PAKISTAN: Implementation of Freedom of Information Ord demanded

The Freedom of Information Ordinance (FOI) 2002, which had been enacted to ensure transparency and good governance in government departments, has still not been implemented in letter and spirit despite passage of more than a year

Dawn
Wednesday, December 10, 2003

ISLAMABAD, Dec 9: The Freedom of Information Ordinance (FOI) 2002, which had been enacted to ensure transparency and good governance in government departments, has still not been implemented in letter and spirit despite passage of more than a year.

This was stated in a joint press statement issued by the Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan (CRCP) and Centre for Civic Education Pakistan (CCE) on the eve of International Human Rights Day. Both the organizations maintained that without promulgating the rules of business, the government's commitment towards FOI was nothing less than lip service.

They urged the government to enact the required rules of business to implement the ordinance. Together, the CRCP and the CCE, have been engaged in promotion of freedom of information with the objective of improving citizen's ability to monitor government activities, policies, projects and plans by using the freedom of information law to access the required details.

They have also asked the civil society organizations and democratic forces to put moral pressure on the government to fulfil its pledges regarding access to information by enacting the rules of business immediately.