This commission has already held through its different Orders that information pertaining to salaries, perks, benefits, perks and privileges of the employees is contained in notifications which are public documents. As such, this information is not only to be provided to citizens when requested but public bodies are obligated to proactively publish through their web sites all notifications as required under Section 5 (1) (b) of the Act.
Section 5 (1) (b) of the Act requires all federal public bodies to ensure publications on their web sites of all “Statutes, statutory rules, regulations, bye-laws, orders and notifications, etc. applicable to the public body disclosing the date of their respective commencement or effect”. Furthermore, items number 2, 4, 5, 6 and seven of the requested information in para 2 is public information under Section 6 (a) and (d) of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017.
All federal public bodies are required to publish through their web sites directory of officers according to Section 5 (1) (a) of the Act. As such, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is required to share with the Appellant, and, also publish on its web site the requested information about “Total sanctioned and vacant posts of Assistant (BPS-15) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (MOFA), Government of Pakistan, Islamabad and “Total vacant posts in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in BPS-15 and above (other than Foreign Service of Pakistan) nomenclature wise detail.
This commission is of the view that under staffing of officers is a perennial problem faced by public bodies. However, this issue does not get public attention it deserves. If the Ministry of Foreign Affairs keeps updated diary of its officers on its web site, citizens would know about total number of sanctioned posts and the details about sanctioned posts filled and lying vacant. This critical issue of under-staffing is not going to get public attention if this information is not brought in the public domain through proactive disclosure of directory of officers through web sites.