The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right To Information Act, 2013
Purpose of the Act: To facilitate and encourage the disclosure of information promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost in the Province of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
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 “Right to Information Act, 2013” in the province
Easily Accessible Information to the Public: Public bodies need to display or publish the following mentioned items if requested by the citizens of KP in order to ensure easy access to public information, such as:
- Publication and availability of records
- Information about the public body, including its organization, functions, duties, powers and any services it provides to the public
- A directory of its officers and employees, including a description of:
- Powers and functions
- Respective remunerations
- perks and privileges
- Norms and criteria of the public institutions such as rules, manuals or policies used by its employees
- Decision making process and how people can give input (if available) or be consulted in the process
- Relevant facts and background information that affect public such as important policies and decisions
- Budget of the public office
- Subsidy or benefit programmes provided by the public institution
- Displaying procedure how to connect public office holders such as name, title and contact details
- The respective government body is obligated to publish an annual report which underlines how the public body has acted on the requests of information to the public under this act. Furthermore, the annual report must be formally sent to speaker provincial assembly for further action if necessary.
Additional information: The Following information explains the process, which is:
- Any citizen of the province of KP can lodge a request for information.
- Request shall be in writing and must contain sufficient details to locate the information sought.
- The requester can never be asked for the reason of his/her request.
- Requester is to be provided with a proof of the request received and the name of the official responsible for processing it.
- Disable people shall be duly facilitated by the public information officer.
- If request does not falls under the public office domain to which it is requested, then two steps can be taken by the public information officer, such as:
- Refer it to relevant department where information could be sought and inform the requester
- If the public office does not hold information of the relevant office which holds information, then requested be returned and inform requester about the situation.
Notice to the Requester: Public information officer is obligated with a written response to the requester which shall indicate either:
- Request has been accepted for further action.
- Request rejected because it does not comply with the rules.
- Request rejected because information is already publicly available.
- Request rejected because information is exempt from public knowledge. In this case the relevant clause must be mentioned to the requester and details for the right to appeal against this decision must also be specified.
- A seal or certificate must be attached with the official response to the request attesting the authenticity of documents.
Duration of Processing
- Maximum ten working days with ten additional days if documents are located difficult to locate such as in multiple offices.
- Information need to protect life and property be treated as urgent and provided in maximum two days.
- Citizens of KP can lodge free of cost request for information.
- Reasonable amount to be incurred for the correspondence through mail (attested copy).
- First twenty pages are exempt from any costs of physical copy (attested copy).
Cases for Disclosure Refusal: In the following cases, the public service officer and RTI commission can withhold or refuse information, such as:
- Information related to national security.
- Information which could harm the international relations or international security.
- Information which could harm economy or public office by giving undue advantage to the person.
- Information which could harm policy making process of the country.
- Information which could encroach the privacy of third party.
- Information which could hamper the legal proceedings.