The Sunday Leader

State Institutions Continue To Snub RTI

by Indika Sri Aravinda

Over 100 complaints have been received by the Right To Information (RTI) Commission against several State institutions which have snubbed the RTI Act.

RTI Commission member S. G Punchihewa told The Sunday Leader that information officers at several State institutions have disregarded the RTI Act when approached by the public for information. Punchihewa said that the RTI Commission will make inquiries over the complaints received and take appropriate action.

He said that some institutions operating under Local Councils and the Agriculture Department are among the institutions which have disregarded the RTI Act.  Punchihewa noted that government institutions must comply with the RTI Act and failure to do so could lead to action being taken against them.

The Commission member said that some private institutions are also misusing the Act, especially when bidding for tenders. He also noted that there are some shortcomings in the Act and amendments are likely to be proposed.

In May the RTI Commission concluded the hearing of some appeals, during which process appellants received the information that had been requested under the Act from Public Authorities noticed to appear before the Commission, to the satisfaction of the parties concerned.

The commission has been receiving many requests for guidance from Public Authorities in respect of procedural and substantive aspects of the RTI Act along with letters from Citizens (including public officers themselves) on injustices caused to them by the denial of information.

4 Comments for “State Institutions Continue To Snub RTI”

  1. Eng.M.V.R.Perera

    I myself as sent 3 complaints to rti Chairman but up to date I have not obtained the required information . Tomorrow I will be sending for 33 information to chairman rti from the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy as I have not received this information after 8 weeks there is a reluctance of the informations Officers to give infrmation

  2. banda

    I too observed that the heads of local governments seek their subordinates advice to solve public issues because they have no idea of what is happening in the subordinates offices. Because of this problem, public have to go to LG office number of times. Once I had to go to Kandy municipality 14 times to solve an assessment tax problem . The commissioners not interested to carefully examine the contents of the letters of the public complaints and used to direct letters to the subject clerk who interprets laws as they want but not according to the legislations in the legal books. Further , they don’t send reply to the public letters is one of the major headaches. Therefore, i suggest that, to summon all the LG he to RTI office ads and explain as to how the provisions of the RTI act be enforced and give the responsibility to take all issues under RTI be solved by them but not by any other officer in the LG offices. It is useless the provisions of the RTI if the public have to go to pillar to post.

  3. Eng.M.V.R.Perera

    there also seems to be reluctance on the part of the RTI chairman to take necessary action against those rti officers when reported to him as he as summon me to meet him on 10/10/2017 to meet him with all relevant documents wit5hout even informing me on what topic I should meet him and also why I the applicant is summoned when I have given all the relevant papers to him instead of the RTI officer who refused to give the information. I have by letter via email and by speed post have informed him so and to reply via email up to date no reply

  4. K.V.G. PALITHA

    Eng. Electronics K.V.G.Palitha
    I sent a letter to U.D.A. Battaramulla, asking about development projects around ratmalana area , one and half months passed no action has being taken to provide necessary information, I have tendered appeal also as a second step. What I have come to know that is seem to be No law is working in this country it is only wasting public funds to maintain those institution. very unfortunate situation.

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