This commission holds that the requested information about records submitted/generated during the recruitment process are not hit by any of the exemption clauses of “the Act, 2017”, including its Section 7 (g).
This commission issued a detailed Order in Appeal No. 942-03/21, Abdullah Rashed Waraich Vs. Pakistan Housing Authority Foundation which was upheld by the Honourable Islamabad High Court. In this Order, the commission held that information such as regional quota roster maintained by a public body, consolidated result of written test of the posts, attendance sheet of written tests, online applications submitted by candidates who were shortlisted for interview, educational certificates/degrees of the candidates who were shortlisted for interview, answer sheets of all candidates who were called for interview, attendance sheet of interviews, evaluation Proforma containing detail of academic records, marks obtained in written as well as in interviews by the candidates shortlisted for interview, duly signed by Departmental Selection Committee, recommendations of the Departmental Selection Committee regarding selection of candidates is a matter of public importance.
This commission holds that the disclosure of marks assigned by each member of the Selection Board to Each candidate, appeared for interview for the post of Assistant Director Legal at the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority would shed light on the level of transparency adopted in the entire recruitment process and hence help achieve stated objectives of the Act enunciated in its Preamble which are as under:
Making government more accountable to citizens’;
- Greater level of participation of citizens in the affairs of the government’;
- ‘Reducing corruption and inefficiency’;
- Promoting sound economic growth’; and
- Promoting good governance and respect for human rights.
This commission has observed that public officials have limited understanding about right to privacy when juxtaposed with the right of access to information held by public bodies. Privacy/personal information is understood to be, broadly speaking, information/data pertaining to access control (username and/or password), financial information such as bank account, credit card, debit card, or other payment instruments, and, passports, biometric data, and physical, psychological, and mental health conditions, medical records, and any detail pertaining to an individual’s ethnicity, religious beliefs etc.