The Ministry of Interior directed to provide the requested information, if available with the Respondent public body or with any of its attached departments, divisions or any of its subordinate office, to the Appellant About “CCTV Camera Footage at public place namely the Government Girls School G-6/1-3 Islamabad showing the kidnapping of journalist Matiullah Jan on July 21, 2020”.
The Ministry of Interior was directed to put the notification of the designated Public Information Officer under Section 9 of the Act on its web site as required under Section 5 (1) (b) of the Act and also put name, designation and contact details of the PIO on its web site as required under Section 5 (1) (h) of the Act and submit compliance report to the commission within 10 working days of the receipt of this order.
It was directed to take immediate steps to proactively share through the web site all categories of information mentioned in Section 5 of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017 and submit the compliance report to the commission in the Template for the Compliance Report-Proactive Disclosure of Information under Section 5 of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017’, as shared in para 15 of this Order, by 15/11/2020.
It was also directed to determine the level of the accessibility of the information proactively published on its web site under Section 5 of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017 with regards to the special needs of the blind, low-vision, physically disabled, speech and hearing impaired and people with other disabilities and submit compliance report to this effect using ‘Template for the Compliance Report for Determining Accessibility Lebel of Web Sites of Public Bodies’, mentioned in para 19 of this Order by 15/11/2020.
The commission is of the view that as considerable time has elapsed since the incident depicted in the requested footage took place, the disclosure of the footage is not going to give any advantage to those involved in the kidnapping incident. In fact, the certified footage may help identify those involved in the criminal act. As such, the disclosure of requested footage is in public interest.
The implementation of Section 5 of the Act can only be ensured if federal public bodies continuously juxtapose categories of information enlisted in section 5 with the information provided on the web sites.
The commission observed that the information proactively published under Section 5 of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017 should be accessible for all citizens, including the blind, low-vision, physically disabled, speech and hearing impaired and people with other disabilities. This commission is of the view that it is about time federal public bodies start taking seriously the accessibility of the web sites as well. As a starting point, the public bodies need to determine the accessibility level of the web sites. The web sites of public bodies should be accessible to level AA of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 (of W3C. A quick reference guide for WCAG2.1 is available at this link: http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/quickref/