Sindh RTI bill can be one of the best

Karachi: The proposed Sindh right to information (RTI) bill could be one of the best RTI laws in the world, says Toby Mendel, the Executive Director of Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) a Canada-based organization, who has examined the Sindh RTI draft.

Currently, the top three RTI laws of the world are the RTI laws of Serbia, Slovenia and India, and their respective scores are 135, 130 and 130. However, the Sindh RTI draft prepared by the “Coalition for Transparency & Access to Information” (C-TAI) scores an excellent 139 points, which is remarkable and something to be proud of, says a release.

The C-TAI is a coalition of 26 Sindh-based NGOs and CSOs.

The release said it is very encouraging that the C-TAI draft version of the Sindh RTI bill has achieved top ranking in the world, with 139/150 points. If this law is enacted in the province, it would be one of the best RTI laws in the world, adding now it is in the hands of the Sindh governments to replace their defunct Freedom of Information Act 2006 with this effective RTI bill.

The principles underpinning solid RTI legislation include maximum disclosure, limited scope of exemption, a process to facilitate access to information, and protection of whistle-blowers.

“This ranking is the best penalty corner; now the government should convert it into meaningful goal,” says Zafarullah Khan, executive director of Civic Education.

Endless efforts of the coalition went into preparing this draft, and it has culminated in this draft as being declared one of the best in the world. It is hoped that the Sindh government reciprocates the struggle and efforts made by the civil society, by adopting and enacting this draft. Only the practical implementation of the new and effective RTI bill can eliminate corruption and bring much needed good governance, the release concluded.