under Sections 8/9 and Inquiry Rules under Section 42 (1) (b) to be gazetted.
These list budgetary and procurement information among information that must be proactively disclosed. For foreign projects which exceeds one hundred thousand US dollars or local projects that exceeds five hundred thousand rupees, mandated prior information that Ministers are required to publish includes regulatory approvals and environmental assessment reports. Further, preparation of report formats of PAs under the Act and the Commission’s Directives to PAs for Record Management under Section 7 are now at the final stage.
The Commission is pleased to announce the recruitment of its Director General, senior public servant Mr. Piyathissa Ranasinghe who was previously involved in the implementation of the Act in Sri Lanka. We are confident that his contribution to our work as the independent supervisory and appeal authority under the Act will be significant.
The RTI bill was amended following the Supreme Court’s decision in May that certain clauses of the Bill violate the constitution and it will need a two-thirds majority in Parliament to become law if not amended.
The introduction of the Right to Information Act was a key pledge in the 100-day work program of the government.
A request for access to information shall be refused under following circumstances: Information related to personal information devoid of any public interest, defense matters of the state, confidential details on international agreements, information which might harm the economy of Sri Lanka, trade secrets, medical records, communication between a professional and a public authority which is not permitted to be disclosed, information which might hamper detection of any crime, information which would be in contempt of court, information that would infringe the privileges of Parliament and information which may be harmful to the integrity of an examination conducted by the Department of Examination, etc.
Ministries, departments, public corporations, local authorities, non-governmental organizations that are substantially funded by the government, higher educational institutions, courts and tribunals etc. should provide access to information and shall maintain records. They must also endeavor to preserve all records in electronic format.
A body called the “Right to Information Commission” will be established. The Commission shall consist of five (5) persons appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. One person each will be nominated by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, organizations of publishers, editors and media persons and other civil society organizations. The persons who are distinguished in public life with proven knowledge, experience and eminence in law, governance, public administration, management etc. will be appointed to this Commission. The Commission shall monitor the performance of public authorities and information officers.
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