Add Your Heading Text HereWorkshop: Universal Access to Infomration (IDUAI 2022): Ensuring Participation, Accountability and Good Governance through RTI

Workshop: Universal Access to Infomration (IDUAI 2022): Ensuring Participation, Accountability and Good Governance through RTI
Date: 27 September 2022
Location: Tehsil Kamalia, District TT Singh, Punjab

Summary :

In the wake of International Day for Universal Access to Information, Transparency Interrnational Pakistan in collaboraiton with the Social Welfare Society organized a workshop in a local restaurant in Tehsil Kamalia, District Toba Tek Singh, Punjab. A total of 45 partcipants including 13 females and 32 males participated in the workshop. These participants were from Rescue 1122, Livestock, Education Department, Law Department and Housewives. The International Day for Universal Access to Information is celebrated all over the world on September 28. The workshop started with the recitation of the Holy Quran.

Ms. Azra, Project Manager, Social Welfare Society introduced Transparency International Pakistan and its objectives. She also introduced Social Welfare Society and its past perforamnce and work in the district.

Moving on, Mr. Nasir Saleemi, General Secretary, Social Welfare Society provided a detailed training to the participants on the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013. He exaplined RTI law as a social accountability tool which was enacted after the 18 th Amendment to the Constitution in Pakistan in 2010. He highlighted that RTI allows the citizens an access to public infomration with reasonale restrictions.

He explained in detail important terms from the law such as applicant, public bodies, infomartion, and infomration commission. Under this law, following are some of the examples of information, an individual can ask from a public body.

1. Number of teachers in primary schools of a district
2. Education, health and development budget of the district
3. The merit list of any job
4. Number of employees in a department and their salaries
5. Public funds allocated to the department

Mr. Nasir explained to the participants about the RTI applciation procedure. He also explained the function and mandate of Infomartion Commission, and how it will deals with a complaint. In the end, the participants practised how to write an RTI application. All participants promised to apply to various organizations for more information. The participants were shown a video of the Punjab Information Commission through multimedia. Towards the end, participants also asked questions which were answered to their satisfaction. One of the participants told about the increase in drugs in Kamalia, and asked how the RTI can help us to stop the use of drugs.

At the end of the workshop, lunch was served. Participants thanked Transparency International Pakistan for organizing RTI awareness seminars.