Be more transparent in sharing info: speakers
Senior government officials at a discussion yesterday urged all public servants to be transparent when it comes to sharing information with people. This, the speakers said, will help to ensure an open flow of information.
If information is shared this way, it not only ensures transparency and accountability of the government’s activities, but also helps accelerate the ongoing development of the country, the officials said.
On the occasion of a decade of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, enacted in 2009, the Cabinet Division and Information Commission jointly organised the discussion at Officers Club in the capital.
Speaking as the chief guest, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said open flow of information is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within 2030 and the government’s plan to turn the country into a developed nation according to Vision 2041.
“We will have to change our traditional mindset and be more open to share information if we want to achieve these targets,” the cabinet secretary said, addressing government employees.
Chief Information Commissioner Martuza Ahmed said the formulation and implementation of RTI in 2009 was a groundbreaking event in the country’s history as it helped to ensure people’s access to information widely.
Proper implementation of RTI Act can help reduce corruption and ensure good governance. Through these, it can strengthen the country’s sustainable development and protect people’s rights, he added.
Information Secretary Kamrun Nahar, Information Commissioner Suraiya Begum and several other senior government officials also spoke at the programme.
ABOUT THE RTI ACT
Enacted in 2009 the RTI Act is considered to be a significant development in the field of promoting human rights and good governance in Bangladesh. The preamble of the RTI Act stipulates that right to information is an essential part of freedom of speech, conscience, and thought, which is guaranteed as a fundamental right in Article 39 of the Constitution.
As article 7(1) of the Constitution promotes supremacy of the Constitution, declaring “all powers of the Republic belong to the people”, right to information is thus necessary to empower people.
The tremendous power of the Act lies in its ability to promote transparency and accountability in the work of public officials. Through this, the act helps combat corrupt practices that have accrued over the years in the delivery of safety-net benefits.