GO-civil society nexus to implement RTI act urged

July 31, 2011

Building mass awareness on the right to information (RTI) act is imperative to ensure transparency and accountability at all levels, said speakers at a discussion yesterday.
It requires cooperative engagement between the government and civil society bodies, competent officials and political will, they said.
The discussion on RTI act and challenges of its implementation was organised by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) in the city’s Cirdap auditorium.
Elected governments have not been able to overcome the legacy of secrecy, said Chairman of TIB trustee board Sultana Kamal.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman underscored the need for a designated lead agency to implement the RTI act, modernising information management and adoption of voluntary disclosure policy by both public and private organisations.
The culture of secrecy still prevents the demand for and supply of information in the country’s governance system, said Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation.
She urged all to patiently work for the act’s implementation.
The government and civil society must mutually engage towards the act’s implementation, said Maja Daruwala, director of Delhi-based Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI).
A guide book on implementation of the RTI act, jointly published by TIB and CHRI, was unveiled at the discussion, attended by Chief Information Commissioner Muhammad Zamir and chaired by M Hafizuddin Khan, former chairman of TIB. Information Commissioner Prof Dr Sadeka Halim also spoke.

-With The Daily Star input

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