This commission holds that the Respondent was required to provide simple Yes/No answer to the query of the Appellant about the minority quota in the WAPDA sports department based on information available on the record. Similarly, if there is minority quota, the Respondent should have provided requested information about the percentage of the minority quota. The requested information should also have been provided about the total number of sportspersons in the WAPDA Sports Department.
This Commission has observed that information of public importance mentioned in Section 5 of the Act is not being published through the web site of federal public bodies. In fact, the Web sites of federal public bodies contain generic information and not specific information as required under Section 5 of the Act. This is despite the fact that Principal Officer of each public body was required to ensure proactive disclosure of information through web site within 6 months of the commencement of the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017.
It is pertinent to mention here that this commission has maintained through its different Orders 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. Apart from the interpretation of ‘accessible’ in section 5 of the Act, section 15 (5) of the ICT Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2020 requires federal public bodies to ensure accessibility of web sites to the special needs of persons with disabilities and it is as under:
“The government shall ensure that all websites hosted by Pakistani website service providers are accessible for persons with disabilities”.