A Launching Ceremony of a report on “Stakeholders’ Perception Survey on the Functioning of the Information Commission in implementing the Right to Information ACT 2009”, Wednesday, 13th November 2013, Dhaka


Event Name : Recent Events

Date : 13 November, 2013-13 November, 2013

Description :

There is a need for a comprehensive strategy for the Information Commission to ensure successful implementation of the Right to Information Act 2009 in Bangladesh. This was discussed in a launching ceremony of a report on “Stakeholders’ Perception Survey on the Functioning of the Information Commission in implementing the Right to Information ACT 2009”. This launching ceremony was successfully organized by the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftungfür die Freiheit (FNF) under the Project on “Strengthening Information Dissemination Capacities of the Key Oversight Institutions in Bangladesh”.  The meeting was held on Wednesday, 13th November 2013, at the Conference Room of Information Commission Bangladesh, from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm.

The distinguished participants have stressed on the issue that RTI is a reflection of an inalienable human right-the freedom of information for the citizens of a country. By raising the level of transparency and accountability; it ensures good governance and strengthens democratic practices. In several countries, RTI has played an important role in bringing about reduction in the scope and magnitude of corruption. The current Government should be lauded for enacting RTI Act 2009 as it reflects its democratic commitment.

The discussion further focused on the Information Commission’s active collaboration with stakeholders namely the Parliamentarians, Politicians from the major parties, Academicians, NGOs, Civil Society, Media, Donor agencies and Trade Union representatives for successful implementation of the RTI Act. The Information commission has done a commendable work within considerably short period of time. The Commission has provided and still providing trainings to the designated officers from all over the country and even they have provided trainings to the secondary school teachers and Imams. Some of the suggestions that came up in the discussion to ensure effective implementation of RTI Act are as follows – 1) Decentralization of Information Commission, 2) Continue to collaborate with electronic, print and social media, along with the telecommunication companies to disseminate information, 3) Carry out advocacy activities to sensitize various stakeholders regarding transparency, accountability and integrity issues, 4) Modifying or amending archaic laws like Official Secrecy Act 1923, 5) There needs to be a truly functional Parliamentary Standing Committee which demands relevant information from the concerned ministries, 6) Primary school teachers need to give training about RTI awareness, and 7) The Information Commission can undertake capacity development of field workers who would then spread the reach of the IC and RTI Act 2009.

During the program, a draft report on “Stakeholders’ Perception Survey on the Functioning of the Information Commission in implementing the Right to Information ACT 2009” has been launched. The report explored and measured the Commission’s standing and reputation among the key stakeholders. The report also identified the benefits and the obstacles of the commission in implementing the RTI Act. Furthermore, areas such as efficacy of the Information Commission, need for amendment of existing RTI Act, stakeholder engagement in policy reforms of the Information Commission, ways and means to improve grass root awareness building and participation are also looked into. Mr. Parvez Karim Abbasi, Senior Lecturer, East West University, Bangladesh has presented the keynote paper.

Ambassador (Retd.) Mohammed Farooq, Chief Information Commissioner, Information Commission Bangladesh was present at the event as the Chief Guest. Among others, Secretary (Rtd.) M. A. Taher, Information Commissioner, Information Commission Bangladesh and Prof. Dr. Sadeka Halim, Information Commissioner, Information Commission Bangladesh spoke at the event. Mr. Farooq Sobhan, President, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) moderated the program. The event also brought together designated officers, NGOs, development partners, and media.

Posted Date : 17 November, 2017