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Colonial legacy barrier to free flow of information

  • Published at 01:19 am September 28th, 2016
  • Last updated at 01:20 am September 28th, 2016
Colonial legacy barrier to free flow of information
Do you think that The Right to Information Act, 2009 has empowered people? RTI is an act for the people to empower them. This is the law, which can be imposed on government. Now, the rights to know and provide information to people as per the demands is been established constitutionally. So, people are empowered in knowing information. Has the RTI been able to reduce corruption and to bring accountability and transparency among the government organisations and NGOs? Since the government officials as well as the non-government organisations are bound to provide information, the act has created accountability among them. While, the corruption would came down and transparency will increase as the people are now empowered to get information about the projects and its spending as thy are bound to provide information. How RTI helps in improving people lives? Under the jurisdiction of RTI, people can get information of public services on demand, which helps to not be deceived. On the other hand, government organisation and other offices are designating information through boards, citizen charters and in some cases through mass media, which help to get the service as they are informed. What are the success of Rights to Information Act? In 2009, Right to Information Act was enacted to increase information flow in face of public demands. After the enactment, people’s right to know has been recognized. Its a great achievement. This is because, it has created opportunity to seek information from the government and NGOs. What are the key barriers in ensuring free flow of information to people? Bangladesh has colonial legacy from the British people that administrators work for themselves. But the government is for the people and they have rights to know about its activities. It is not clear to government officials and NGOs. There is a culture that people usually do not want to learn about law, on the other hand they do not want to share information. It has been become a real barrier in the free flow of information. Why RTI is yet to get momentum? In true sense, the act did not become familiar to the countrymen, though seven years have already gone. Inefficiency of officials, lack of technological knowledge, less use of digital media and traditional attitude are responsible for less popularity of the act. What step taken by Information Commission to popularize it? In a country of over 16.5 corer people, demands for information is too limited. For increasing the demands of information, the commission are providing training to young people especially university students, who will work as an activist to encourage people to seek information. Out of 24,500 in-charge  duty officials to provide information, the commission has trained 22,000 officials. We are also organising workshops and making publicity through leaflet, poster and other forms of communication.