The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Right to Information Act 2013, was passed by the provincial legislature with the objective to ensure the access of citizens to information in government departments and thus create a transparent and corruption free environment conducive for the growth of democracy. i-e. Government of the people, by the people and for the people.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly spearheaded the country's legislatures in becoming the first to introduce this progressive RTI Act. Under the 18th amendment of the constitution it is mandatory for all provinces to pass and implement RTI Law. This is a historic step in the legislative history of Pakistan which empowers citizens to hold public bodies accountable, who so far considered themselves unaccountable.
The law places crucial duties and responsibilities on the designated Public Information Officer (PIOs), to serve as the lynch pin between the public and their respective government institutions, for processing citizens requests for information sought under the RTI law.
The public representatives and the government have to play a very important role but now it’s for the citizens to come forward, to understand and own the Law and actively participate in its implementation to enjoy this fruit of democracy. Awareness about their rights under this Law will change the tide in favor of the common man, ushering in an era of transparency, freedom, peace and prosperity in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The RTI Commission established under the RTI Law is an independent statutory body headed by KP Chief Information Commissioner RTI Commission and two Commissioners. The primary responsibility of the Commission is to ensure that the request of the citizens are processed in time by the public bodies. If the citizens file any complaint against a public body, the Commission after hearing the citizen and the public body takes a decision.
The Commission is also tasked with creating awareness and to ensure that the public bodies pro-actively display their records so that the citizens seldom visit the public offices. The Commission is required by law to lay before the Provincial Assembly an annual report regarding all the public bodies in respect of the implementation of RTI Law in the province.