Public Information Officer, Ministry of Railways is directed to share with the Appellant the requested information about the current status of the availability of the following information on its web site within 7 working days of the receipt of this Order. Secretary, Ministry of Railways is directed to submit compliance report to the commission describing current availability status of the following information on the web site as well as time-frame for publication of each missing information/record on web site within 7 working days of the receipt of this Order:
- directory of the officers of the public body, containing information about total sanctioned posts, filled/vacant posts, responsibilities of officers and information about its functions and services provided by the public body;
- Act and the Rules of the public body, its regulations, bye-laws, orders and notifications;
- manuals and policies of the public body;
- relevant facts and background information relating to important policies and decisions undertaken by a public body;
- statement of policies adopted by the public body;
- criteria, standards or guidelines under which officers of the public body exercise their discretionary powers;
- terms and conditions for acquiring any license, permit, consent, approval, grant, allotment or other benefits;
- terms and conditions for all kinds of agreements and contracts;
- particulars about the recipients of any concession, permit, license or authorization granted by the public body;
- information about decision making processes of the public body and information about how citizens can provide their input to the public body;
- Detailed budget of the public body; including proposed and actual expenditures, original or revised revenue targets, actual revenue, receipts, revision in the approved budget and the supplementary budget;
- The methods for seeking information from the public body;
- Schedule of costs, developed by Pakistan Information Commission, (available on the commission’s web site) for seeking information from federal public bodies;
- name, title, E-mail and telephone number of the Public Information Officer notified under the Right of Access to Information Act 2017;
- performance reports, audit reports, evaluation reports, inquiry or investigative reports and other reports that have been finalized.
The commission observed that officers have to file information requests and then appeals with commission to get access to enquiry reports conducted against them. Similarly, candidates who apply for government jobs seek information by filing appeals with the commission to get access to information about criterion for jobs and marks allotted to successful candidates to gauge the level of fairness adopted by the public body in the recruitment process. Citizens will not have to go through the trouble of filing information requests and appeals with the commission if each public body ensures that all performance reports, audit reports, evaluation reports, inquiry or investigative reports and other reports that have been finalized are made available on the web sites of the public bodies. This commission is of the view that trust of citizens in public institutions is irrevocably linked with timely and accurate flow of information between citizens and public institutions. However, this would only be possible when Principal Officers of federal public bodies would ensure implementation of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017 in letter and spirit.
The commission is of the view that all federal public bodies are required to determine which categories of information are available on their web site and which are missing by juxtaposing each category of information mentioned in Section 5 of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017 with the information made available on their web sites.