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Order on Appeal No 1135-06/21 Faisal Manzoor Anwar Vs Ministry of Finance

The appellant in the instant appeal has requested the Ministry of Finance for the copy of FORM-I (Expenditure), received from principal accounting officers of the following ministries

Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training,
Ministry of Climate change
Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination
Ministry of Railways
Ministry of Housing and Works
Ministry of National Food Security and Research
Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs
Ministry of Law and Justice.
Ministry of Water Resources
Ministry of Science and Technology.

This Commission allowed the appeal and directed the Secretary, Ministry of Finance is directed to provide the requested information requested with intimation to this office, at the earliest, but in any case, not later than 10 working days of the receipt of this Order.

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Order on Appeal No 1134-06/21 Faisal Manzoor Anwar Vs Ministry of Finance

The appellant requested certified copy of indicative budget ceiling separately for current and development expenditures for FY-2021-22 as communicated to the PAOs of the following ministries:

Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training,
Ministry of Climate change
Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination
Ministry of Railways
Ministry of Housing and Works
Ministry of National Food Security and Research
Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs
Ministry of Law and Justice.
Ministry of Water Resources
Ministry of Science and Technology.

This Commission allowed the appeal and directed the Secretary, Ministry of Finance to provide the information requested by the appellant, at the earliest, but in any case, not later than 10 working days of the receipt of this Order.

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Order on Appeal No 1132-06/21 Faisal Manzoor Anwar Vs Ministry of Finance

The appellant requested the Secretary, Ministry of Finance to provide a copy of the Budget Strategy paper developed by Finance Division.

The Respondent neither reply to the notices of the commission nor attended the hearing.

This Commission directed the Secretary, Ministry of Finance to provide the information requested with intimation to this office, at the earliest, but in any case, not later than 10 working days of the receipt of this Order.

This Respondent is also directed to take immediate steps to proactively share through the website 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’. This template is available under ‘Information Desk’ category at the website of the commission www.rti.gov.pk. The compliance report be submitted to this commission within 30 days of the receipt of this Order.

The public body is also directed to designate Public Information Officer as required under Section 9 of the Act and upload its notification along with the name, designation and contact details on its website as required under Section 5 (1) (b) and (h) of the Act and submit a compliance report to the commission within 10 working days of the receipt of this order.

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Order on Appeal No 1130-06/21 Faisal Manzoor Awan Vs Ministry of Finance

The appellant requested the Ministry of Finance to provide a certified copy of indicative budget ceiling separately for current and development expenditures for FY-2021-22 as communicated to the PAOs of the following ministries:

  • Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training,
  • Ministry of Climate change
  • Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination
  • Ministry of Railways
  • Ministry of Housing and Works
  • Ministry of National Food Security and Research
  • Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs
  • Ministry of Law and Justice.
  • Ministry of Water Resources
  • Ministry of Science and Technology

The public body neither provided the requested information to the citizen nor responded to the notice of this commission.

Pakistan Information Commission has directed the Secretary, Ministry of Finance is directed to provide the information requested to the appellant with intimation to this office, at the earliest, but in any case, not later than 10 working days of the receipt of this Order.

The public body is also 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 by November 23, 2021.

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Order on Appeal No 1130-06/21 Faisal Manzoor Awan Vs Ministry of Finance

The Appellant in the instant appeal has requested the Ministry of Finance to provide Certified copy of the decision taken in Demand Review Committee’s meeting.

The public body neither provided the requested information to the citizen nor responded to the notice of this commission.

Pakistan Information Commission has directed the Secretary, Ministry of Finance is directed to provide the information requested to the appellant with intimation to this office, at the earliest, but in any case, not later than 10 working days of the receipt of this Order.

The public body is also directed to take immediate steps to proactively share through the website 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 by November 23, 2021.

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Order on Appeal No.1140-06/2021 Faisal Manzoor Anwar Vs Ministry of National Health Services

The requested information pertaining to the BO/NIS forms for the development budget for FY 2021-22, submitted to Finance Division by the Respondent, Ministry of Health Services and certified copy of indicative budget ceiling separately for current and development expenditures for FY 2021-22 as communicated to PAO of this ministry by the Finance Division belongs to the category of information which public bodies are legally bound to proactively disclose, through their web sites, under Section 5 (1) g), and (i) of the Act. Had the Respondent carried out its obligation of proactive disclosure of information through its web site, instead of referring to Section 6 of the Act, the Respondent was required to inform that the requested information is already available on its web site.

The fact that such crucial information as proposed and actual current and development budget for such an important ministry as Health Services which is required to be proactively published for citizens is being withheld demonstrates the prevailing secrecy culture in federal government departments. The way the Respondent, Ministry of Health Services has handled the request for information in the instant appeal also demonstrates that the focus is more on continuing with the secrecy culture rather than promoting transparency and carrying out legal obligations under the Act.

 

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Order on Appeal No. 403-06/20 Faisal Manzoor Anwar Vs Ministry of Law and Justice

Pakistan Information Commission declares Cabinet Division’ notification U.O No.5/16/90-Security, dated 4 April, 1993 declaring Ministry of Law and Justice to be classified /secret   as null and void. Public Information Officer, Ministry of Law and Justice is directed to provide following requested information to the Appellant within 7 days of the receipt of this Order with intimation to this office:

Certified copy of BO/NIS forms submitted to the Finance Division by the Ministry of Law and Justice during the process of the budget for FY 2020-21.

The commission holds that as right to information in matters of public importance is a fundamental constitutional right.  Article 8 of the Constitution which aims at curbing practices which thwart efforts of the citizens in the exercise of their fundamental rights and freedoms renders Cabinet Division’ notification issued on 04/04/1993 void ab initio. Furthermore, Section 25 of the Act also overrides the said notification.

This commission is of the view that the disclosure of ‘BO/NIS Forms’, once final budget has been approved, would serve public interest, as citizens would be able to know about the level of quality input by officials gone into the allocation as well as utilisation of public funds.

 

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Order on Appeal No. 397-06/2020 Faisal Manzoor Anwar Vs Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination

The Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination is directed to provide certified copies of the BO/NIS forms for Development budget for Financial Year 2020-21 submitted to Finance Division by this ministry within 10 working days with the appellant.

 

The respondent is also directed to take immediate steps to proactively share through the website all categories of information mentioned in Section 5 of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017 and submit compliance report to the commission in the tempate for the compliance Report-Proactive Disclosure of Information Section 5 of the Act.

Furthermore, the public body is also directed to notify Public Information Officer under Section 9 of the Act, put contact details on their website as and submit compliance report to the commission.

 

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Order on Appeal No 391-06/2020 Faisal Manzoor Anwar Vs Ministry of Housing and Works

The Appellant requested information regarding the BO/NIS forms for the current budget of FY 2020-2021, submitted to the Finance Division by Ministry of Housing and Works. The Appeal was allowed and the Commission directed the Respondent to provide the requested information to the Appellant.

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Order on Appeal No 402-06/20 Faisal Manzoor Anwar Vs Ministry of Law and Justices

The Ministry of Law and Justice was directed to provide certified copy of indicative budget ceiling separately for current and development expenditure for FY 2020-21 as communicated to PAO of this ministry by the Finance Division.
The commission observed that the Citizens of Pakistan through their elected representatives have included the provision of imposing fine on public official who wilfully delay or deny access to the requested information so that they do not have to pay the undue cost in terms of time and money in exercising their right of access to information because of the dereliction of the duty of a public official.

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